Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Jail building, roads: Board approves two state of emergency declarations


April 18, 2019

Whitman County Commissioners approved Monday two emergency declarations, the first for the jail building which houses the coroner’s office and information technology after a problem with sewage backup.

The second was for incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county in proximity to streams and rivers in a response to last week’s flooding.

“Kind of an L-shape―across the top and right side of the county,” said Brandon Kruger, operations manager for the county’s roads and bridges maintenance.

The declarations allow county departments to contract for repairs without going through the bid process.

Kruger thanked commissioners Monday, noting the road crews’ ability to get gravel quickly from Shawnee Rock on Whelan Road north of Pullman and haul it to where it was needed.

“To get roads opened back up last Thursday,” said Kruger, after the floods of earlier that week.

The new gravel was brought out to replace the top layer of rock wiped off roads by the flooding.

County trucks and crews from unaffected areas participated, with road-graders smoothing what remained before new gravel was laid down.

“Gravel roads should be in ship-shape today or tomorrow,” Kruger told commissioners Monday.

“I think the crews have done a really great job.”

He also noted that two open mechanics positions for the county have received applications which are likely to be approved.

“Thank you for that,” Kruger said, referring to commissioners’ pay raise of $2 per hour for new employees, approved last December.

Kitzmiller Road

An estimated 100 feet of asphalt on Kitzmiller Road will be cut back to be replaced with gravel after flooding sent water underneath the thin-coat asphalt north of Pullman where it crosses Missouri Flat creek. Rising water went over the top of the bridge April 9.

“We hope to cut it out tomorrow,” Kruger told commissioners Monday.

Once the work is done, the section of road will remain gravel until it is re-surfaced with asphalt later, likely this summer.

“We’ll let traffic work the gravel first,” said Kruger.


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