When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed expanding a program in which residents voluntary donate easements in exchange for having their streets paved.
More than a dozen projects have been identified for the county's participatory road program. Public Works Director Mike Spickelmier said the county paved a section of a roadway last year as part of the program and another section this year.
"We would like to see the program expanded," he said.
He discussed with commissioners the possibility of adding projects to a candidate list.
Ultimately, County Administrator Pat Hurley said he will meet with Public Works officials to review possible projects. They then will return to the commissioners for more discussion about the program.
Spickelmier said most of the projects that have been identified are for local roads rather than what he would characterize as collector streets.
"We typically budget for one mile of road each year," he said.
Spickelmier said having a road placed on the candidate list isn't a guarantee that it will be paved. He said inclusion of a project indicates if residents are willing to do their part, the county will be willing to do its part.
In order for a project to be carried out as part of the program, all of the property owners along the affected roadway have to donate easements.
Spickelmier said anytime the county has to purchase easements, it gets expensive.
Unlike a benefit district, people who donate easements for the participatory road program don't have additional assessments placed on them for the road improvements, he said.
Commission Chairman Bob Holland questioned why a person wouldn't want to participate in the program in order to have the road paved in front of his or her house.
"A lot of times it's trees," Spickelmier said.
He said people don't want to lose trees located along the roadway.
Commissioner Dennis Bixby said he's in favor of expanding the program and using bonds for funding if there are enough qualified projects.
Holland said he also is supportive of such an expansion.
Commissioner Clyde Graeber said the only way the county can expand the program is through the use of bonds.
Hurley said Doug Smith, road and bridge superintendent for the county, has identified a number of potential projects. The county administrator said he would like to meet with Public Works officials about the projects and then come back to the commissioners.
Hurley said he also would like to see how many residents have not signed on to the projects that already have been identified.