S.B. 679 relates to county roads, bridges, culverts, and cornerstones.
County Roads, Bridges, and Culverts. The bill amends a law dealing with the construction and repair of county bridges and culverts: to expand the law to cover county roads; to delete a $250,000 cap on the county's share of the cost of a project that may be undertaken under this act; to expand the type of projects where general obligation bonds may be issued to include those determined to be needed by the board of county commissioners; to delete a 2 mill levy limit; to delete nonuniform provisions applying to certain counties; and to delete a project preference for bridges located over streams rather than over other bridges.
The bill expands the authorization in current law for the board of county commissioners to issue general obligation bonds to pay the costs of constructing, repairing, or reconstructing bridges or culverts without a $250,000 project cap. Such bonds would not be subject to any limitation on the bonded indebtedness of the county. The bill also would authorize the board of county commissioners to issue general obligation bonds for constructing, repairing, or reconstructing roads. Such bonds, however, would be subject to a protest petition by not less than 5 percent of qualified electors of the county, and no bonds would be issued unless a majority of the electors approve the proposed bond issue. Bonds for roads would be subject to county bonded debt limits.
Cornerstones. The bill also clarifies a statute dealing with resetting of cornerstones or monuments. County surveyors that are notified that a cornerstone or monument projects above a roadbed must notify that township board (township roads), the board of county commissioners (county roads), or the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) (state or federal roads). The bill provides that the township or county governing body or KDOT must approve the resetting of any monument or cornerstone. The bill also clarifies that costs associated with resetting monuments or cornerstones on private property are to be paid by the property owners.
The bill was supported by the Kansas Association of Counties and officials from Shawnee and Miami Counties. Proponents said there are a number of county roads and bridges that need repair and updating which were not being done because of the tax lid law and other budget constraints. In addition, the current $250,000 project cap has not kept pace with escalating construction and repair costs of roads and bridges. By adding roads to the statute and by deleting the $250,000 project cap, general obligation bonds may be issued for these projects. The bonds issued under this statute are not subject to the bonded debt limits of the county and taxes levied for bonds are not subject to the tax lid.
The Senate Committee of the Whole amended provisions of S.B. 562 dealing with resetting of cornerstones or monuments into S.B. 679.
S.B. 562 was requested for Ford County. Under current law, the county surveyor is required to reset the cornerstones or monuments and then bill the appropriate government entity for payment. Some private surveyors apparently bill the governmental entity for resetting cornerstones or monuments located on private property.
The House Transportation Committee added the amendment that would remove any limitation on the bonded indebtedness issued by the county for bridge or culvert work. The other Committee amendment would require a protest petition when the board of county commissioners wish to issue general obligation bonds for road construction or improvements.
The bill has no fiscal impact on the state.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.