College asks county for storm-alert help

Tabor College officials asked the Marion County Commission by letter last week to look at how the county might assist the college in 911 storm warning situations for students in light of the tornado warnings Hillsboro experienced this month.

At their Monday meeting, the commissioners asked Dan D’Albini, Emergency Manage­ment director, to meet with college officials sometime in the next week to discuss the issue.

D’Albini said the county might consider cooperating with the college in obtaining a limited number of “Code Red” brand reverse 911 systems by cell phones at a cost of $3.50 each annually to enable select persons to broadcast warnings to the campus population.

Commissioners Roger Fleming and Randy Dallke both noted the commissioners would do what they could to help Tabor student safety, but “it is the college’s responsibility to notify their people.”

The commissioners noted the designated shelter areas in lower building stories on the campus.

The commissioners approved paying $110,000 in road and bridge consulting engineering fees to the firm of Kirkham-Michael this summer, but said they may want to seek alternative bids in the future to lower costs.

Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, said he will investigate use or purchase of a blacktop road-stripe painting machine owned by Harvey County. It is used on a limited basis by Harvey County.

The commissioners approved placement of stop signs at 310th and Eagle for safety considerations because it is a “blind intersection” for motorists.

Theresa Huffman, economic development director, outlined plans for spending perhaps $380 for a gardening and greenhouse project providing services for youth at Florence, and perhaps $800 for a community trees and garden project at Peabody from grant funds through Kansas State University.

Huffman said Marion County has been selected to host a tour of 28 volunteers for the Kansas Sampler Foundation to study projects in the Durham area in October led by Marci Penner, KSF chair.

Dallke said there are probably 150 to 200 oil and gas wells now operating in Marion County.

He said he wants the appraiser’s office to outline how many there were each year from 2005 through 2011 so the commission can keep track of increases this summer when horizontal drilling is expected to begin.

The register of deeds office has reported many enquiries from oil companies for lease records back to the county’s founding in the 1800s.

Baker Brothers Printing of Hillsboro was awarded a county clerk’s office bid of $3,110 for 100 boxes of copy paper over a competitive bid of $3,160 from Navrat Office Supply of Emporia.

The commissioners met in multiple closed executive sessions for personnel—by themselves for 20 minutes, with Huffman for 20 minutes, with Crawford for 10 minutes and with D’Albini for 10 minutes.

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