Marion County commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to hand total control of the recycling center in Hillsboro to the city to avoid non-compliance with state regulations.
Solid Waste Director Rollin Schmidt said he lacks the manpower to constantly monitor the Hillsboro site as required by the Kansas Division of Health and Environment.
Commissioners Roger Fleming and Randy Dallke both said they preferred Hillsboro residents transporting recycling waste to the transfer station at Marion and turning recycling dumpsters in Hillsboro to the city to allow it to monitor any program.
Commissioner Dan Holub joined in approval of the change. The commissioners and Schmidt agreed the county can’t risk its respected standing with KDHE.
County Lake and Park Superintendent Steve Hudson said the state will conduct tests July 19 at Marion County Lake to check for presence of zebra mussels. So far the lake has tested negative for the old world mussels that can build up to clog pipes and surfaces.
Hudson said out-of-county residents must confuse Marion County Lake and Marion Reservoir because when blue-green algae problems are announced at the Reservoir, attendance at the Lake declines.
The commissioners agreed that steps may have to be taken to inform potential visitors of the difference.
Hudson announced plans to spend $10,000 over the next three years expanding the dock by the swimming area at the lake for more public boat dock space.
The contract with the city of Florence for waste disposal at the county lake is coming to its expiration date, Hudson said.
Hudson was approved to seek bids for a new waste disposal contract from the city of Florence, the city of Marion and Waste Connections, a private contractor.
Hudson said his department has been able to save money by reducing the number of Dumpsters at the lake from 30 to 19, and replacing them with 55-gallon trash barrels.
Emergency Medical Director Steve Smith was approved by the commission to accept a bid of $27,898 from Hillsboro Ford for a Ford Expedition over a competitive bid of $27,898 from Midway Motors, voiding previous approval of $25,874 to buy a vehicle under law enforcement surplus that was discovered to only apply to law enforcement agencies.
The commissioners approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $25,824.75 for 1,650 gallons of diesel and 2,250 gallons of gasoline from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $25,972.95 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.
Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said the state has identified 10 county bridges as critically fractured, including bridge No. 21 in the central region of the county in serious condition. The other bridges are numbered 7, 16, 20, 29, 40, 70, 131, 145 and 224.
Fleming said the bridges are on less-traveled, non-surfaced roads.
The commissioners agreed that the only cost-effective measures for the county would be closing the bridges or converting them to low-water crossings.
Representatives of the Marion County Agricultural Conservation District presented the 2014 budget plan request for the group with no increases over 2013.
The commissioners followed the regular meeting in the courthouse with a visit to the transfer station to view potential structural problems.