Monthly tax report, Gusty Lane issues top Saline County commission meeting
Saline County commission bi-weekly meeting was called to order at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, by Presiding Commissioner Kile Guthrey.
Following approval of the minutes of the previous meeting, County Treasurer Marty Smith presented the county’s monthly tax reports. Sales tax showed a total of $101,489.81, a $14,147 increase over last month with a yearly increase of $15,618.05; law enforcement tax intake showed $76,912.21, an increase of $11,349. 24 over last month and a yearly increase of $11,714.62; use tax registered $30,722.92, which showed a decrease over the past month of $7,989.66 but an overall yearly increase of $15,752.11; economic development tax showed $109,441.50, reflecting an increase of $15,o91.51.
Southern County Commissioner Monte Fenner presented submission of two commission orders, the first involving a request from the court deputy for the transfer of $500 for a contract line item of equipment in the amount of $500, and the second for $3,500 for the postage machine fund. Both orders were approved.
Liquor license applications were then presented by Presiding Commissioner Kyle Guthrey from Walmart Supercenter, Marshall; Aldi in Marshall; Last Stand Saloon in Sweet Springs; Bud’s Cafe, Marshall; Marshall Fireworks at the I-70/65 Junction. All license applications were granted.
Guthrey presented a letter from SB44 Board for the Disabled concerning the replacement of Kent Butler. Application was made by Sam Harris to replace Butler for the remainder of his term until 2021. Application was approved.
Guthery reminded those in attendance of a deadline for bids on the sale of scrap iron from county road and bridge projects. All bids, Guthrey stated, are to be presented in a sealed envelope by 8:45 a.m., June 13, to County Clerk Debbie Russell. Russell will stamp the envelopes upon arrival in her office, after which the bids will be opened by the commissioners on Thursday morning, June 13, at 9 a.m.
Tony Day presented a report on post-flooding issues and the upcoming assessment by the state and federal government for disaster relief. Day stated there are five potential houses involved at this time, but that local officials have been unable to reach those locations to assess the damage due to continued high water in the Glasgow bottoms area. Day said a flyover assessment was in the works at this time. Qualifying as a disaster area requires $88,000 minimum damage, and Day said there would be “no difficulty” reaching that figure.
The county commission meeting was then adjourned until 9:30 when the commissioners reconvened and addressed the issues of the Gusty Lane road closure relative to the Habitat Flats development with citizens of the area.
Those in attendance to present their concerns were: Ina Francis Snoddy Dysart, accompanied by her daughter, Megan Peecher, and her lawyer, Brent Hayden. Also attending were other residents of the area, including Bill Ramill, Joyce Ramey, Kimberly Duggan, John Heyer, Guthrey and Fenner.
Landowners stated their concerns regarding changes to the road that had been made and asked how such changes had been made without their being informed. The road, they stated, had been placed on “vacation” status in lieu of the development of a “hunting lodge” by the name of “Habitat Flats” which would be accessed by Gusty Lane. Residents expressed their concerns regarding county policies not being adhered to during the changes, and no proper information being distributed to them prior to or during those changes.
Residents stated there has been some rebuilding and re-construction of the road in the area without proper permission from the commissioners which is already underway. The reconstruction, said residents, has made the road “worse and not better,” and some of those in the area state the road has been “fine and useable” for years but now is not. Residents stated the road bed has been “firm,” and even in high water years like this one, even though there are “wet areas” along the road, it remains passable for local farmers. However, several residents stated the reconstruction has made the road “squishy” and unable to support agricultural equipment or heavy trucks needed to move harvested crops or support large farm implements.
Commissioners stated there had been no submissions to the board concerning Gusty Lane and they had granted no permission for road work, improvements or changes.
Concerns voiced by the residents present included financial responsibility for maintenance if the road is placed in “vacation” status. “Safety is another concern,” stated Dysart in a printed statement she read to the board, “Am I liable? Will I need additional liability insurance to protect myself?” Dysart stated she had been told Habitat Flats intended to place a gate on the road. Other residents stated memories of a previous time when someone else had placed a cable across the road, requiring emergency service providers to take a much longer route to the area if anyone were to require emergency assistance.
Commissioners assured residents they would look into the area in question and provide answers as they were able to obtain them.
The meeting was then adjourned.