Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sedgwick County is looking to step into the middle of a big road dispute.The trouble is happening in the Ohio Township where battles between leaders have left the roads in bad shape.
The township, just Southwest of Wichita is supposed to pay to grade and mow alongside 46 miles of roads. That hasn't been happening.
On Tuesday afternoon, the grader was out for the first time in months. The operator says it's because he just got his back pay.
"I don't know whether I'll get paid for this job though. We'll see," said operator Clair True.
Because the road conditions have been so bad, Sedgwick County is worried about public safety. That's why it's considered stepping in to help fix up the area. It would then send the estimated $5,000 dollar bill to the township.
"I just think there's an obligation out there. There is an obligation for us to act if they don't," said County Commissioner Kelly Parks.
The roads have been the cause of shouting matches at the last two township meetings.
The battle began in the spring when newly elected trustee Christine Watson transferred the townships $135,000 to another bank account. When the clerk and treasurer tried to transfer it back Watson hired an attorney to stop it. She says she wants the money protected. They've been fighting over it ever since and no road work has been done.
Still some commissioners aren't sure they want to get in the middle of it all.
"I just don't know about one government just imposing itself on another government," said County Commissioner Dave Unruh.
At least for this day, True says,"I'm just going to get over as many as I can with the grader and see what happens."
The township is holding a meeting Tuesday night. The county says it will wait to see what happens there before deciding how to move forward.