Residents purchasing small portable buildings got an end-of-the-year break Monday with the Marion County Commission agreeing to charge them only a $10 approval fee versus the usual $50 fee when Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards has to come inspect a more elaborate building.
The commissioners focused the final hours of their meeting on laying groundwork with Structural Engineer and Masonry Consultant Donald McMican of Overland Park for proposals to upgrade the exterior structure of the courthouse clock tower and the roof area above the top lines.
Commissioner Roger Fleming asked that McMican look at what might be done to save on future expense by using a high crane here for roofing work while it is still in place.
McMican confirmed observations from Fleming and Commission Chairman Dan Holub that it appeared that work might be completed over time in stages.
McMican suggested that much of the work done by him in preparing analyses and work plans might be paid for the county through state grant money, especially recognizing that the courthouse is a registered state historic structure.
McMican warned repeatedly that attempts to seal over native stone structure with waterproof materials have resulted in structural deterioration of old stone buildings such as the courthouse because the stone absorbs water over time that has no place to go if it is sealed into the stone.
He ranked the courthouse here as being in good shape considering age and wear as compared to other such structures throughout Kansas, highly worthy of great care in preserving it.
McMican’s observation that the clock tower faces have been damaged by storms was confirmed by Holub, who said it actually has been damaged by multiple storms over time.
The carved pieces in the stone, McMican said, are in “excellent shape,” although windows have cracks with the total structure needing repairs and upkeep over the next 10 years to avoid more rapid deterioration.
Cracks of mortar joints in the building are allowing water to penetrate, he said.
McMican also pointed out that rock done in 1993 was done incorrectly and should be redone.
Deterioration of joints on the west side probably should receive first attention for restorative maintenance, he said.
The commissioners approved County Appraiser Cindy Magill spending $4,600 from her budget this year, and $3,000 from her 2013 budget for GIS mapping of oil and natural gas leasing of land in Marion County that has accelerated because of interest in horizontal drilling.
Magill said her office has a paper stack of new leases to go through that is nearly two feet deep.
Her office also will carry plugged wells on file, Magill said.
The commissioners met for 10 minutes in executive session with Magill for legal discussion.
The commissioners approved steps to the next generation of more powerful computers for the county with the purchase of $2,763.92 for two one terabyte computers for the clerk’s office and of $2,013.86 for two 500 gigabyte computers for the health department.
The commissioners asked Communications Director Linda Klenda to look for a higher tower in Florence for location of a new emergency transmission repeater rather than moving a post next to the water tower.
The commission approved Klenda spending $29,333 to replace a coaxial cable and repeater for Peabody that is mounted on the water tower.
The commissioners approved Transfer Station and Noxious Weed Director Rollin Schmidt seeking bids for purchase of a new chemical injection spraying system for noxious weed control to replace a 16-year-old machine.
They approved a bid of $1,064 for purchase of skid loader soft tires for the transfer station from Set Company.