County commission will support lake’s application

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Dale Snelling reported to the Marion County Commission at its Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting that the proposed addition of Marion County Lake to the National Register of Historic Places apparently won’t encumber the way the county runs the park.

Snelling, park manager at the lake, said he and Commissioner Howard Collett talked with a State Historical Society representative in Topeka.

He said they were assured in a 45-minute telephone conversation that normal maintenance, construction and landscaping activities can proceed as usual if the lake is added to the list after the Feb. 23 hearing in Topeka.

The exception to that, Snelling said, will be any alteration or destruction of limestone structures built in 1930s labor programs.

He said, “We can do anything to newer or non-stone buildings, plant trees, put in fire rings with no problems as long as we don’t alter the rock. We can even replace rotted doors on stone buildings without asking, or submit plans for overhead shelters over stone picnic tables that would help preserve them.”

The commissioners wanted Collett and Snelling to get a letter of agreement on those policies signed with the Historical Society, and, with that, they voted to support nomination of the lake to the register.

David Brazil, planning and zoning director, asked the commissioners to approve or disapprove, or make new comments on the updating of the county’s comprehensive plan.

The commissioners have made comments on the plan, and planning- commission members have made counter-comments. Commissioners wanted to delay any action until Monday to give more time to read comments.

Dianna Carter, county appraiser, said a market study analysis has been completed, “not taxes, just a study,” that shows recent value changes in the county upward as much as three percent in the cities and seven percent in the rural areas.

Commissioners approved purchases 3-0 for the Appraiser’s Office for two 15-inch flat monitors for $365 each from Braden Computers, Hillsboro, and two 19-inch flat monitors $1,119 each from Great Plains Computers, Marion.

The commission also approved purchase and maintenance of IBM AS400 hardware to upgrade the courthouse computer system for $36,150.84 from Great Plains. This followed analysis of the system by County Clerk Carol Maggard in consultation with Lloyd Davies of Great Plains.

Commissioners approved 3-0 changes requested by provider Consortium, Inc., Topeka, in a county drug and alcohol testing program for 32 safety sensitive employees as required by Kansas Department of Transportation.

Consortium’s testing charges to take effect July 1 include $150 set-up cost compared to $50 when the program began in 1996, pre-employment test for $68 compared to $65.50 previously, return to duty for $68 compared to $70.50 previously, and random testing at $3.50 per person compared to $3.32 previously.

The Peabody Fire Department invited commissioners to an emergency management command exercise at 6:30 p.m., March 25, in the Marion city building basement sponsored by the Marion County Fire Chiefs’ Assn. in conjunction with Marion County Emergency Management.

The commissioners received an announcement that Marion County has been awarded $100,000 through the U.S. Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program for low-interest loans to small businesses.

The commissioners met in executive session by telephone conference call with James Kaup and Steve Pigg, attorneys for solid-waste concerns.

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