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Sedgwick County has added another item to the list of issues and concerns that will be taken to the Kansas Legislature next year. County commissioners say the process of getting the necessary permit has delayed efforts to remove trees, brush and debris from creeks and streams.
Commissioner Karl Peterjohn said this is about routine stream maintenance to prevent future flooding problems. He said the cleanup would also help improve water quality in the area.
Peterjohn said the process is slowing that effort down, and it's putting homes and businesses at an unnecessary risk.
Commissioner Jim Skelton said the county has 27 creeks and streams that are on the list for debris removal. He said the delays in the process are overly burdensome.
Commission chairman Tim Norton said the county and state will have to be careful in the process, because debris removal can increase the flow of water and have an impact on other counties downstream. He said the county will also have to be mindful of property rights along creeks and streams.
Commissioner Richard Ranzau said there will be an effort in legislation next year to continue the practice of getting easements for work on private property, and landowners would be able to file a claim if any damage is done to their property because of debris removal from a creek or stream.