The Lyon County Commission approved a request to allow the county’s highway department to maintain roads around the sight of the upcoming Reading Wind Farm Project.

Lyon County Director of Planning and Zoning Sam Seeley presented an agreement for county road and bridge maintenance with RES America Construction, Inc. for the Reading Wind Project in Lyon and Osage counties. Normally, an outside contractor would do road maintenance, but Lyon County Road and Bridge staff advocates for doing road maintenance itself. The Reading Wind Project is expected to take until April 15, 2020.

“We are looking at a sum not to exceed $250,000, but also with the thought that if there is any sort of change order, that it will be executed,” Seeley said. “We put the [$250,000] to not exceed, but with the way the weather’s been and everything like that, you never know what’s going to happen. We’re not making any money. In our opinion, it’s a huge savings to have us do it, because we’re going to do it right the first time.”

For this project, they will be overseeing about 40 miles of both gravel and paved road, including a total of three miles stretching into Osage County. RES America Construction will flatten and widen the roads for the project, and Lyon County Road and Bridge will maintain it thereafter.

The agreement was approved.

Budget request

Register of Deeds Wendy Weiss presented the 2020 budget for the Register of Deeds Office. The department needs new office chairs and salary line for longevity and merit-based raises. They have been busied with passport applications and pictures for the past year.

Because of all of their new and hard work, “They deserve to be rewarded,” Weiss said.

Last year, the department processed 140 passport applications and 66 passport photographs. This year, they have already processed 99 applications and 58 pictures. Passport fees include a county acceptance fee of $35, and photographs are $15. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks to receive the passport.

“I look for it to keep increasing,” Weiss said. “It’s great interaction with the public. I think it’s a great service that we offer the public. They seem to really enjoy coming in, having a place to go, not at the main counter, but into a room — more private with their personal information. It’s working out really well.”

On top of that, the department offers Property Fraud Alert.

“It’s through our software company,” Weiss said. “It’s a free service to Lyon County. You go to [], you type your name in, and anything filed under your property, you’ll get an email alert.”

More approvals

Lyon County Engineer Chip Woods and Road Supervisor Dennis Baysinger presented an application for an open cut permit for a waterline replacement project across South Prairie Street, south of South Avenue. The project should take up to five days, two-to-three days per side of the road. The road would remain open, though it would operate as a single-lane with flaggers.

The application was approved.

Assistant County Engineer Jim Brull, Dirty Kanza co-Founder Jim Cummins and Undersheriff John Koelsch presented a proclamation for Walk, Run and Bike Days from May 26 - June 2 for Lyon County.

Part of the proclamation read, “Whereas: We encourage our community to welcome these [Dirty Kanza] guests to our city, as they deserve the recognition for the many countless hours of training they’ve endured to prepare for these events, transpiring in these Flint Hills we call home. And, whereas: The multi-use path … encourages everyone to walk, run or ride a bicycle to work during the days of these events.”

“We can raise the level of awareness for these activities through the Dirty Kanza and other events,” Martin said.

The commission also:

Approved a slightly amended contract with BG Consultants, Inc. for the relocation of the Lyon County 911 Operations Center

Approved a Community Action Month proclamation for ECKAN

The commission will next meet at 8 a.m. Thursday with 9:45 a.m. being the time for public comment.

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