Commissioner cautions about leak possibilities in oil pipeline

Marion County Commission Chairman Dan Holub at Monday’s commission meeting asked that county personnel look into safety precautions in case of any leaks in the TransCanada Keystone oil pipeline crossing the county, particularly if it occurs near homes.

Holub said that after watching news of pipeline leaks elsewhere in the country, he is concerned that local law enforcement, fire departments, health workers and others don’t have the resources to cope with dangers from a leak.

Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini said that TransCanada personnel have asked that, in an emergency oil leak incident, county personnel primarily be involved in removing residents from the affected area.

Other than that, he said, the company has said it would assume the responsibility to clean up the leak, and do any required property restoration.

Holub asked D’Albini to further investigate what would be needed to evacuate Marion County residents away from any break, and what would be needed on the part of county personnel to contend with such an issue.

D’Albini also reviewed planning to meet new state requirements by December 31 to replace old mobile emergency radios with digital radios.

In competitive bidding between First Wireless and TBS Co., D’Albini said First Wireless has offered not only to accept trade-in of old radios for the 490 digital radios required, but also for approximately 700 non-county radios at no extra charge.

Commissioner Randy Dallke questioned how the commissioners are to resolve having radios under the bid for both county and non-county personnel unless there is an arrangement made for cities and other entities to join the purchase through the county.

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford suggested that some of the 13 digital radios that would be required for his department might be substituted for by cellular telephones at a cost savings.

In light of positive phone calls received from Marion County citizens, commissioners Roger Fleming and Holub joined Dallke in commending road and bridge personnel for the good work they are doing in road improvement.

The commissioners said that since assuming their offices, it is the first time that the number of calls they receive commending road work have far exceeded the number expressing displeasure.

Crawford said the county will receive a $25,0000 refund from its contractor on surfacing of the four miles of road into Tampa from Highway 15 for surfacing that wasn’t done according to contract expectations even though the quality is high and it in no way reduces the function of the road surface and use.

The commissioners approved a bid of $1,992.30 from D.C. Wholesale of Concordia for 132 road hazard signs of various sizes such as “stop ahead,” “railroad crossing,” and object markers over competitive bids of $2,104 from Hall Signs Inc. of Bloomington, Indiana, and of $2,584.80 from National Sign Co. in Ottawa.

The commissioners approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $25,511 for 5,000 gallons of diesel and 3,000 gallons of gasoline from Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $25,753 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

The commissioners approved joining state and national government in recognizing May 20-26 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

EMS Director Steve Smith reported that collections for use of ambulance service are up 10 percent over last year at $165,368, perhaps reflecting an improved economy.

Smith reported 81 ambulance runs for April including 19 from Peabody, eight from Florence, 12 back-up, 17 from Marion, 24 from Hillsboro and one from Tampa.

There were three first response runs from Goessel and one from Lincolnville.

The ambulance runs included 15 transfers, four cardiac, 37 medical emergency, four standby, three motor vehicle accidents, three falls, 13 no transport and two 10-22.

Interim Communications Director Linda Klenda reported 615 wire telephone 911 calls this year and 934 cellular 911 calls for a total of 1,549 emergency calls.

The commissioners approved a request from County Appraiser Cindy Magill to purchase licensing for improved software required by the state for $1,622.49 which she had already in her budget.

The commissioners received notification from Kansas Senators Jay Scott Emler and Jeff Longbine that they are working against a bill that would exempt property tax on equipment in industrial buildings, allowing only tax on the shell of the building and its land occupation. They said that with the legislative year ending, the issue probably won’t be decided until next year.

Commissioners Holub and Fleming approved, with Dallke abstaining because of relationship, a wedding celebration fireworks display June 9 at the Richard Millatt residence on 90th Road.

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