Lyon County Courthouse

The Lyon County Commission approved the purchase of a new web-based permitting system during its Thursday morning action session.

First proposed by Planning and Zoning Director Sam Seeley in late April, the Schneider Geospatial system will facilitate the process of obtaining permits for both county staff and the community.

In April, Seeley explained that the current paper process requires applicants to fill out information that is already on file with the county and that they might not have access to at the moment. An electronic system could pull the information already on file with the county and fill it into the application automatically, thereby reducing the number of steps an individual must go through.

In addition, community members could use the web system to access a map of their property and draw the changes they want to make directly on it. They would also be able to see other vital information overlays, such as what parts of their property fall into a floodplain.

He also said that a web-based electronic system would improve communication and cooperation between county departments because all relevant departments could receive alerts when an online application is submitted.

After Seeley made the proposal this spring, the commission directed him to research providers and he settled on Schneider Geospatial. Originally, this purchase was set to be approved last week, but it was tabled until the county’s legal counsel could look over the latest version of the contract.

County Counselor Mike Halleran said Thursday that he had looked through the contract and identified two minor changes, which had been resolved to satisfaction.

Seeley said the new system won’t be implemented all at once, but rather in phases as his department figures out how best to use it.

“What this does is it just starts the process for me to create the foundation for the permitting system,” he said. “Then the workflows that come after it will, over time, be tailored exactly to the way we want it to be.”

The initial setup will cost $30,120 with a prorated hosting cost of $3,400 for the first year. After that, hosting will be $5,100 a year for three years.

The commission also approved a request from assistant county engineer Jim Brull and Bruce Boettcher of BG Consultants to accept a bid for A.M. Cohron and Son Inc. to complete the deck replacement project on the Road Z bridge near the APAC quarry.

“They do good work in the state of Kansas and all through the Midwest,” Boettcher said of A.M Cohron and Son. “They’re a bridge company and have built a lot of bridges throughout the Midwest and Kansas.”

The total cost of the project is $615,202.52, which is about $12,000 above the engineer’s estimate due to increased material costs. However, the county has entered a cost-share agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation which will reimburse up to $398,744 on the project.

“I think right now it’s a pretty reasonable bid,” Brull said. “I would suggest that we go ahead and accept it. If we bid it again, I’d bet it goes up.”

The project is slated to begin on Jan. 15, 2022, at the latest, although the goal right now is to start in mid-December. The contract is for 80 working days.

The commission also approved Brull’s request to revert to gravel the old horseshoe of the former Highway 99 north of the Neosho River bridge and west of the current Highway 99.

The horseshoe became a county road when it was no longer a part of Highway 99 and doesn’t see significant traffic. Brull said that fixing the asphalt would cost $200,000 while reverting it to gravel would only cost $20,000.

The commission agreed that this was a good way to save money.

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