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Morning Sun
  • Cities, county meet for group discussion

  • If one looks at a map, there are a bunch of lines in Crawford County. There are lines around cities and lines connecting cities. Commissioner Carl Wood doesn’t care about lines. He’d rather see city and county officials sitting around the same table, working to solve problems and working together.

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  • If one looks at a map, there are a bunch of lines in Crawford County. There are lines around cities and lines connecting cities. Commissioner Carl Wood doesn’t care about lines. He’d rather see city and county officials sitting around the same table, working to solve problems and working together.
    “We don’t have any lines. We’re just Crawford County. What one gets, the other will benefit. I really feel Crawford County is a good place to raise your kids. That’s what everyone is pushing for. Anything we can do to help a city, we’ll do it. Bottom line, no one has money. But we’ll have to do it our self if we get anything done,” Wood said Friday.
    Wood helped to organize a lunch meeting on Friday morning for officials from several municipalities in the county. There were officials from Crawford County, Pittsburg, Arma, Girard, and even Mulberry all at the same table sharing their views, challenges and opportunities.
    But before they could get into that, the officials were treated to a presentation by Rick Fulton, who spoke about the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War coming soon.
    “It’s not about politics, it’s not about the decision makers,” Fulton said. “It was about the folks who implemented it every day in that time, the late ‘50s, early 1960s and 1970s. It’s the 50 th commemoration of probably the most controversial war the country’s ever had. How do you deal with it? Should we deal with it? They looked around, and saw a lot of controversy surrounding the war, but for the average, common guys like me, I spent two years there, and we’re not special forces or decorated generals. It’s just plain, everyday veterans.”
    After Fulton’s presentation, Blake Benson, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce president, spoke about the economic trends in the county, reciting statistics he shared at the city commission meeting on Tuesday. He noted that valuation is up about $1.5 million on building permits at this point in the year compared to last year.
    Benson also noted the growth of Pittsburg State and Atkinson Industries, but singled out the growth at Via Christi, CHC-SEK, and Pinamonti Physical Therapy.
    “A growing trend, and something we’re trying to capitalize on, is we’re seeing Pittsburg become a medical hub for Southeast Kansas,” Benson said. “More are coming to Pittsburg for health care than going to Joplin or Overland Park. I see the opportunity to keep growing that.”
    After that, the officials began a discussion on the topics they see affecting their municipality. Girard officials spoke about infrastructure improvements, including to their water and sewer system. Arma officials asked questions about the plans for U.S. Highway 69 in the county. There was also the standard amount of frustration directed at Topeka and Washington, D.C.
    Page 2 of 2 - Finally, the issue came back to trash, a common issue at these types of meetings in the past. However, unlike past meetings, the discussion was largely praise about the steps being taken to address the trash issue. That includes Pittsburg Beautiful’s efforts, as well as the county’s redoubled efforts to prevent illegal dumping.
    “Everybody’s working from pickup, but all these people creating the issue, that’s where the problem is,” said Patrick O’Bryan, Pittsburg city commissioner. “Unfortunately, we have to deal with that, but that’s the issue.”
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