County departments will be working together more this year to keep roadsides and intersections clear of overgrown weeds following discussion Tuesday with the County Board of Commissioners.

County departments will be working together more this year to keep roadsides and intersections clear of overgrown weeds following discussion Tuesday with the County Board of Commissioners.
Ed Fields, manager of the county's noxious weed department, and members of the county road and bridge department met in a work session before the regular meeting of the commissioners. They came out of that work session with a better focus on dealing with the problems posed by weeds throughout the county.
“If the road crews see problem areas, they can contact you,” Commissioner Ralph McGeorge said. “Get with the roads foremen and talk to them. Then, we'll develop a plan.”
It was tentatively decided Fields would spray for control around bridges and guardrails throughout the county as he's doing his regular weed control operations along county roads. Road and bridge department crews, as they're out and about, could take care of the smaller areas around signs along the roads.
His primary applicator truck is ready to go, Fields said. He also has available a couple of smaller units that can either be pulled behind a pickup or an all-terrain vehicle. The smaller units will be available for rent to to county landowners for a nominal fee, as soon as he finished calibrating the units and developing a set of instructions for proper use, he said.
Fields also told commissioners about some of the records he has to keep in his department, particularly on potentially hazardous chemicals. The records allow the state to track if he's doing his job correctly.
The records also allow state officials to track any potential cases of cross-contamination of surrounding areas near where chemicals have been applied and any cases of contamination of personnel. Proper application of the chemicals will minimize and often prevent the possibilities of chemicals ending up where they don't belong, though, Fields said.
After the work session adjourned, the commissioners convened in regular session and heard a report from Rebecca Reedy of the Crisis Resource Center in Pittsburg. Reedy presented a request from Cherokee County Attorney John R. Bullard regarding the possible re-tasking of money from a U.S.  Department of Justice grant into his office to assist in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving domestic abuse  and protection from abuse order violations.
The funds had originally been earmarked to hire an assistant to keep statistics in prosecutions in Cherokee County, Reedy said. An assistant was not hired and the $833 per month was not used.
Bullard requested the money be reassigned back to his office.
Bullard was not asking for any additional funding and the reassignment of the existing funds wouldn't affect the grant, Reedy said.
“It sounds like a more efficient use of the money,” Commissioner McGeorge said.
The commission voted unanimously to allow Reedy to proceed with the reassignment of the funds.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a proposal to switch schedules for the workers in the county Road and Bridge Department from five, eight-hour days to four, ten-hour days as a way to save on fuel costs by reducing the number of days county trucks are on the roads. On a motion by Commissioner Tom Moody, seconded by McGeorge, the board approved moving to a four-day work week with 10 hour days, beginning May 19.
• Discussed warning stripes painted along the edges of county roads. Commissioner Moody said he'd heard from several individuals in the Opolis area south of Pittsburg regarding the need to stripe the edges of the road commonly known as Opolis Road. Striping, particularly along the edges of the road, increase visibility and make it safer to drive the roads at night or during rain, Moody said.
Striping operations depend on correct temperatures for the material to adhere to the road surface correctly, Commissioner McGeorge said. Striping operations are needed on all the roads in the county.
“We're getting to them as quickly as we can,” he said. “We haven't forgotten about it. The time frame has to meet all the criteria we have in force.”
The next regular meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. in the county courthouse in Girard. The regular meeting scheduled for May 9 has been cancelled to allow board members to attend the Kansas County Commissioners Association annual conference.