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Sewer District pays half of repair cost for two damaged county roads
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (May 27, 2010) — Following serious problems on two roads in Hunter’s Point south of Waynesville that cost Pulaski County thousands of dollars in asphalt repair bills, the board vice-chairman of the Pulaski County Sewer District presented a $2,949 check to the county commission to cover half of the estimated repair costs.

“On Surf Lane, there’s a manhole cover out in the middle of an asphalt road and the asphalt stared breaking up,” said Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham. “On Stirrup Lane, they bored underneath in order to run their lines underneath the asphalt road, then the settling of the soil caused the asphalt to drop.”

Sewer Board Vice-Chairman Gary Porter said the vote to pay half of the repair costs was unanimous of the four sewer board members present at last week Tuesday’s sewer board meeting. The one board member absent last week was Sewer Board Chairman Mark Cortesini, whose resignation was requested by Porter; it’s not known how Cortesini would have voted if he had been present last week.

“I … hope you’ll present this payment of half as a gesture toward fixing that. There’s no doubt in my mind that we probably have some shared liability,” Porter said. “We’re not pinching pennies or anything else.”

Farnham told Porter that repair work should begin soon and Willard Asphalt is already under contract to do the repair work as part of regular annual maintenance work in Hunter’s Point.

“This will come in handy,” Farnham said. “I’m surprised it’s not yet done. I was just up there the other day to look and see, and Don just said he had a phone call from the people that live adjacent so I don’t know what the holdup is; I asked the foreman yesterday to call Willard and find out what the deal is.”

The payment by the sewer board isn’t an admission of liability. Farnham said the bill could probably have been submitted to the county’s insurance company, but since the sewer board and the county commission both share the same insurance company, Bassett Insurance, all that would do is run the risk of increasing rates on taxpayers.

“I told Gary that I wasn’t going to say that the sewer district was 100 percent responsible because I don’t know. I would be happy if they could pay part; half, I thought, would be fair of the damage estimate,” Farnham said.

Porter also invited the county commissioners to attend an upcoming but not-yet-scheduled ribbon cutting for a new sand filter waste treatment plant in the Taylor Hills subdivision owned by Mark Rowden.

Porter said Rowden has “gotten a bum rap” for problems, and said that’s not fair.

“As far as the sewer goes, that is a premier sand filter system, I mean it’s one of the best,” Porter said. “Mark has really gone the extra mile out there at Taylor Hills. He has done everything the sewer district has asked him. I’m not knocking other contractors, but if all the contractors would work that hard and do what’s the right thing, some of us would not be having to fight some of the problems that we have out here in the county.”

Porter also thanked the county commission for appointing Nathan Purdome, a local banker who lost a race in April for the Waynesville R-VI School Board, to fill a sewer board vacancy caused by the resignation of St. Robert Fire Chief Chuck Fraley.

“I think he’ll be an asset to our board,” Porter said. “We’re trying hard and I appreciate you guy’s efforts. We’re trying hard.”

“The sewer district has its problems that need to be worked out and hopefully they will accomplish that. I think they’re making progress,” Farnham said.

In other matters at Monday’s county commission meeting:

• Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch announced that the family of Luther Thomas has donated a cannon back to the county that once stood on the southwest corner of the courthouse square. The World War I-era cannon was stolen and damaged; it was later retrieved by local businessman Luther Thomas and placed in storage. Thomas’ family now wants to donate the cannon to the county and McCulloch said he’ll put it on a concrete pad in a spot where a Rose of Sharon bush now stands.

“I was going to take it out anyway; it’s gotten too big,” McCulloch said.

• Farnham said he’s not happy with the role of Fort Leonard Wood personnel in circulating an erroneous e-mail stating that eight local businesses had failed their health inspections. The county’s road and bridge department could also face scrutiny from Fort Leonard Wood personnel, Farnham said.

“This gets very frustrating. This could hurt people’s businesses, and they thought it was wrong,” Farnham said. “There’s been another deal that they want to go out to all these tattoo parlors along with the state inspectors to see what they’re doing. I’ve been getting calls about that and I’ve been referring them to Rep. David Day.”

• Farnham and Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink said work has been completed on three different river accesses to conservation property using $2,535 in road grants by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Ross Access on the Big Piney River, the Schlicht Mill Access on a spring near Swedeborg that leads to the Gasconade River, and a third access on Revere Road on the west side of Roubidoux Creek. That’s the same road that in the city of Waynesville is known as Pippin Road. Work to improve all three river access points had to be completed by June 1 and the deadline was met, Farnham and Zweerink said.

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