County ready to extend job offer for eco-devo position

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
After a short executive session, the Marion County Commission announced Monday it will offer the job of county economic development secretary to an applicant this week.

Commission Chair Dan Holub said the announcement will be made at the meeting Monday, Oct. 16, as to who the person is-if that person accepts the position. Otherwise, the search will continue.

The announcement culminates two years of reviewing the idea by the commission and its volunteers on the Marion County Economic Development Council.

Bobbi Strait, director of planning, zoning and environmental health, said a road and bridge crew last Friday cleared off a county road right-of-way near Peabody of salvage yard vehicles with no incident.

Strait had said earlier the clearing would have sheriff’s patrol backup, and that the cost of removing the vehicles would be assessed against the owners.

She advised those owners, Delbert Thiessen and Alvin J. Thiessen, of the effort earlier by letter. They were informed they they would have seven days to remove the items themselves. Strait said road and bridge workers now can properly maintain the road.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said the incident corrected an incident of long standing where the authority of the county over its roadways was not being upheld.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said she will pursue information on obtaining pharmacy discount cards for employees because many other counties are saving money using them.

The commissioners told teenager Landon Leiker that they will continue to support his efforts to get a historical preservation grant for Marion County Lake, but that they must first seek such a grant for window replacements and repairs at the courthouse.

Commissioner Bob Hein said the longer windows go needing repair, the more they likely are to deteriorate, and the commissioners must take care of the building first.

They encouraged Leiker to continue with his efforts to restore lake attractions because it will help him get the grant when the time comes.

Dallke said the uniqueness of Leiker’s quest should help the county in getting a grant with him.

The commissioners rejected all bids for getting a vehicle for Strait’s department, saying they wanted to go through the process again when the economic secretary is on board to give vehicles to both departments.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill said 100 applications have come to her office regarding the new county tax abatement program for new structures. She said they include a variety of structures, including homes, ag buildings, garages and shops.

The commissioners said they would ask County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman to chart the effect of the abatements on the county’s finances.

The commissioners said they approved of Bateman’s effort to spread petitions supporting keeping driver’s license renewals in-county, and to get them back again for Jan. 1.

Bateman explained that the federal government’s “Real ID Act” begins next year. The act would require a new federal identification card replacing existing driver’s licenses. It could establish new regional centers for renewals.

Bateman said workers, senior citizens and disabled drivers would suffer hardship trying to renew out of county.

Rollin Schmidt, noxious weed, household hazardous waste and transfer station director, told commissioners the weight load of solid waste hauled to Perry from the transfer station continues to average 20 tons per load, therefore keeping costs lowered.

He said the station received 581.48 tons of trash in September, including 539.28 tons of municipal solid waste, 40.65 tons of white goods, and 1.56 tons of special waste. That brought the waste of the year to 5,642 tons.

Schmidt said he is pleased with the level of cleanliness being maintained by the current crew at the station.

Schmidt said he removed 3,247 pounds of household hazardous waste from 47 persons at four stops in Lincolnville, Tampa, Florence and Goessel.

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