The chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission wants to know how much the county government can borrow with a goal of having all roads in the county paved.

The chairman of the Leavenworth County Commission wants to know how much the county government can borrow with a goal of having all roads in the county paved.

The County Commission already has borrowed money to pay for three road projects that were specifically promised to voters as part of the renewal of a countywide sales tax. The commission also has used bonds to pay for the county’s contributions to industrial parks that are being developed in the cities of Leavenworth and Tonganoxie.

The bonds that have been issued will be paid off with money generated through the sales tax.

During a County Commission meeting Tuesday, Commission Chairman Louis Klemp said he has asked County Administrator Mark Loughry to determine how much the county can borrow with the goal of paving every gravel road minus some restrictions.

“There’s going to be some restrictions,” Klemp said.

Klemp said he raised the matter Tuesday so his fellow commissioners know the issue will be coming up in the future.

Commissioner Doug Smith took exception to a suggestion from Klemp that the county would not put salt on the paved roads during the winter.

Klemp said salt tears up roads.

“You have to do something,” Smith said.

Also Tuesday, county commissioners met behind closed doors in executive session to consult with an attorney about pending litigation.

Attorney Scott Ryburn met with commissioners during the executive session. Ryburn is representing the County Commission in a case that is challenging the contracts for former county employees.

Only two of the three county commissioners met with Ryburn during the executive session.

Klemp told his fellow commissioners he would not be joining them behind closed doors. Klemp has been critical in the past of the commission’s use of executive sessions, and this was not the first time he declined to join other commissioners in a closed-door session.

Following the executive session, commissioners voted to have legal counsel proceed as was discussed in executive session.

County Counselor David Van Parys said state law allows commissioners to discuss options with legal counsel without requiring that they be made public. He said a vote on final binding action will be required to take place in open session.

Commissioners also voted Tuesday to approve the use of $27,700 from a special account to pay for grants designed to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse among youth. The grants will fund project graduation programs, a high school after-prom party, school visits by a motivational speaker and other youth programs.

The applications for the grants were reviewed by members of the Leavenworth County-Cities Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council.

The money for the grants will come from an account maintained by the county that contains funds generated by a state alcohol tax.

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