Snelling wants to boost image

Dale Snelling, Marion County Lake superintendent, told Marion County commissioners Monday he wants the image presented at the lake more professional.

“We need to keep with with the times,” said Snelling.

He is proposing to purchase a new lightbar for his truck, a siren, and a new public-address system. He feels the purchase will add safety and dignity to the operation.

The cost, projected at about $1,000, would be covered by the lake budget. Commissioners agreed with his proposal, and asked him to bring figures back for approval.

Snelling also asked commissioners for input about buying a 1983 loader tractor with 1,500 hours of service time. The tractor currently used at the lake is a 1960s model.

Snelling said last summer workers barely missed a serious accident when a clutch rod broke.

“We need to do something,” he said.

An industrial tractor, which Snelling is considering, is not available for purchase within the county.

He asked commissions if he could take a mechanic to Wichita for a few hours to check over the tractor.

Commissioners gave their approval and will hear back from him after the visit.

Snelling also asked for guidance about securing a bid for the dam-inspection project.

Mike Olsen, county engineer, agreed it was hard to ask for a bid when “there is not a defined quantity, not a design of a bridge.”

Olsen encouraged Snelling to go through old records and notes because some of the design in question looks as if it was done intentionally.

Snelling questioned the value of going through the whole process of the Breach Wave Survey.

“What good is it really?” he asked. “If an earthquake hits the dam, we won’t have time to get to the phone to call the last house before the damage is done.”

In other business, Olsen presented commissioners with a draft of a trenching policy for their review.

“We want it to be fair,” he said. “We want it to work for our utility companies. But we can’t just let someone come in and destroy our investments.”

In her monthly report, JoAnn Knak, director of the county Emergency Medical Services program, reported a total of 75 emergency calls for February.

She reported all five ambulance units have been through required mechanical inspections. The Peabody unit required a new set of tires, and both the Hillsboro and Marion units needed a new lightbulb.

After considering bids, the commission approved the purchase of a Dodge Durango for the department. It will replace the van currently used by Knak.

Knak said with Ramona working to reestablish its EMS service they would like to have use of the vehicle, as would the fire department.

She said if the EMS were to be responsible for the vehicle, only two EMS certified people would be available to drive it. But if the fire department took responsibility, the county could not mandate its use.

“We want to use the van most efficiently,” said commission Howard Collett. “That will be better service for all the communities.”

Commissioners will discuss the issue further at a future meeting.

The Hillsboro, Marion and Peabody EMS units are wanting to purchase new stretchers for the ambulances. Each stretcher costs $3,870.

The commission, after reviewing bids, approved the purchase of two 2001 Ford Super cab pickups for $39,046 from Hillsboro Ford for the sheriff’s department. The price includes trading two Crown Victorias from the department’s fleet.

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