Bidding opens for Timber Creek project

WESTMORELAND, Kan. – The Pottawatomie County Commission opened bidding for the Timber Creek Bank Stabilization project on Monday.

Three companies bid on the project, which will address embankment issues along Elbo Creek. The low bid came from Rush Creek Construction in Beatrice, Neb., at $711,684.15; however, county engineers had only budgeted $560,000 for the project.

“All three bids were higher than our (engineer’s) estimate,” Commission Chair Gary Yenzer said. ”That’s a major increase in what we want and can’t afford.”

The commission will have two weeks to hold the bids while it attempts to obtain more funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The remaining bids were from Ebert Construction in Wamego, Kan., and Jueneman Excavation in Hanover, Kan., coming in at $1.03 million and $924,533.96, respectively.

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Flooding has become a serious concern in the Twin Oaks development in St. George, Kan.

The County Commission heard St. George Zoning and Planning Commissioner Jim Karr’s testimony during Monday’s meeting.

“Economic development in the area is good,” Karr said. “An unintended by-product is surface water drainage. When we get a big rainstorm it gets the creek riling and a lot of water moving.”

Karr hopes to obtain funds from the county, which will aid St. George officials in finding the most cost-efficient solution to the problem.

“I want a coordinated plan because outside of the city limits there are drainage issues from other residential areas that have popped up,” Karr said.

No formal action was taken during Monday’s meeting. The County Commission expects to re-visit the topic in the near future.

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Securing grant funding for the upcoming fiscal year has been the focus of the Pottawatomie County Emergency Management Department over the past few weeks.

Emergency Management Director Chris Trudo recently applied for the Emergency Management Performance Grant, which is intended to give counties the financial resources necessary to develop comprehensive disaster and recovery plans.

“It’s something that’s been around for a long time and we apply for it each year,” Trudo said.

As far as the amount of dollars the county could receive, Trudo says “it’s been anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 in the past.”

Trudo expects to hear back from the state sometime between October and November.

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The Pottawatomie County Public Transportation Department recently lost one of its drivers and is in the process of finding a replacement.

A number of people have interviewed for the opening according to Transportation Director Dustin Trego, who hopes to fill the vacancy in the next two weeks.

Anyone who is interested in the position can apply online at www.pottcounty.org.