By CHASTITY RICHARDSON
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – The Johnson County Commission voted Tuesday to close Southwest 1051 Road.
The commissioners said the road, which is located south of Holden, was initially platted for public use, but over the years it has been abandoned.
“A gentleman requested for the road to be closed because there is only 100 to 150 feet of the road that still exists, and it goes back to the trailer he was renting,” said Diane Thompson, county clerk.
Western Commissioner Destry Hough said Lowell Hector, the son of a past county commissioner, stated that he was no longer renting a trailer by the road and that is was no longer needed for public use. Hector also told the commissioners that teenagers were riding four wheelers, partying and trashing the land.
“Lowell Hector is a nice guy,” Hough said. “He gave a good argument as to why he felt the road needed to be closed, but never demanded us to close it.”
By closing the road, the commissioners relinquished the county’s easement on the land. Presiding Commissioner Bill Gabel said he changed his mind about not wanting to close the road.
“Initially I was opposed to closing the road because maybe 50 to 100 years from now that road may be needed, but the two other commissioners shared the same concern as Hector,” Gabel said. “The land is private property now and owned by the landowners because we have taken ourselves out of the easement.”
Eastern Commissioner Scott Sader could not attend Tuesday’s meeting. The convenience store he owns in Knob Noster caught fire Monday night. Gabel said the sheriff called him at nearly 1 a.m. to notify him of the fire. Gabel said he went to the fire.
“It’s a volunteer system, and I don’t see how they responded so quickly,” he said.
In other business, the county plans to save money by either hiring another employee or having an outside company handle the payroll. The Human Resources Department has researched having companies like ADP or Paycor handle payroll. The cost for either one of those companies to handle payroll is about $48,000 a year. The cost of hiring another employee to handle payroll is $30,000 a year, according to county officials.
“We’re primarily looking at what’s financially better, but both sides present great arguments,” Gabel said.