Lake club switches off support for lights

A letter from the Marion County Lake’s Chat-n-Dine Club was the focus of attention at Monday’s county commission meeting.

Commission chairman Leroy Wetta told Dale Snelling, Lake manager, that the letter said the organization would no longer pay for electric costs of lights located in different areas around the Marion County Lake, including the light on the American flag.

Snelling was unaware of the letter, but said the situation began a number of years ago when the club requested lights be put up for walkers.

The county commission, he said, at that time did not “want to go into the light business.”

The club elected to go ahead with the project and has about 12 lights located at various locations around the lake, one of which lights the American flag.

Snelling said the cost of the lights are about $800 to 900 per month.

The financial responsibility of three of the original lights have been taken over by the lake, Snelling said, and comes out of the lake’s yearly budget.

“Those lights draw attention to the lake,” he said.

After a short discussion, Commission Howard Collett suggested a letter be written to the club saying the light purchase was “never authorized by the county commission,” and it was not the place of the commission to offer any type of decision in this matter.

In other business, former commissioner Linda Peterson came before the board to represent Leslie Kitchenmaster, who has a number of oil wells located in the Lost Springs area. She said he is unable to access the wells in inclement weather due to road conditions.

According to Peterson, Kitchenmaster is proposing to provide slate base material and a loader if the county would provide trucks, drivers, and enough rock for a “very thin” layer of rock.

Gerald Kelsey, Road and Bridge superintendent, told the commission the slate base would harden like concrete, but would be very slick when wet without the rock.

“I am not sure we can even pour it as thin as he is asking,” Kelsey said.

The road Kitchenmaster is asking to work on is about a one-mile section on 350th North and Upland.

Evidently, according to Peterson, Kitchenmaster made a similar request about 10 years ago and the project was approved. However, the oil market dropped significantly and the project was not started.

The oil market has improved, and Kitchenmaster now wants to complete the project.

Kelsey told the commission the project would probably take one day using two trucks.

Wetta asked who would be responsible for the upkeep of the road once the project was done.

“It isn’t as if he is requesting re-rocking every year or even every other year,” Peterson said. “He said he thinks once it is done, it will be set.”

“Right now, he can’t get to his wells during wet weather,” Kelsey said.

Wetta then asked if the commission were to approve such a project if it would “open a can of worms.”

“They’ll be saying, ‘If you do it for him, will you do it for me?'”

Kelsey said he thought it would cost the county $1,000 and one or two days of equipment use.

“How many requests like this have we had?” Wetta asked.

Kelsey said this was the only one he had received.

Commissioner Bob Hein said he had had such a request at an earlier date.

The commissioners decided not to make a decision without having tax revenue information.

David Brazil, sanitarian, reported doing a number of free water screens at the Marion County Fair.

Brazil told commissioners eight tests were taken of which all eight were rated highly in nitrates.

He also told commissioners he hopes to gather enough samples from all over the county to develop a spread sheet with information and locations of well water testing high in nitrates and iron.

Brazil presented a copy of a letter received from residents of Lincolnville who are concerned about the safety of an unused freezer that is outside a home in the community.       

The letter said the doors were still on the freezer, making it a potential danger for children.

Commissioner Howard Collett said he would like to schedule a meeting for county grain elevator managers and their truckers to discuss the proposed load limits. He said he felt it was important they be informed on the proposed limits and enforcement policies.

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