Smithhart named new director of county weed department

Marion County commissioners, meeting Friday because of the Monday holiday, named Bill Smithhart as the county’s new noxious weed director.

Smithhart has been with the department for two years. The appointment took effect Sept. 1. Smithhart was one of eight applicants considered for the position.

In other business, County Clerk Carol Maggard announced the Comprehensive Land Use meeting will be held in the Marion Middle School Commons room at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 27. The meeting is open to the public.

Maggard reported that Keith Goossen, Hillsboro, will be the new clerk for East Branch Township.

She also reported that Commissioner Jack Bruner “got an excellent report from the therapists” at the rehab hospital where Bruner is recovering from a stroke suffered last month.

Bruner has done so well he will remain at the rehab center for only three more weeks, Maggard said. He currently has about 70 percent use of his arm, and is able to walk several steps down the hall with assistance.

She reported Bruner’s therapy was “very strenuous.” He is not yet able to resume commission business.

Linda Peterson, commission chair, will be talking with Shelley Abbott-Becker before going to Topeka Sept. 6 to meet with Julie Hansen, of State Emergency Preparedness. They will discuss how best to proceed with the local emergency plan Bruner had been working on.

Harry Bennett, Marion, told commissioners about plans to use stones from the Fred Lewis Bridge to display the museum bell.

Bennett said Jack Swain has developed a plan to use the stones to form a bell display. City crews will move the stones for Swain.

Plans call for using 14 stones in the base for a two-tiered display. The height will be about 32 inches. Swain said he could start the project Tuesday, Sept. 5, and have it completed by Old Settler’s Day.

“This is a part of bringing out the significance of Lewis’s part in the settling of this area and state,” Bennett said.

The commissioners voiced their approval for the project and the fact it would be ready for the Old Settlers’ celebration.

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