Courthouse centennial nearing

The Marion County Commission Monday briefly discussed what it might do this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Marion County Courthouse.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said something could be done around celebrations that attract large numbers of people. Among her suggestions were Olds Settlers Day and the Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair and Marion’s Art in the Park.

The problem, she said, is that many courthouse employees take part in such activities, and would find it difficult to hold a courthouse open house at the same time.

Susan Cooper, who is involved with Kiawanis for Old Settlers events, said the group is discussing making the courthouse centennial the theme for Old Settlers.

Maggard said open house at the courthouse could be Friday afternoon or evening to avoid conflicts.

Unfortunately, Maggard said, she received notice this week from the state that the courthouse was rejected this year for a Heritage Trust Grant that might have continued upgrades to the building.

She added the courthouse has been approved for such grant applications twice before, and this comes under consideration in trying to spread the benefits among counties. She was encouraged by state officials to submit the grant next year.

Maggard said there will come a Federal Emergency Management Account audit of use of its funds by Marion County last year during flooding and disasters.

She said the audit mainly will be done because of misunderstandings by personnel that they were accounting first for local money the FEMA money was to replace, and not just for the FEMA money.

The commissioners approved an agreement with the American Red Cross presented by volunteers Ralph and Phyllis Kreutziger establishing the Marion County Lake Hall as a disaster center in times of need.

Maggard has been checking with neighboring counties that might provide sanitarian help to Marion County until it finds a new sanitarian since former sanitarian David Brazil resigned the position.

As a result, she said Saline County will allow one its two people to help Marion County part-time.

Maggard has begun contacting people for drilling monitoring wells at the old landfill, and other such activities that Brazil normally would have done.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub and Commissioner Bob Hein joined in voting against Commissioner Randy Dallke to approve trading in three road graders on a lease purchase for three new graders.

In leading up to the motion, Hein said the new machines would have warranty, new parts and 10 percent better fuel mileage to justify the expense.

Dallke said the old machines might be worth the parts and tire replacements they needed if they were good enough for Foley Diesel of Salina, the trading company, to want on trade-in. He also said he didn’t see it was to the county’s advantage to trade graders that shortly will be paid for.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said his crews are blade patching Nighthawk Road from 80th north, and they have about four miles of the Roxbury Road torn up as a first step in resurfacing it.

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