Permit approved for emergency services station

LYNDON—The Osage County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a condition land use permit for one or more emergency services to be placed on six acres of property located at 137th and Prost Road, just east of the U.S. 75 highway exit at Carbondale.

Darrel Sinclair, fire chief for Osage County Fire District No. 1, Carbondale, said the site was the department’s top selection following a two-year search.

“We’re looking for 50 years into the future,” Sinclair said. “The congestion is much less over at Prost Road. The reaction time to anywhere in the city is much better.”

Traffic counts from the road and bridge department showed as many as 5,000 vehicles crossing Main Street in front of the current station. The new station, which would be placed just east of the city limits, would see 600 to 800 vehicles per day.

Laurie Dunn, Osage County sheriff, brought accident figures for three locations for the last 10 years, noting 49 incidents on Main Street between the 200 and 600 blocks; 89 collisions between 117th and 149th streets on Topeka Avenue; and 18 incidents on 137th Street between U.S. 75 and Adams Street.

Donna Connell, Osage County EMS director, also spoke to the significant reduction in pedestrian traffic.

“There’s quite a bit in front of the current fire station, in front of the current EMS station,” Connell said. “You have children from all over Carbondale. There’s a significant hazard currently.”

Daniel Gasman, one of two landowners who petitioned against the station, was present at Monday’s commission meeting. Gasman addressed visibility and traffic at the location, turning off Prost Road and traffic to the daycare.

“I live directly south of there,” Gasman said. “My concern is safety on that road.”

The discussion helped prompt commissioners to consider a study to lower the speed limit through the area.

“You might as well start lowering it, in my opinion, after you get past Adams (Road),” said Glen Tyson, public works supervisor for the county.

The permit also includes a provision requiring flashing lights to be activated along a road anytime the bay doors are opened for emergency runs. Sinclair said the department had also moved its planned driveway location further east to increase visibility.

“I went out and viewed this and put to rest a lot of concerns I had when I saw where the driveway was,” said Gaylord Anderson, commissioner.

The commissioners ended the discussion by approving Resolution Z-17-01 (see Public Notices, Page 8), allowing for an emergency services station, no larger than 100 by 300 feet. The application allows for both fire and ambulance services at the location.

“We need a much better EMS station everywhere we’ve got EMS,” said Ken Kuykendall, commissioner. “I’m encouraged they’re thinking about being out there.”

In other business, commissioners:

• signed a proclamation declaring March Meals on Wheels month. Martha Hagedorn, executive director for Mid-America Nutrition, discussed the expansion of a meals program to Carbondale by as soon as April.

“I think the city’s pretty excited about it,” Hagedorn said. “I don’t think Mid-America Nutrition has had a new site opening for at least 10 or 15 years. It’s pretty exciting it’s happening in Carbondale.”

Hagedorn said they’re hiring for a manager in the area, and commissioners encouraged the expansion of the program.

“We’re supportive of it and we want it to go good,” Kuykendall said.

• approved Purchase Order 3205 for $33,470 to Watch Guard for 21 wearable cameras, which will tie into the sheriff’s office car camera system.

• opened bids from three companies providing chemicals to the noxious weed department, selecting bids from Tarwater Farm & Home Supply, Topeka, and Crop Production Services, Castle Rock, Colo.

• approved one-year pay increase for Kayla McNary , sheriff’s deputy, from 15.87 to 16.12 per hours; and Jacky Beatty, sheriff’s deputy, from 15.87 to 16.12.

• conducted a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel with Stephanie Watson, senior center director.

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