During Friday’s payday meeting, Marion County commissioners heard County Clerk Carol Maggard report record-sales-tax revenue in August.
Revenue of $71,568 in regular sales tax, and $63,470 in special jail-bond sales tax was due to sales occurring during June, collected by the state in July, and distributed in August.
The commissioners said jail sales tax collections have put them close to the total necessary to make the bond payments both for this year and next year.
Tonya Richards, environmental health director, Rickey Roberts, extension agent, and Steve Hudson, county lake superintendent, reported on a drinking water innovation for cattle. Situated on a pasture adjacent to Marion County Lake, it is designed to help keep water run-off that is contaminated with manure from going into the lake. They said such run-off increases toxic blue-green algae growth.
Richards said although the owner of the land and cattle involved is cooperating—and is spending his own money too—he asked that his name be withheld from the meeting and for publication in newspapers.
Roberts said a cost share of about 75 percent of the project is funded with a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Natural Resource and Conservation Service.
He said a solar-power pump will be added to a spring that feeds a stream that flows into the county lake. It will to take water to a stock tank for the cattle to drink from on higher ground.
Cattle, like people, normally prefer cleaner water, Roberts said, so the expectation is for them to use the tank for drinking instead of going to the creek and having to fence the creek to keep them out.
Richards said the landowner “is very excited about the project” and very willing to pay his share.
In response to questions, Roberts said a solar pump is being used because the location is remote from power lines.
Roberts confirmed there are other sites owned by landowners that might become involved in similar projects in the future.
The commissioners commended Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, with Commission Chairman Dan Holub saying, “We are very pleased with him. He has made a lot of headway in improving our roads this year.”
Commissioners Randy Dallke and Roger Fleming agreed. Recognizing Crawford’s experience and commitment, commissioners will raise his salary from $53,000 to $60,000 annually with $1,500 per annum increases for the next two years.
The commissioners approved road and bridge area fuel bids of $10,050.65 for 2,950 gallons of diesel to Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa over a bid of $10,103.75 from Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro, and of $12,312 for 3,600 gallons of diesel to CG&S over a competitive bid of $12,409.20 from Cardie.