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county to consider options


salina journal

by david clouston

salina journal

in two weeks, the question of how and where the saline county plans to hard-surface more of north ohio street could be resolved.

county commissioners pledged thursday to residents living in and near the big valley subdivision that they would consider the options the residents favored and return at a meeting in two weeks with a proposal.

about 25 residents of the area attended the meeting with the commission thursday night. during the course of more than an hour, they discussed alternatives for upgrading the gravel portion of ohio street from frisbie way to humbargar road — a distance of about 1.7 miles.

a consensus of the crowd produced three leading options for the project.

nstop the paving short of humbargar road, about a quarter-mile south, at annie oakley’s point — one of the intersections into the big valley development — or about 300 feet farther south at thacher road.

nbuild a retaining wall along a portion of the route so as not to take so much land from a couple of landowners in big valley.

nreconfigure the road to the east at or near the area of annie oakley’s point and wyatt earp’s draw.

the county needs land for added right-of-way for the upgrade to make the road wider. the land — mostly on the west side of ohio — is owned by nine property owners who own multiple parcels along the route.

the estimated cost for the first phase of the project is $750,000, which includes making drainage and road embankment improvements, and preparing the surface of the road for paving.

we’re in favor, but …

“we all are in favor of paving the road and we knew that when the development was being done that it was going to be paved,” said amber armstrong, 5650 wyatt earp’s draw. “it was never said to us, ever, that we’d have to donate the amount of land that we are donating. and when neil (cable, county engineer) came out and staked it out, we said we are willing to sacrifice some of our land. we never said no, absolutely not. we said we are willing to do some but not to the extent you are wanting.”

armstrong and her husband, joshua, and tim and april mayorga, 5595 wyatt earp’s draw, were the strongest opponents to the proposed upgrade route. the armstrongs said the route would carry the road as close as 100 feet to their backyard deck, while the mayorgas said the route would take away half of their front yard.

they and other homeowners in the big valley development have already paid a fee of $5,000 each to apply to the cost of paving the road. the lot fee is assessed by an agreement with the county and is projected to generate a total of $210,000 toward the cost of the first phase of the upgrade.

the remainder of the cost is being paid for through funds the county has set aside for a 10-year plan to upgrade high-traffic gravel roads in the county.

by stopping the paving short of humbargar, or routing the upgrade east, the armstrongs and the mayorgas would not lose as much property.

why not the east side?

some of the audience members asked the commissioners and county staff about relocating the course of the entire upgrade along the east side of ohio street. cable replied that, based on discussions with landowners on that side, there would be just as many problems, if not more, with getting land for the right-of-way.

also, a water line serving rural water district no. 2 on the east side of ohio would have to be relocated, at a cost estimated to be as much as $300,000. and because of ravines and rugged terrain on that side, more fill dirt would be required, which could add to the expense, he said.

n reporter david clouston can be reached at 822-1403 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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