County approves 2003 budget

by Jerry Engler

The Marion County Commission Monday approved the 2003 budget after an public hearing resulted in no comments and after commissioners passed a measure allowing the county to exceed planned expenditures, as outlined by state law.

David Brazil, county sanitarian and planning/zoning director, told commissioners he has been in contact with the attorney acting in their behalf, Jim Kaup of Topeka, about possible court action against the Central Kansas Conservancy for not properly filing for a conditional land-use permit on the rails-to-trails project.

Rex Savage, an owner of the KC Development transfer station, which the county is in the process of buying, told commissioners that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment permit for operation of the station has been renewed. Kaup also has worked in the purchase negotiations.

The commissioners met in a 20-minute executive session by telephone with Kaup and with Brazil present. No action was taken after the public session resumed.

Brazil gave commissioners copies of county health department agreements with the Oasis School at Florence and the Marion County Special Education Cooperative.

Brazil said in a meeting of the Regional Solid Waste Authority last Wednesday that financing and liability questions for the member counties continue. Dickinson County has still withdrawn from the group. Brazil said such issues should be solved in the final interlocal agreement.

Commissioner Leroy Wetta said he remains concerned about any provisions the authority might make for opening and closing any Subtitle D landfill it might operate.

County Clerk Carol Maggard updated commissioners on efforts to develop an Internet-use policy for employees.

Commissioners authorized Maggard to purchase a fax machine on a $599 bid from Sunflower Office Products of Newton. Maggard said the new machine will replace a malfunctioning one used by most departments in the courthouse.

Commissioners authorized Bill Smithhart, noxious weed director, to begin looking at lease-purchase of a new truck to replace the department’s 1988 truck that needs a valve job.

The commissioners also authorized Gerald Kelsey, road and bridge director, to begin looking for a replacement pickup truck.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to award a low fuel bid of $8,802.65 to Cardie Oil Co. of Tampa. The bid included $3,699.15 for 3,500 gallons of diesel at $1.0569 a gallon at Tank 3, $809.90 for 1,000 gallons of diesel at 80.99 cents a gallon for Tank 1, and $4,293.60 for 4,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline at $1.0734.

The comparative bid from Cooperative Grain & Supply, HIllsboro, was $8,891.90.

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