Refinancing road bond could save county $25,000

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Marion County may save $25,000 by refinancing its 2000 road bond issue, the Marion County Commission learned Monday.

County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman and County Clerk Carol Maggard said bond consultants have advised them the county can extend bond terms while retaining the planned early pay-out planned to save money over the next few years.

Commissioner Leroy Wetta was concerned about the setup of paying off investors, then bringing them back in involved in the proposal.

Commission Chairman Howard Collett wanted to make sure mostly financial institutions were involved, and not local citizens.

Bateman and Maggard said they were sure county citizens weren’t involved.

Commissioner Bob Hein said, “I think we need to go ahead with it,” and all three commissioners agreed the savings was significant.

Bateman said the $25,000 represented the savings after costs of $13,500 were taken out.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to award a contract, after examining it, to Bucher, Willis & Ratliff, Salina, to rewrite the county zoning regulations to conform with the new county plan.

Maggard showed commissioners a large diagram from the Kansas Department of Transportation showing how a proposed roundabout would fit in to the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 with U.S. Highway 77 at Florence.

She said KDOT asked that it be displayed at the courthouse for public examination and commentary, especially in light of recent fatality accidents there.

The commissions agreed to display it in the hallway outside the clerk’s office.

Commissioners approved a request from Jessie Nikkel of Central National Bank, representing the new United Way program for Marion County, to adopt a payroll procedure to allow county employees to voluntarily set aside a portion of their paychecks for United Way.

Nikkel said groups such as the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Community in Schools, Girl Scouts, Health Ministries, Joyful Noise Daycare, Main Street Ministries, Marion County 4-H and United Cerebral Palsy have already made requests totaling $93,670 from United Way.

She said the organization also has individuals seeking help because of job loss or income reduction.

Dan Crumrine came from Improvement District No. 2 at the County Lake to offer sharing a 50-amp generator that can handle 110-volt, 220-volt or three-phase service with any county departments that would have a need for it.

He said the generator was purchased as emergency backup for water pumps, but has been used only once in 15 years, and is in nearly new condition.

Crumrine said he didn’t want to make anything on it, but decided to share considering budgets “are tight for everyone.” He said the district would continue to store it, but he asked the county to take responsibility for maintenance.

Commissioners said it looked like a good idea, and they will talk to department heads to see who might use.

Carl Stovall asked commissioners to look at an abandoned segment of Ulysses Road where there might be offset problems, and commissioners said they would view it next week.

Commissioners awarded a $36,750 bid, subject to hitting rock, to Kraus Welding of Hillsboro for constructon of a bridge in the southeast part of the county.

JoAnn Knak, emergency medical service director, appearing with Darryl Thiesen, who will succeed her, reported 73 ambulance calls for September.

She said a growth in Hillsboro ambulance calls is partly because of a stopping of the service in September from Newton that came to Goessel.

Ambulance calls included 35 from Hillsboro, 18 from Marion, 15 from Peabody and 5 from Tampa.

There were 11 first responder calls, six from Goessel, two from Lincolnville, and three from Burns.

The ambulance calls included 19 transfers, four cardiac, 18 medical emergency, 10 stand by, one vehicle accident, eight falls, 12 no transports and one rescue truck.

Knak said EMS only had two patients during the Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair, and none from Marion Art in the Park, because of the “beautiful cool weather.”

The annual Christmas party for county employees was set for Dec. 8 at the Burns Community Center.

Dale Snelling, county park and lake director, was asked by commissioners how the fishing has been.

“The fishing has been great,” he said. “It’s the catching that’s terrible.”

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