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Extension talks 601 Main renovation with county

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

The Ellis County Commission heard from Jeanie Michaelis of the Ellis County Extension Council at Monday night's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

Michaelis updated the commissioners with needed improvements to the Kansas State Research and Extension office located at 601 Main. The office is scheduled to undergo renovation as part of an overall renovation plan for Ellis County office space.

"The Ellis County Extension agents and the executive board just wanted to make sure that you were aware of the needs that we feel are very important to us," Michaelis said.

Concerns raised by Michaelis included signage and entrance to the office and additional lighting in the parking lot. The issue of ice in the parking lot in the winter as well as proper drainage of the parking lot also was discussed with the commissioners.

Michaelis was assured it is early in the renovation process, and considerable discussion will be necessary before final plans are considered for the project.

The renovation project at Commerce Bank at 718 Main will be done first, followed by 601 Main.

In other business:

* Commissioners approved parking lot improvements at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.

"Part of our parking lot area, in front of the Schenk and Unrein Family building, needs to be re-done," said Ellis County Fair Board President Jill Pfannenstiel.

Commissioners approved re-paving the parking lot, accepting a bid from APAC of $12,389 for crushed concrete, which will be used for the lot. Labor and equipment from the county will be used.

"That will be dependent on the county's schedule," Commissioner Swede Holmgren said of the timetable for getting the work done.

* Commissioners will hold a special meeting at a later date to discuss the road and bridge prioritization project.

*  Commissioners approved contracting with BG Consultants to design two road improvement projects on Old U.S. Highway 40. One would be resurfacing of 7 miles of pavement in the eastern part of the county and the other would be significant improvements on the road between Yocemento and Ellis.

* Commissioners took no action on a request from Southern Star, a company requesting an easement on Ellis County Fairgrounds property. The fair board previously had recommended the commissioners not approve the easement, saying the $3,000 in payment for a 25-year easement was too low, and the proposal would use more parking space than they were comfortable giving up.

Commissioners asked County Administrator Greg Sund to meet with Southern Star representatives to see if they were willing to agree to a payment for the first five years, then renegotiate a payment amount.

* Commissioners approved an agreement with United Way of Ellis County.

* Commissioners approved the Fixed Asset Management Policy.

* Commissioners heard a final report on the shooting range cleanup project.

* Commissioners approved a resolution designating the county administrator and county clerk as persons authorized to sign documents on behalf of Ellis County Rural Fire District No. 1 for the lease/purchase of two water tanker trucks.