GIRARD — For decades the county has done upkeep on Country Club Road. A recent chip and seal job, however, has stirred controversy at the Crawford County Commission. It came to light following the recent chip and seal work that the road is actually not a county road.
The road is in Commissioner Carl Wood’s district, and in a recent meeting earlier this month Wood, who is known for being fiscally stringent, said he and his road foreman, Ben Canon, would reimburse the county for the cost of the chip and seal. At that meeting he became angry, vociferously denying he would have ever knowingly have completed the work had he been aware that it was not the county’s responsibility to do so.
Wood announced at the meeting Tuesday, that he had been informed that someone requested that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation delve into the recent road work as a misuse of county funds. He reiterated he had no prior knowledge of the road not being the county’s responsibility, and had already offered to reimburse the county. Wood and his road foreman both presented checks to cover the cost. Wood expressed concern for the residents who live on the road.
“We’re going to have to figure out now how to get these people in and out,” Wood said. “We can’t just leave them landlocked.”
Canon was visibly shaken about the incident at the Tuesday meeting and said he had cared for the road since he began employment with the county in the early 90s, and that no one had any idea it was not the county’s responsibility. He was apologetic about the mistake and mirrored Wood’s concerns about the citizens who use the road.
Wood also said that he had requested the KBI look into who reported the incident and the motivations behind the report. He told his fellow commissioners that, depending on the outcome of the investigation into the reasoning behind the report he wanted action taken, including possible termination if it was a county employee.
“I feel the Wood name has been smeared,” Wood said.
The Crawford County Commission also reviewed the report of Ag. Engineering with representative, Frank Young. The reported discussed the impact of the storm water on county areas in regards to the scheduled Silverback Landing Development. The Silverback Landing Development is a housing project in the city of Pittsburg near the hospital. There were concerns in prior meetings that stormwater from the housing development would run downstream into county areas and cause flooding.
Young said that while the developers engineer had added some stormwater solutions it was difficult to make guarantees because the final plans had not yet been completed by the developers engineer. The commission moved unanimously to continue to have Young review the project as the final plans come together on behalf of the county. Young said that he had received good cooperation from the developer's engineer and expected he should be able to continue that relationship.
The commissioners agreed that they hope the City of Pittsburg will table moving forward with the development until the final plans are completed by the developers engineer.