Written by Jerry Engler Wednesday, 21 March 2007 18:24The Marion County Commission Monday reassured renters of mobile home and camper lots at Marion County Lake by voting unanimously never to change use or zoning requirements on trailers moved there.
The only restrictions the commissioners said they would make would be for public safety and insurance requirements. Commissioner Bob Hein noted it would have to be a home in “pretty bad shape” not to be insured somewhere. Karen Spinden and Christie Hensley had come to the meeting for the reassurance because Spinden is purchasing a fifth wheel from Hensley that overlooks the lake from a knoll on the east side.
Spinden said she had already paid Park and Lake Superintendent Dale Snelling her $1,000 annual rent for a lot. But she wanted to back out now rather than pay extra thousands of dollars later only to find the Commission is going to change the rules as has been discussed before.
Snelling said minimal requirements such as keeping home insurance and keeping homes painted already are in lake rules for the homes.
Commissioner Dan Holub said he wanted to make sure about insurance requirements because mobile homes are so close together in the lake mobile home park—a fire could spread quickly.
Older mobile homes already there are grandfathered against federal requirements for homes, but Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said new homes that meet the requirements must be used to replace homes that are removed.
The commissioners passed a resolution—jointly with one passed by Harvey County—that gives $3,900 in Marion County funding for administration at Northview Developmental Services.
Dallke, who has been attending frequent meetings on reorganizing Northview, said this would enable reorganization of the group for full funding in its work of services for developmentally handicapped persons.
The full funding from Marion County for Northview had been at $59,500. Commissioners said this probably will remain about the same, but Hein added it will have to be looked at during budget time.
The commissioners committed to using road and bridge loaders and trucks to aid the Marion County Fair Board in removing the top 18 inches of dirt in its rodeo arena, and replacing it with a mix of dirt from re-dug ponds and sand. The work would be done after a Memorial weekend May 29 but before a horse event June 18.
Chuck McLinden, board chairman, said the dirt change is to remove accumulated debris from automobile demolition derbies in response to a Marion County-Wide 4-H Horse Club, which is concerned the arena has become unsafe both for horses and children.
County Extension Agent Rickey Roberts said that the request for the dirt moving comes as the result of meetings with the group to find what proposals might meet their concerns.
McLinden said there have been demo derbies in the arena for at least 30 years, and dirt and sand have been added, but never totally replaced. Clean-up efforts have been done primarily by hand, he said.
The arena is approximately 255 feet long and 125 feet wide, which will make the large project with a “considerable” pile of dirt to store as a result, McLinden said.
A Hillsboro city employee told him the fair board could dump removed dirt behind a shop building on the edge of town, McLinden said.
Hein asked the board to double check the feasibility of the dirt dump with the City of Hillsboro before putting the dirt there.
McLinden said the replacement dirt will come from a group of land owners, mostly in the Lehigh area, who will provide it from pond dirt dug out last summer.
McLinden said the arena will be further cleaned by adding new procedures. He explained that before a derby, a berm of earth is put up around the arena, and most debris is thrown on it as the derby proceeds. He said workers will clear that debris out before spreading it again, a procedure not done before.
By getting clean dirt and practicing more rigorous clean-up procedures, the Fair Board hopes the dirt will stay clean enough for horse events over five to 10 years, he said.
In response to questioning, Roberts said the sand would have to be used to prevent the dirt from “setting up like concrete.” He said he also will look for farmers to volunteer trucks to help the county effort.
The commissioners asked that more persons volunteer dirt for the project, too.
In a later session with Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet, the commissioners asked him to provide the needed equipment for up to 40 hours.
Holub noted in conversation with County Clerk Carol Maggard that David Arteberry, bond consultant, told the commission the only legal way it can support bond sales for a jail is with sales tax or property tax.
Holub said a sales tax would have to last for the lifetime of the bonds, but commissioners could alleviate a property tax rise with income from keeping other counties’ prisoners.
Michelle Abbott-Becker, communications and emergency management director, told commissioners she has completed radiological training that will enable her to detect radiation in potential emergency situations. She may be called upon to go into neighboring counties too under Homeland Security regional agreements with them.
She is looking for persons such as hospital radiological staff and highway patrol officers who might be willing also to take further training.
Abbott-Becker said an increasing number of calls are coming into the 911 center on power outages. She reminded the public that persons should call the power company to report outages, not 911.
She said that cell phone towers that might help with 911 calls have still not been built south of Florence or west of Peabody. Abbott-Becker said this is, in part, due to cellular companies and their equipment being traded often.
The commissioners approved a resolution presented by Sheriff Lee Becker that enables the county to charge prisoners for some of their expenses while in jail.
Herzet said the county’s 20 percent share to match state grant funds isn’t there for two bridges that are scheduled for rebuilding this year. He asked commissioners to consider a Kansas Department of Transportation revolving loan fund that provide the money this year.
Holub said he disliked seeing the county caught in owing money on bridges when the same problem will crop up every year.
Herzet said he also has received a program proposal from Bobcat Steer Loaders that would enable the county to replace its new Bobcat annually at a cost of $3,000, thus remaining under full warranty with it and unlikely to need tire replacements. The commissioners tabled the proposal for a week.
Roland Schmidt, household hazardous waste and noxious weed director, said HHW mobile pickups, all from 9 a.m. to noon, will be April 7 in Durham, April 12 in Peabody, May 5 in Burns, May 11 in Florence, May 19 in Ramona, June 1 in Lincolnville and June 16 in Goessel.
The last half hour of the meeting was spent in executive session to consider about 20 applicants to succeed Snelling who retires in April.