For the second Monday in a row, Barton Hills resident Betty Filbert addressed the Barton County Commission about the poor road conditions in the rural housing development.
“We’re still having troubles with our roads out there,” she said. “People out there are contacting me and asking me who to contact.”
Technically, the gravel roads in the county are the responsibility of the townships. Located at the intersection of U.S. 281 and NE 60 Road between Great Bend and Hoisington, Barton Hills falls in South Homestead Township.
Filbert said she has been in touch with township Clerk Brandon Yeakley and Treasurer Randy Strickland. “They keep coming up with excuses.”
“We need to bring the South Homestead Township officials in to discuss it,” Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said. “It’s a catch 22 for us” since this is not really the county’s responsibility.
“If they are not doing their job, then we can go in there and do the work and charge it back to them,” she said. “But, the county doesn’t want to take on the work that should be done by the township.”
Schartz stressed to Filbert that they were not trying to put her off for too long. “But we need to get our ducks in a row before we decide what kind of a plan we want to follow.”
The problem is there are potholes in the road, Filbert said. “It needs to be graded. It needs some rock.”
There has been a grader over the roads during the summer, she said. But they were just quick passes and at times, the blade wasn’t even lowered.
Last week, the commission directed County Administrator Phil Hathcock to visit the area. But, he was unable to attend Monday’s meeting and discuss what he learned.
He had talked with County Works Director Darren Williams. “I drove out there and, like she was saying, there are holes that need to be taken care of,” Williams said.
They have hauled some sand to the site, he said. “They’re trying, they just need to spend a little more time on it.”
Williams said it would take his crews a solid two days to make the needed repairs.
“It’s been that way for a long time already,” said Commissioner Kenny Schremmer, who’s First District includes South Homestead.