Humboldt Hill road safety in focus



September 2, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Safety on old U.S. 169 remains on the minds of Allen County commissioners. Tuesday they encouraged Sheriff Bryan Murphy to ramp up patrols when Monarch Cement Company starts to mine and haul shale from 2½ miles north of Humboldt.
Still several months away, truck traffic is expected to significantly increase along the old highway. The speed limit half a mile north of Humboldt Hill and on into town will be lowered from 55 mph to 45.
Commissioners endorsed an idea proposed by Monarch engineers to install a pressure plate in the new road they are constructing leading to the highway. When traversed, the plate would trigger a warning light atop the hill to alert oncoming motorists of truck traffic.
As for closure of the road to Monarch trucks during foul weather, Murphy said he and Mitch Garner, director of Public Works, would monitor conditions, but, “when it gets bad they’re probably not going to be hauling anyway.”
In another road-related matter, Garner said he didn’t think the height of the main north-south street through LaHarpe, the county’s responsibility, was the root cause of flooding of the town’s post office last week when torrential rains fell. Rather, he said the way the structure was built lower than a parking lot and the road contributed. “We can put in a larger drain” near the building, “which may help,” he said.

IOLAN JOHN Muhl told commissioners his Eagle Scout project, to provide a means for people to appropriately dispose of U.S. flags, was moving along. He asked Tom Williams, commission chairman, if he would be a third-party contact with the county, a necessity of his project.
Williams readily accepted the responsibility.
What Muhl means to do is build receptacles decorated with a patriotic theme and information about flag disposal for the courthouse and Humboldt’s City Hall. Along the way he will raise funding for the project, with any remaining going to the county and Humboldt, “but I need what’s called a benefactor to receive the money,” Muhl said. That’s where Williams came in, as will someone in an official capacity at Humboldt.
“I think what you’re doing is a very good project,” Williams observed. “A lot of people struggle with what to do with an old flag.”
The U.S. Flag Code recommends: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” That’s what Muhl and the Scouts will do with those collected.
He said receptacles would be ready for installation soon.
On recommendation of Ron Holman, county buildings maintenance supervisor, commissioners accepted a bid of $624 for a new refrigerator for the Moran Senior Center from Flynn Appliance Center, Iola. Flynn’s bid was second lowest of three, but was chosen because the company promised to do maintenance.

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