Commissioners hear Huffman’s requests for tools for new job

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Teresa Huffman, Marion County’s new economic development secretary, was on the job Monday for the Marion County Commission meeting with a list of tools to request for thrusting her work forward.

The commissioners seemed to try and oblige her requests at every turn with mostly advice on getting her needs met.

Huffman said she has met with the Marion County Economic Development Council, and that meeting helped enforce the need for her first request. That would be a high resolution digital camera for inside pictures of business buildings that would go on the Internet.

Huffman said she thought it would take a 10-megapixel camera, which she couldn’t find available in county.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said that given his photography experience a 6-megapixel probably could do the job.

Huffman requested a cell phone, too, and the commissioners discussed how many cell phones they are paying for that already operate out of the courthouse, and the possibility of getting a deal for transferring minutes out of Alltel.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said, “You are going to be on that phone all the time, especially until we can get you a land line.”

Currently Huffman occupies a former road and bridge office, and road and bridge refers her calls.

Commissioner Bob Hein told her to visit with Alltel dealer Gene Winkler in Marion.

The same advice was giving regarding buying a used computer desk from her son, David Hoffman, for $496 at Commission approval. They affirmed her tentative budget plan, and their directive seemed to be to study what is needed within that plan, and then acquire it.

Peggy Blackman, supervisor over the WRAPS program to investigate cleaning up Marion Reservoir administered through the Marion County Conservation District, received approval from the commissioners for involvement of the county attorney when contracts and money come through because it will be the largest program financially the MCCD has had.

It will involve multiple agencies and units of government. Blackman said the Kansas Biological Survey already has begun monitoring blue-green algae and the toxins from the plant at the Reservoir. Kansas State University will be involved in studies, too.

The entire program now extends to six lakes in the state, she said.

The Commission will be involved with a meeting Wednesday night where a mediator will help with fact finding on the program at the request of the City of Hillsboro, Blackman said. Cities may want to investigate the quicker results of WRAPS versus long-term goals, she said.

The commissioners rejected the idea of closing the transfer station during the Thanksgiving holiday when it was learned that Stutzman trash hauling probably would take Marion County solid waste for those days to Harvey County.

Hein said, “I don’t want to see our trash go to Harvey County.”

Holub called for an afternoon meeting following the regular meeting sometime before the end of the year to discuss where the county is going, and what it wants to accomplish next year. He said department heads and members of the public could come.

Hein said the budget would be a top consideration in such a meeting.

County Clerk Carol Maggard reported the cash position of Marion County as of Oct. 31 at $6,015,213.48. The county general fund had $1,635,782.98 and the road and bridge fund had $988,230.

Monthly expenses from the special auto fund totalled $3,906.19.

Woody Crawshaw, reporting for Emergency Medical Services, said 90 ambulance runs for October including 11 from Peabody, eight from Florence, 31 from Marion, 35 from Hillsboro, and five from Tampa. EMS recorded seven first response runs, six from Goessel and one from Lincolnville.

The commissioners awarded a road and bridge transportation fuel bid to Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro for $18,647 over a competitive bid from Cardie Oil of Tampa for $18,730.50.

The commissioners met in executive sessions for personnel with Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet, Huffman, Environmental Health Director Bobbi Strait and Health Department Diedre Serene jointly, and without any department head present.

They spent much of the meeting time canvassing the general election.

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