Sabetha City Commission: Oregon Street slated for repair

Coming out of a long, brutal winter, city commissioners had talked in recent meetings about the state of city streets. A few streets in particular — Oregon and North 14th — took a beating during the winter months, and though they were not on the city’s original plan for resurfacing this summer they quickly have been thrown in the mix.

What also became clear was that the city’s normal patch-and-fill repairs won’t be enough, at least not for Oregon. This street’s potholes have become regular fodder sure to gain laughs and grimaces alike.

At the Sabetha City Commission’s regular meeting Monday, March 25, a $275,000 Hall Brothers bid for milling and resurfacing Oregon Street, from Old Highway 75 to the city limits west of Sabetha Community Hospital, was approved by commissioners.

Present for the meeting were Mayor Doug Clark and Commissioners Norm Schmitt, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Julie Burenheide.

Commissioner Burenheide asked which other streets were on the list for summer repair. Assistant City Administrator said he does not have the full list, but a few that have been added that were not originally planned are North 14th Street from Main Street, as well as Timberlane.

Commissioner Wittmer asked if there was a progress update on Sixth Street road work. Shroyer said that the contractors still are working on utilities at this time.

Commissioner Wittmer also asked if any considerations had been made for the traffic at the corner of 14th and Oregon, which will be increasing with the Health and Wellness Center going in at that corner. Sabetha Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck said he has already been giving that area some thought, and options could include slowing speed limits and/or a four-way stop. Allen said they will continue considering options for the corner, but said he was certain some change would be made.

Parking Lot

Jeannie Bachelor came before commissioners to discuss a parking lot that is owned by Bachelor Controls, located at the southwest corner of 11th and Grant streets. About 30 years ago, Bachelor said the company purchased the lot to convert into a parking lot for employees. The lot originally had a house on it, which was torn down, she said.

“Many other people have parked here for years. We’ve tried to be really good neighbors for more than 30 years, but it is just becoming more than we would like to handle in terms of providing a public parking lot,” Bachelor said, referencing liability and maintenance issues.

Bachelor proposed to commissioners that the lot be turned into a public parking lot, with buy-in from businesses that would use it, as well as they city. She said Bachelor Controls would underwrite 25 percent of the cost. It was appraised in 2013 at $35,000, Bachelor said.

Commissioners asked if Bachelor had spoken with businesses near the parking lot to gauge their interest. Bachelor said she had, and a few were interesting in the parking lot but none wanted to buy it at this time.

Tony Nichols, who owns Hardware Hank — directly south of the parking lot — said he had been interested, but believes the lot is overpriced. He would just like to have the customers who park in his lot to go into Brick Street have somewhere else to park during the day, he said.

Dustin Ronnebaum, owner of Brick Street, said they are not in a position to purchase the parking lot at this time. However, he said, he would be interested in offering an easement on the north side of Brick Street’s property for more parking. The area is currently dirt, he said.

Commissioners agreed to think about the parking issue, and tabled the issue until the next meeting.

Healthcare

Commissioner Schmitt informed his fellow commissioners about the Brown County Commission meeting he attended that morning. Brown County is pursuing a retail sales tax to support healthcare, and this morning Sabetha Community Hospital CEO Lora Key presented a formal resolution from the hospital board requesting a portion of the money generated from that tax, if it passes.

Schmitt said he believes there was at least one representative from each business on the Brown County side of Sabetha. The Brown County commissioners were receptive this week, much more so than the previous week, Schmitt said. He told the group that it sounded like they were going back to the committee for a new recommendation, and this time Sabetha would be included in the discussions.

“There are no secrets here,” Schmitt said. “Rural hospitals are being challenged right now.”

Allen said he and Shroyer went from that meeting to the Nemaha County Commission meeting, where Dr. James Longabaugh presented a request to commissioners on behalf of Sabetha EMS for a full-time paramedic.

Sabetha is requesting that Nemaha County cover the cost of the paramedic. Allen said the commissioners seemed receptive to the request, and said they would look at their budget and get back to Sabetha EMS within the next month.

Also at the meeting:

The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

The commissioners approved the application for Josh Bechtelheimer on the Sabetha Fire Department.

Sabetha High School SADD was present to ask the commissioners for their continued support. Sponsor Elysia McGill and future SADD President Ainsley Smith reported on the SADD activities and future plans. The commissioners voted to approve continued support in the amount of $2,500 for SHS SADD.

Chief Wahwasuck presented a police report. Since Feb. 25, the SPD has taken six dog calls and one citation was issued. Additionally, Washwasuck said, with temperatures warming up he has been focusing on code enforcement — specifically junk vehicles.

The commissioners asked Wahwasuck about traffic on Highway 75. Wahwasuck said it is very busy. The highway is out of SPD’s jurisdiction, he said, but they will assist when called.

Commissioner Wittmer said she had heard there were ants at The Main Event, and asked if they had anyone doing pest control. Allen said he would call someone to take care of that.

Amber Deters123 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.

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