Commissioners OK $850,000 in bonds for transfer station

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The Marion County Commission Monday authorized preparations for issuing $850,000 in general obligation bonds to cover expenses and the purchase price of $825,000 for the KC Development solid-waste transfer station in Marion.

The 3-0 vote was followed by a second 3-0 vote to authorize the concurrent continuance of a “phase two” environmental inspection of the site by Geotech Services Inc. to include soil sampling for pollutants.

GSI reported a satisfactory conclusion to its initial study of the site, which included questioning of such parties as the city of Marion, the former owner of the site when it was operated as a power plant.

Included in the bond issue resolution language was the intention to pay for the bonds with an assessment to users of the solid-waste disposal plant. The commissioners said this includes all home owners in Marion County.

Following a 30-minute executive session by telephone with Jim Kaup, Topeka, their attorney for solid-waste matters, commissioners Bob Hein, Howard Collett and Leroy Wetta said they wanted “to expedite” the purchase by continuing the bond preparation and environmental investigation at the same time.

Rocky Hett brought a newspaper clipping from the Salina newspaper to the commission meeting that told of possible negotiations to allow McPherson County to bring 20,000 tons of solid-waste annually to the Salina landfill in a $500,000 deal.

Hett said he was disturbed that McPherson County could be making such moves when it is part of the four-county regional solid-waste plan coming up for five-year renewal with Marion, Harvey and Dickinson Counties when a move with Salina isn’t in the plan.

Hett said Marion County, as the smallest in population of the four counties, already is burdened by paying a share equal to that paid by the three more populous counties.

Hein said he would call McPherson County on the matter, and it could come up for further discussion when the four counties meet as a board on the regional waste plan in May.

Hein was selected as the commissioner to go with an eight-person team from Marion County to the governor’s conference on bio-terrorism June 26-27 in Topeka.

The commissioners approved 3-0 acceptance of a $20,500 contract with the Corps of Engineers for sheriff’s patrol of Marion Reservoir during the camping season May through September.

Sheriff Lee Becker said the contract worked out roughly half for wages and half for vehicles and equipment. The contract provides an opportunity for more use of part-time officers who are fully certified to work for the sheriff’s office, he said.

The commissioners authorized Becker to have Tony Schafers Plumbing replace a section of sewer line from the jail that has caused backups at an estimated $500 to $750 cost. Any required road reconstruction from the job would be done later by the road and bridge crew.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to name the South Central Kansas Economic Development District as the administrator for the new micro-loan program in Marion County for businesses that haven’t been able to get needed conventional financing.

Susan Cooper, development director for the city of Marion who worked to bring the program to the county, said that once a seven-member county board is selected for the program, loan applications could begin the first part of August.

She said SCKED will receive 10 percent of the $100,000 in state grant money to begin the program, but once repayment funds have rolled over, the administrator share will drop to three percent.

Cooper said SCKED has a staff that will be able to provide required technical assistance to loan recipients.

The commissioners approved acceptance of a bid of $2,975 from Ag Service Inc. of Hillsboro for 50 gallons of Banvil pesticide.

They approved acceptance of a bid of $7,464.20 from Cardie Oil of Tampa for area fuel bids.

They authorized Gerald Kelsey, road and bridge director, to proceed with purchase of four bridge beams for completion of two bridges.

Bill Smithhart, household hazardous-waste director, reported collections of everything from oil and toxic chemicals to batteries for the first quarter. Materials received included 1,592 pounds from Marion, 821 from Hillsboro, 322.5 from Lincolnville, 624.5 from Florence, and 599 from Burns.

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