Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:52
Oil drillers beginning new wells in Marion County are tearing up county roads with heavy truck traffic, especially on 250th—just as the county has successfully reduced fuel expenses by limiting the use of road graders that would be needed to repair such roads.
Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, told county commissioners about the dilemma at their Monday meeting. Crawford said he had received a report of additional such damage on 230th during the meeting.
“What do we do?” he asked the commissioners.
Commissioner Randy Dallke suggested the oil company doing the damage be asked to buy, and put down, a load of gravel in damaged areas as compensation.
Commissioner Roger Fleming agreed. Commission Chairman Dan Holub was absent from the meeting.
Dallke said the problem is basically with a small number of oil contractors now, but with activity expected to increase, the problem of road deterioration could increase, too.
In another economy move, the commissioners advised Crawford to wait for 2013 budgeting to bid on something like a backhoe needed by the road and bridge department. One is being offered through state bidding at a good price.
Crawford said his department has completed the last of the 2-inch asphalt overlay projects for the year the last week.
Teresa Huffman, economic development director, said two students have taken advantage of $3,000 in county Rural Opportunity Zone funding through a state program that commits them to live in the county after graduation. The funding is part of the 2013 budget.
She said a half-dozen students are seeking the same benefit. Huffman suggested the commissioners might want to see whether applicants are drawn here by the funding, or if they would move to the county anyway.
Fleming said the county needs to see how the program works in 2013 before funding more students.
“We can always do it again in 2014 if we want to,” he said.
The commissioners voted to store such things as heavy vehicles and trailers in building space available at the Hillsboro Industrial Park through Cooperative Grain & Supply for $250.
They agreed to rent mini-warehouse space for easier, more frequent use for the economic development department in Marion.
It was noted at the beginning of the meeting that Greg Leslie of The Garland Co. was meeting with potential roofing contractors on the courthouse roof to discuss repairs and roofing to be done under historical preservation rules.
The commissioners agreed to allow Charles Dannenfelser until Dec. 31 to complete construction of a new home before beginning a 10-year neighborhood revitalization tax rate. The plan will apply only to the amount completed by that date, with further construction taxed at full rate.
The commissioners approved a plan from Diedre Serene, health department administrator, to share a health coordinator for 60 hours a month with Sumner and Cowley counties. The administrator would be based in Cowley County.
Serene said the coordinator is needed to complete required reports, thus freeing other staff for direct health work.
In response to questions from commissioners, Serene said under current state rules the county could discontinue the program if state funding is discontinued.
Rollin Schmidt, director of the noxious weed department, was given permission by the commissioners to use available funds to purchase chemicals now that are likely to go up in price in spring. Schmidt said it is the practice of manufacturers to drive up prices by limiting volume.
The commissioners approved a noxious weed competitive bid for 50 gallons of Tordon 22k for $2,400 from Markley Service of Marion over a competitive bid of $2,450 from Ag Service Inc. of Hillsboro.