The Leavenworth County Commission approved an agreement in July to maintain county roads in the city of Tonganoxie.

The Leavenworth County Commission approved an agreement in July to maintain county roads in the city of Tonganoxie.

But, commissioner Dennis Bixby would now like the city to take over maintenance of those streets.

Bixby raised the issue Thursday morning as officials from the Leavenworth County Public Works Department met with the County Commission.

Bixby noted the county performed work to widen County Road 6, or Washington Street, in Tonganoxie and put in new guardrails.

He said the improvements created a safe path for children to walk on as they go to and from school. He said the city of Tonganoxie will be responsible for putting in a sidewalk at the location.

Bixby also noted Tonganoxie now has a second-class city designation, and he would like for the city to take over maintenance of the road.

Bixby said the street would still have the county road designation in Tonganoxie.
He distributed copies of a memorandum of understanding that was signed in September that outlined the work the county recently performed on Washington Street.

Public Works Director Mike Spickelmier said a road maintenance agreement that was approved in July probably was the more appropriate document to look at.

Under the road maintenance agreement, the county is responsible for maintaining County Road 6 and County Road 5, or Tonganoxie Drive.

The agreement also addresses roads adjacent to city limits, some of which are the responsibility of the county and others the responsibility of the city. The agreement is supposed to last five years, but either the city or county can terminate the agreement early by providing a year's written notice.

Bixby said he wants to notify Tonganoxie now so the county's responsibility for maintenance of Washington Street will end before 2015.

Bixby said the construction of a new elementary school in Tonganoxie will bring a lot of heavy trucks onto the street.

"There's going to be a lot of heavy equipment going up and down that road," he said.

He said there also may be need for additional traffic signals on the roadway.

"We don't want to get involved in that," he said.

Spickelmier asked Bixby if he is wanting to remove only Washington Street from the agreement or cancel the entire agreement.

Bixby said he would like for maintenance of any county road inside the city of Tonganoxie to be removed from the county's responsibility.

Commissioner Clyde Graeber asked if the county's liability for the roadways ended when Tonganoxie became a second-class city.

Spickelmier said an attorney would have to answer that question.

Leavenworth County Administrator Pat Hurley said he would like County Counselor David Van Parys to look into the issue.

No action was taken during Thursday's meeting.

Spickelmier said officials may have something to report next week.