Written by Jerry Engler Wednesday, 07 November 2007 12:58Martin Rhodes, public works director who heads the county’s road and bridge office, resigned Wednesday, Oct. 31, at a Marion County Commission payday meeting after meeting with commissioners in three successive 10-minute executive sessions. Road Superintendent John Summerville, Rhodes’ “second in command,” was named by the commission as acting road and bridge director after joining the last 10-minute session.
Rhodes and Summerville both were appointed last summer. Rhodes succeeded Jim Herzet when Herzet resigned, and Summerville succeeded Steve Hudson after Hudson was named park director at Marion County Lake.
In making the announcement, Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said, “We appreciate what Martin has done for the county, and we wish him well in whatever he does afterward.”
Michele Abbott-Becker, director of communications and emergency management, said Marion County could have “a lot of money” in federal grants coming in the future with mitigation plans complete.
As an example of what could be done, Abbott-Becker cited the completion of a storm shelter for USD 408, where the state stepped in with funding. She said multiple applications for such projects are possible.
Abbott-Becker said she also would like to develop a program where the public could submit locations for storm shelters, possibly with taxes, to support search and rescue efforts in preparation for a potential Greensburg-like tornado.
Rather than doing this by address, Abbott-Becker said she would like to have location of even the most modest crawl space for shelter under a home on record by longitude and latitude backed up by an existing system for Hutchinson/Reno County.
County Clerk Carol Maggard gave the county payday figure as $776,570. August sales tax collected by the state in September, and disbursed to the counties in October was $56,617—the highest recorded since 2000, she said.
The total she gave for encumbrances still held by county departments from 2006 was $56,617.
The commissioners agreed with Maggard on selecting a $767.23 sonic projector from among bids for permanent installation in the commission room for needed presentations.
Jayne Gottschalk, director of the department for the elderly, reported on the 47th annual meeting of the Senior Citizens of Marion County. She said Kathy Greenlee, secretary of the Kansas Department on Aging, told them that state efforts to encourage nursing-home improvements are proceeding best in the central part of the state.
She said that Lanell Hett, transportation coordinator, had reported 10 trips for October with seven of them health related.
In his new role with the road and bridge department, Summerville told commissioners they may have to look at turning some of county’s hard-surface roads back to gravel. He said in some places a hard-packed surface of gravel would be an improvement.
“We can’t fix them all,” he said in reference to the expense of hard surfacing.
The commissioners split area fuel bids between Cardie Oil Co. of Tampa and Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro. Cardie successfully bid $8,210 for 2,950 gallons of diesel for areas 1 and 2 while accepting a bid from CG&S for 3,600 gallons of diesel at $9,792 for areas 2 and 4.