Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 10 April 2007 15:17Following a visit to Sumner County’s new corrections center, Marion County Commissioner Dan Holub said Monday that prices were so much lower than Marion County’s considered $5 million to $9 million facility that everything needs to be reviewed.
As a result, Commission Chairman Randy Dallke requested that County Clerk Carol Maggard get the Wichita company responsible for the Sumner construction, Law Kingdom Inc., on the agenda for the April 23 commission meeting.
In the meantime, Dallke plans to make a personal visit to the company .
Dallke said this doesn’t mean the commission will turn away from working with its current consultant on the project, BG Consultants of Manhattan. But, “we’re not completed, so we’re not committed.”
Commissioner Bob Hein encouraged Maggard to continue working with UMB bank on a charge-card purchasing agreement that would ease employee purchasing for the county.
Maggard said, as an example, that Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet sometimes needs equipment that can be purchased online or regionally, such as Kansas City, rather than delaying work by getting approval of direct billing to the county.
She said it would also allow employees on business trips to purchase lodging and meals.
Holub warned, from his experience in the military, that with checks such spending can quickly get out of hand.
Dallke said a solid accounting system should be set up with the charge card.
Dallke also warned that employees should understand that any misuse of the card could be a reason for termination.
The commissioners agreed they will hesitate to look at alternatives before committing to spending up to the $400,000 range to remodel and upgrade the old building that houses the health department.
Planning, Zoning and Environmental Health Director Bobbi Strait, who has been checking county junk yards, said her planning and zoning committee has granted a conditional-use permit to a junk yard she considers the best kept of any she’s seen, on the Daniel Franz farm near Durham. She said Franz uses the cars there as parts for demolition derbies.
On the Delbert Thiessen place at 950 Diamond, where the county first pulled salvage vehicles from county right of way, Strait said the state has revoked the salvage yard license and given Thiessen 60 days to clear it for compliance.
After that, Strait said, if the place hasn’t been cleaned up, the state may clean it up, sell the vehicles and charge any remaining expense to Thiessen, including time highway patrol officers use to check ID numbers on every vehicle, she said.
Hein started the congratulations for Dale Snelling, retiring 46-year park and lake superintendent, saying, “Dale, I thank you for the good job you’ve done. I’ve had many good reports on you in the years I’ve been here.”
Dallke extended thanks on behalf of Marion County for the work Snelling has done.
The commissioners said they have narrowed the field of candidates to succeed Snelling to five persons.
Snelling said he is trying to time his departure so he might be able to help instruct his successor. His job officially ends April 20.
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks workers John Stein and Jessica Mounts also said they wanted to “touch base” with Snelling before he retires.
Stein said a stocking program of saugeye and wipers at Marion County Lake has helped reduce the population of undersized crappie.
Maggard reported the county’s cash position as of March 30 at $7,823,342 with $67,596 in interest earned. Motor vehicle account expenses were reported at $2,538.
Emergency Medical Services director Larry Larsen received approval from commissioners for making an agreement with the Lincolnville Fire Department to put first-responder equipment on the department’s Big Red firetruck instead of on an ambulance.
Larsen said the same thing may be done at Burns, where a lone EMT might then also secure help from fire fighters on such needs as lifting people at emergency scenes.
Larsen reported 54 ambulance runs for March, five from Peabody, four from Florence, two from Marion backup, 23 from Marion, 18 from Hillsboro and two from Tampa.
They included eight transfers, 10 cardiac, 10 emergency, seven standby, 10 falls, six no-transport, one 10-22 and two other.
There was one first-response run from Burns and two from Goessel, and one rescue run from Marion.
The commissioners directed Noxious Weed, Household Hazardous Waste and Transfer Station director Rollin Schmidt to keep working to get grants that might enable a county.
Schmidt said besides doing a good environmental turn, a recycle program might enable the county to save money on hauling solid waste. That would be the objective instead of making money, which is nearly impossible anyway, he said.
The grants pursued might be used to acquire trailers for hauling recyclables from various communities as well as a baler for items such as cardboard, he said.
Schmidt reported the average truckload at 20.38 tons of municipal solid waste in 31 hauls from the Marion County Transfer Station, and at 20.43 tons a load in 127 hauls for the year. He said the annual tonnage of waste has been between 7,370 tons and 7,390 tons for the last three years running.
Herzet told commissioners it is time to get bids for the Third Street project coming into Marion, so the project can be completed by September. He said with contractors working in the area this summer, it is an opportune time to get bids by the end of May.
The commission approved $6,950 expense for geo-technical core drilling on bridge check test by the engineering firm of Cooke, Flatt and Strobel as part of the five-year bridge construction plan.
He said the commissioners will need to make a new review of the plan soon.
Stan Thiessen of Hillsboro suggested commissioners consider housing-development projects to take advantage of the new industrial development in McPherson County.
Thiessen said McPherson County may become second only to Johnson County in per capita wealth in Kansas.