Commission forced to face myriad solid-waste issues

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER


Attorney Jim Kaup called the Marion County Commission from his Topeka office before it opened its session Monday to suggest another conference call executive session on solid-waste disposal considerations soon after the meeting began.


No announcement was made after the half-hour executive session, but there was no doubt it could have concerned any one of a growing number of solid-waste issues the commissioners are forced to deal with.


Among them are:


n a recent judgment for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment against the commission that will require the county to clean up the former Marion County Landfill southwest of Marion;


n a new $35 million lawsuit against the county by Marion County Landfill, Inc., and MSW, Inc.;


n an agreement in a settlement by KDHE with MCLI and MSW that might allow them to actually expand into new operations at the old landfill;


n and the attempt to negotiate an interlocal agreement with county cities for solid-waste disposal to KC Development, transfer station operators.


Leroy Wetta, commission chair, did announce receipt of a letter of approval from KDHE that would serve as a permit renewal until Oct. 6, 2002, for operation of the KC Development transfer station in Marion.


Several persons involved in interlocal agreement negotiations and county matters, who wished to be unidentified, said they hoped the $35 million lawsuit would be dismissed in court as frivolous because much of it had already been dealt with in court.


Steve Garrett, Hillsboro city administrator, represented the cities of the county at the meeting to set a meeting time at 11 a.m., Friday, during the county commission’s regularly scheduled payroll meeting, to “expedite working together” the completion of an interlocal agreement to enable solid-waste disposal payment to KC Development.


The cities and county will be represented by legal counsel Friday. Commissioner Howard Collett confirmed that KC Development, with its legal counsel present, also is on the agenda.


In other business, the commissioners approved 3-0 the purchase of an $8,395 defibrillator, less $500 trade-in value on the old one, to replace a machine used by Peabody EMTs.


JoAnn Knak, Emergency Medical Services director, said the old machine had broken so that it was unable to record readings for medical and insurance purposes.


Sheriff Lee Becker said if no cash or surety bond is posted by Dec. 1 in the Lindgren animal-cruelty case, he will be able to begin disposing of confiscated horses that have been under county care. He said the horses would most likely be offered at auctions regularly scheduled at public sale barns.


Noreen Weems, director of the county’s Elderly Department, reported that Senior Citizens of Marion County has been able to donate $10,000 in memory of Nancy H. Reynolds to the Flint Hills Foundation for Older Kansans, which provides services in this area and has its headquarters in Manhattan.


Weems said new guidelines in the department clarify that senior transportation vans won’t be available for service on recognized county holidays.


She said new suggested transportation contributions will be a minimum $5 per round trip under 15 miles, and the county’s current mileage rate per round trip over 15 miles with service still provided for persons who can’t afford to pay.


Commissioners approved 3-0 a low bid of $35,229.47 from Welborn Sales, Inc., of Salina to provide steel used by the Road and Bridge Dept. for regular annually scheduled bridge construction.

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