Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 16 October 2012 13:53
Sheriff Robert Craft said Monday at the Marion County Commission meeting that last week his staff moved their offices and all prisoners into the new Marion County Jail.
The former jail still houses Emergency Communications until a tower is installed at the new jail, which Craft said represents an operational inconvenience.
“The jail is completely functional,” he said.
Craft previously said there would be no public announcement prior to the move in the interest of prisoner security.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub proposed that a public ribbon-cutting ceremony be planned for the jail as soon as possible, especially to recognize the volunteers on the jail committee who worked on it in recent years.
The commissioners approved a certification of the jail’s “substantial” completion.
Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, and the commissioners agreed that final payoff of the transfer station bond is a major step forward for the county.
However, Schmidt acknowledged that because the transfer station has been used by the county for 10 years, the wear of heavy weights on the floor and heavy use is beginning to have an impact on the building.
Commissioner Roger Fleming said the county commission needs to have the building inspected by an engineer for continued safety.
In a related concern, the commissioners told Schmidt that transfer stations can have the right to refuse loads of housing demolition waste until those who bring them have a professional inspection for asbestos content.
He cited a situation last week where demolition waste clouded the station so badly that visibility was reduced to about a foot from the face.
Schmidt said if a new facility ever is needed, it might be wise for the old station to be retained purely for construction and demolition waste.
Planning and zoning
In consultation with Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards and Schmidt, the commissioners confirmed zoning requirements that a person locating a home on small acreage surrounded by agricultural acreage is required to obtain a 20-foot-wide easement for driveway and utility access to the property, although a farmer might still be able to cultivate on the portion not covered by driveway.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said persons who build in this manner should understand that they are responsible to maintain a driveway, and the county only maintains the public road with which it connects.
The commissioners said adjacent landowners also need to understand that when they give or sell easement, it is a permanent thing, and not something that only applies with the current homeowner.
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Fritzler of El Dorado were granted a neighborhood revitalization 10-year property tax exemption for new construction to be done on their lots at the county lake even though it has been replaced with a five-year program. The construction must be completed by the end of 2013.
Fritzler said the original building project to be completed in 2011 was delayed when their builder decided he wasn’t capable of completing the plan. Since then, he said, a second lot has been obtained to expand the project, and the couple is building their oil industry business building in El Dorado.
The commissioners approved a road and bridge competitive bid for a variety of road signs of $5,099 from D.C. Wholesale of Concordia over a competitive bid of $5,480 from National Signs of Ottawa.
After consultation with Dave Griffith of Van Keppel Co. of Kansas City, the commissioners decided not to proceed with discounted purchase of a road resurfacing machine that can be used to melt and smooth old asphalt surface or bring old gravel to the surface.
This was even though they acknowledged the offer of the 2008 machine they have been provided is a bargain, because the $140,000 plus needed for purchase of the potentially $300,000 machine hadn’t been budgeted.
Dallke said he had received a number of phone calls from concerned citizens after it was reported in the Free Press county commission story last week that road and bridge stocking of supplies for blacktop road surfacing would cease for the season because of the advent of freezing weather.
It should have been explained, he said, that roads now under construction will be surfaced this season, and that the ceasing of supply is only for future work not now in construction phase.
The commissioners approved raising the Marion County contribution to Kansas Legal Services, which acts in behalf of persons who can’t afford an attorney, from $3,000 annually to $4,000.