Sales tax for May 2001 surpasses amount from last year

County commissioners attended three commission meetings within a week. One was held May 29 rather than May 28 because of Memorial Day, a payday meeting June 1 and a regular meeting Monday.

At the June 1 meeting, County Clerk Carol Maggard said the county sales tax figure was up from a year ago. This year’s May tax was $48,275, an increase of $15,219 from last year and the highest figure in the last five years.

“This is good news,” said Commissioner Howard Collett.

The payday figure at the meeting was $666,933.36, of which $10,000 went for the care of about 70 horses taken from a rural Marion family several weeks ago.

In other business at that meeting:

— The commission voted to pay the $335 needed by Lincolnville Fire Chief Lester Kaiser needed to bring the University of Kansas burn exercise unit to the county.

— David Brazil, Planning and Zoning director, reported the last work session for the Comprehensive Land Use Plan will be at 7:30 p.m., July 12. Brazil said the final public meeting likely will be held sometime in August.

— Marion County Sheriff Lee Becker reported the county jail is full.

— In Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Bob Hein said he had been contacted by a fire chief who asked to be notified who had firework display permits.

Hein said he was told they had no knowledge of who had the permits last year, and would like to be aware in order to be better prepared in case of an emergency.

— Marion City Administrator Dennis Nichols came before the commission with Margaret Wolf, a 92-year resident of Marion, to present a plan for using stones taken from an arched bridge designed by Kansas architect Fred Lewis after the bridge had been dismantled.

Nichols said there had been work done on the Paul T. Brooker Memorial in Marion’s Central Park. Before his death, Brooker visited the spring and designated $50,000 for its renovation.

According to Nichols, about $10,000 has been spent on the wall behind the spring, leaving $40,000 for additional work.

The administrator told the commissioners the project designer would like to use some of the stones as a natural retaining wall by building stair steps down into the spring area, allowing the water to recycle and visitors to walk closer to the spring.

By redirecting the stream of water, the project designer hopes to increase the water’s flow, creating a nice effect for visitors.

Nichols said the spring had, at one time, been a significant part of Marion life, and he would like to make it an important part of Marion once again.

The project designer said he believes with the help of the city the project should be completed by Old Settler’s Day later in the summer.

Wolf said the spring had been a big part of her life. She recalled her father taking two large buckets down to the spring once a week to fill up with the drinking water.

Nichols also proposed that 10 to 12 stones be used as part of the landscape at the Library Depot. He said the landscape plans will use Kansas grasses, plants and and limestone in keeping with the Kansas theme.

Collett said he realized the budget did not allow for landscaping the courthouse, but hoped in the future such a project would be considered.

He noted the history and unique architectural design of the courthouse is a historical item for the county, and that “we should make the courthouse the gem that it is.”

Commissioners tabled the decision regarding the stones.

— Nancy Pihl of the extension office reported to the commission that June 4 was the last day for applications for the position of county extension agent.

She said applications are sent to Kansas State University, where they will be screened to make sure the right criteria have been met. The applications will then be forwarded to the county.

Pihl said she hoped a new agent would be placed in time for the county fair in August.

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