More funds are being made available for upkeep on the Meadowlark Trail.
A $1,000 bond agreement was approved by McPherson County commissioners on Tuesday. The bond agreement between the county and the Central Kansas Conservancy will go toward the payment of signage, weed control and fencing.
While the base amount of the bond is set at $1,000, the available funds will be replenished as money is drawn down.
“In essence, it’s unlimited,” Rick Witte, county administrator said.
The funds will only cover the completed area of the trail, which includes four miles of trail near McPherson, from Moccasin to Pawnee.
Tracy Presnell, who owns land adjacent to the trail, raised a concern regarding fencing along the trail. He said, by law, the conservancy must pay a portion of fencing along the trail if fencing is requested by adjacent land owners.
“Have landowners been asked if they want a fence or not,” Presnell asked. “It’s my feeling that most aren’t aware they can request it.”
Michele Cullen, conservancy president, said any fencing built would likely extend into landowner’s right of way.
“We would be into their crops,” she said. “Most probably wouldn’t want fencing.”
Witte said if the fence fell into disrepair, local farmers would be fiscally responsible to repair it.
Cullen said the completed section of the trail does not currently cause any problems with local crops or livestock. She said the conservancy is working with local landowners before work begins on the rest of the trail.
The Meadowlark Trail lies along a former railroad track, and stretches from McPherson to Lindsborg.
911 to upgrade Lindsborg site
Commissioners also approved $39,576 toward the upgrade of a microwave communications site in Lindsborg.
Darren Frazier, Emergency Communications director, said a portion of the Lindsborg tower has been down since Dec. 19, and efforts to maintain the current system have been fruitless.
The site will be upgraded to a higher strength software and hardware, replacing a 13 years old system. Frazier said the upgrade will help maintain a better signal strength.
The site will be compatible with a digital system while still maintaining microwave communications. Frazier said the upgrade also will meet necessary next-generation 911 requirements toward the application of state and federal grants.
In other business:
• Commissioners signed a letter of support for an application by county communications toward a next-generation 911 grant. The grant would go toward the upgrading of equipment.
• Commissioners signed an agreement with Hutchinson Community College to allow County Communications to utilize a site on Hutchinson Community College’s south campus Pioneer Hall as a backup emergency communications site if need be. The access agreement will not cost the county any money.