Quail Unlimited wants old landfill for hunting area

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Representatives from Quail Unlimited were told by the Marion County Commission Monday to come up with a 10-year plan for management of the 160 acres that includes the recently closed Marion County Landfill.

The three men, Stacey Collett, Bill Shirley and Dale Eahlers, said in conversations with Kansas Wildlife and Parks personnel that they have determined the best use of the land might be for reserved hunting for young people 16 years old and under.

The area would include walking trails that could be used by the rest of the public except during hunting season.

Collett asked the commissioners not have the landfill area planted to bromegrass, but instead reserve it for a planting of native grass mixed with legumes that would provide more natural food and cover than brome.

He acknowledged that for a “couple of years” the area would look rougher with a lot of weed growth, but even that would be beneficial to the birds.

The men said they would do shrub plantings, including plumb thickets, that would benefit quail.

Sanitarian David Brazil said walking trails could be mowed.

Other issues

The commissioners voted 3-0 to accept a $450,000 offer from the Kansas Department of Transportation to pay for upgrade of roads damaged and worn as detours during reconstruction of U.S. Highway 77.

Darryl Thiesen, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services, told commissioners that efforts to place defibrilators in county schools have been successful with only Centre High School currently lacking one.

Thiesen proposed new budgetary equipment upgrades for his department that in some cases are past due. He suggested using newly collected funds from past-due ambulance runs.

The commissioners said they would take the proposals under advisement.

Thiessen reported 82 ambulance runs for October-11 from Florence, 23 from Hillsboro, 24 from Marion, 14 from Peabody and eight from Tampa.

Five first-response runs were made from Goessel and one from Lincolnville.

Although local insurance agencies have done well on liability and property coverages for the county, commissioners said they will be obligated by responsibility to look at a plan developed by a counties association group that may broaden services.

They met with the heads of county departments to consider policies for merit and longevity raises.

County Clerk Carol Maggard reported checking inspection shows the courthouse and its air system have been cleared of mold infestation during recent treatment. She said the next step will be to restore and waterproof the courthouse foundation.

Maggard received requests from county employees that the health department building and the jail also be inspected for mold.

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