Commissioners hear results of recycling survey

Rex Savage presented the results of a recycling survey conducted by his company, KC Development, Inc., at the Monday meeting of the Marion County Board of Commissioners.

The purpose of this survey was to determine the parameters of solid waste plans in other counties.

Fifty-eight of 105 counties have some type of county-wide recycling program. The types vary from drop-off centers to full-scale curb side programs.

Eight counties are in the process of planning and preparing to set up a program, the most well-publicized being Sedgwick County.

“We didn’t find any perfect programs,” Savage said, “but we found programs that work.”

Nine counties have used volunteer programs, six of these counties are now funded, two still use volunteers, and one program has discontinued.

It is not realistic in long term planning to rely on volunteers alone to carry such a program, Savage said. At this time no paid programs have failed, he added, and they have been the programs most likely to increase their scope of service.

Thirteen counties receive solid waste funds, but the most common source is from the county’s general funds.

Savage said for a successful program in Marion County, recycling needs to be uniformly available to people and needs to be funded.

He proposed modifications to the present contract his company has with Marion County. He said the following modifications could be implemented without a change in the financial agreement:

n A permanent drop-off trailer in Marion at the transfer station;

n Have a manned drop-off trailer in Hillsboro twice weekly;

n Have a manned drop-off trailer in Peabody once a week;

n Have a manned drop-off trailer in Goessel, Burns, Florence, Ramona, Lehigh, Lost Springs, Durham and Tampa one day every two weeks.

The current proposal will require more employees but not new trailers, thus no change in the fees.

Savage said this will replace the need for unmanned trailers and will avoid possible trash messes which was a concern of area mayors.

Switching over to such a program will requires changes for everyone.

“It is an educational and attitude process for everyone,” Savage said.

Peterson said the commission will meet with area mayors to get their input before any decision are reached.

Later in the meeting, the commission voted on a second amendment to the original motion that a recycling program be in place by July 2000.

The second amendment to the Solid Waste Agreement is to extend the negotiations on the recycling program until July 31, 2001.

The amendment was passed.

Audit reviewed

Monday’s meeting opened with a public hearing for the 2001 budget. The mill levy will remain the same at 51.11 to be used for payment of the road project as opposed to paying the interest. The budget passed without discussion.

Scot Loyd, a certified public accountant with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC, presented the 1999 audit review. The presentation included a management letter, which outlined strengths and weaknesses within the county’s internal control structure.

Each department within the county has received the letter with recommendations for updates to improve the present system.

Loyd’s firm will continue to monitor the updates and suggested changes.

Fireworks concern

Marion County Sheriff, Lee Becker presented a letter to the commission from an “Eastshore concerned citizen” regarding the shooting of fireworks during the Fourth of July weekend at the county lake.

The writer was not only concerned with possible fire hazards of falling embers and debris, but also with the types of fireworks being used.

“Many of them were high explosive devices of the types and intensities found in commercial displays,” Becker said.

The letter asked commissioners restrict permits regarding the type of fireworks being used, and set specific guidelines for safe distances from homes or buildings from which fireworks can be fired.

Becker recommended the commission consider the issues presented in the letter next spring before issuing the firework permits. Peterson asked for more input from the sheriff and will re-consider the matter next spring.

“Jaws of Life” for Peabody

Ronnie Harms, Peabody fire chief, asked for funds to buy a “Jaws of Life” to be carried on the Peabody Firetruck. He reported the cost is presently $9,000 but continues to go increase from year to year.

Commissioner Bob Hein pointed out Peabody was given $2,185 last week for new radios. Peterson said such funds are usually taken out of sales tax funds.

Harms felt the Jaws of Life was needed due to the proximity of U.S. Highway 50. He reminded the commission that several fatality accidents had occurred in that area the last two years.

Commissioners decided to review the request next December.

Juvenile Justice budget

Mike Wederski of the Juvenile Justice Authority/Department of Corrections presented the 2001 budget for approval. He said several programs were consolidating to keep costs down, and jobs may be cut to reduce expenses.

Wederski’s concern was the increase in spending toward crime prevention, and the need to continue to keep up with the 14- to 17-yea- old juveniles already caught in the crime cycle.

The adult corrections budget was decreased about $2,700 from last year.

Commissioners approved the request.

Health department fix-up

Jan Moffitt, director of the Marion County Health Department, requested funds for new vertical blinds and wallpaper for the department. She said it was needed and would give the department a “cleaner, brighter” atmosphere.       

The commission approved the $772 expenditure and Moffitt said an open house would be held after the “fix-up.”

The Health Department offered a special program for senior citizens last week, and has decided to extend the program through this week.

Fasting blood tests for glucose, cholesterol/ lipid profile, and blood pressures will be taken through noon on Friday, Aug. 25, for $5. Results will be available next Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 28 and 29.

Classes will be offered on those two days on nutrition and cholesterol, nutrition and diabetes, and nutrition and osteoporosis.

Bids on roller machines

Gerald Kelsey and Gary Loveless of the Road and Bridge Department offered several bids that have been submitted for a new roller machine.

Peterson asked Kelsey and Loveless to review the bids and make a recommendation at next week’s meeting.

Rezoning approved

In other business, commissioners Peterson and Hein approved several rezoning resolutions:

n Amelia Vinduska’s property from agricultural to suburban;

n KC “Buck” Alley’s property on the east side of the county lake from suburban residential to single family dwelling;

n Conditional use status for the property north of Durham that Kevin and Javonni Gresham will be using to raise greyhounds. The are restricted to no more than 225 dogs. Also the couple will need to live on the property, and the dog waste will be treated as special waste and not part of the trash system.

n Land owned by Troy Wiebe from agricultural to rural residential; he also requested a conditional-use permit to establish up to three greenhouses.

n Land owned by Doug and Cherie Hett from agricultural to residential to enable them to build a new home west of Marion.

Meanwhile, Dennis Nichols, Marion city administrator, sent a letter to the commissioners regarding a firework display at the Marion County Lake over Labor Day.

The display will be held at 9 p.m. Sunday evening, following the ice cream social and gospel concert in Florence.

Clint Anderson, county appraiser, requested $489 to install an ethernet card in the present system printer. Request was approved.

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