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Lyon County Emergency Management Director Jarrod Fell discusses the Lang Substation with county commissioners during Thursday morning’s meeting.

Lyon County Commissioners formally approved Thursday a lease agreement between the county and Evergy concerning the Lang Substation and tower about nine miles northeast of Emporia near the 1700 block of Road 200.

Emergency Management Director Jarrod Fell told the commission the lease would run for an initial 10-year period, but also included four possible renewal opportunities, each lasting five more years for a total lease duration of 30 years. Fell said his hope for the agreement — which costs $10,000 annually — was that it would prove to be a major cost-saving measure for the county and also that the site would significantly aid in coverage for the upcoming city/county public safety radio project.

“The cost of building a tower and maintaining a tower can be quite expensive,” Fell said. “On just maintenance alone — because it’s obviously a large structure that you don’t want to fall over — we have to have the cost evaluated about every two or three years. Putting up a completely new tower can cost up to half a million dollars or more. To spend $10,000 for a 30-year period to lease the tower would be way more cost-effective. It’s a good partnership with Evergy.”

In other action, commissioners oversaw a public hearing and review regarding Rural Water District No. 1’s Community Development Block Grant. The $500,000 grant was instrumental in several necessary improvements, according to Government Assistance Services Grant Administrator Brett Waggoner.

“The scope of work replaced approximately 22,000 linear feet of existing waterline in the city of Americus with new two-inch, four-inch, six-inch and and eight-inch PVC piping,” Waggoner said. “It rehabilitated 165 service assembly fittings and 10 fire hydrants, upgraded an existing transmission mane by installing approximately 12,000 linear feet of 12-inch PVC pipe from the city of Americus to the Lyon County Rural Water District support pump station. It replaced an existing water tower and constructed a new 100,000-gallon elevated water storage tower in the city of Bushong.

“All proposed activities were accomplished. This grant was funded all or in-part from the Kansas Department of Commerce Small Cities Community Development Block Grant funds.”

During the meeting, commissioners also:

• Approved a $57,000 quote from John Thomas, Inc. for the purchase of a new remote flagger system

• Approved warrants payable in the amount of $240,440.13

• Approved payroll payable in the amount of $272,117.72

• Approved payroll withholdings payable in the amount of $378,851.98

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