FULL REPORT: Marion County Commission, May 10

After a 40-minute executive session, members of the Marion County Commission Monday offered a public statement of support for Teresa Huffman, economic development director.

Commission Chair Dan Holub said conflicts seemed to arise when the commissioners didn?t declare whether Huffman was to have a vote on the Marion County Economic Development Council, but yet was charged with some authority over it.

?We hired Teresa as director to work with businesses, and to oversee and administer the development council,? Holub said. ?She has our full confidence, and she has our full directive in working with the council.

?We anticipate meeting with all of the mayors of the cities in the county to look at what exactly Marion County needs as a development program, and how Teresa will work with all of the communities.?

Commissioner Randy Dallke said, ?I second the opinion by Dan. We are very much looking forward to helping our director and Marion County?s cities for meaningful development. Teresa?s done a lot of work for the county, and there?s a lot of people she?s had to please.?

Commissioner Bob Hein said, ?I also second what Dan had to say. I hope our economic director will work together with all of the cities. We can?t be drawing apart. I think Teresa has done a fine job.?

TRANSFER STATION

A sink hole has developed in the transfer station floor, according to Rollin Schmidt. The hole is 3 feet across and ?growing every day,? he said.

Schmidt said the materials under the hole appear to be sand and gravel; the concrete around the hole doesn?t appear to be reinforced with wire mesh or rebar.

He said he checked with Davey Hett of Hett Construction, who told him the hole could be fixed with new concrete and rebar.

Hett?s bid wasn?t revealed upon a suggestion from Hein that other concrete companies in the county should be contacted in case they want to bid on the project.

The commissioners said they need to get the hole taken care of right away, but they want to stick with the policy of getting bids and of having an in-county company do the work.

Schmidt, who also oversees the noxious weed department, said, ?I am very encouraged by the way farmers are coming in to buy chemicals. The economy for them is good right now, and that?s good for this county.?

The commissioners approved a bid of $4,917.50 from Markley Service of Marion for 17.5 gallons of Milestone herbicide at $281.00 a gallon over competitive bids of $5,127.15 or $292.98 a gallon from Ag Service Inc. at Hillsboro, and $5,460 at $312 from the cooperatives, Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro and Agri-Producers Inc. at Tampa.

Schmidt said Milestone is a good example of newer generation herbicides that are more environmentally friendly, replacing older chemicals commonly relied on such as 2,4-D.

Schmidt reported 701.82 tons of waste hauled from the transfer station in April, including 588.12 tons of municipal solid waste, 113.22 tons of commercial and demolition waste, and 0.48 ton of tires.

There were 34 hauls of MSW at an average weight of 20.63 tons.

AMBULANCE RUNS

Steve Smith, Emergency Medical Services director, reported 93 ambulance runs for April: 20 from Peabody, 12 from Florence, two back-up, 28 from Marion, 26 from Hillsboro and six from Tampa.

There were six first-response runs?two each from Burns, Goessel and Lincolnville?and three rescue runs, all from Marion.

Smith will teach a healthcare provider class for employees of Parkside Homes and St. Luke Hospital from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 28 in the St. Luke Clinic basement.

He will conduct a school bus rollover tabletop planning session at 7 p.m. June 5 in the St. Luke Clinic basement, and a school bus rollover drill June 13, with June 20 as a rain date, at Centre High School.

He is working with Elaine Ewert to schedule a Marion city-wide CPR class.

ROAD ISSUES

The commissioners gave Mark Heiser, road and bridge foreman, authorization to cut a road for the city of Tampa from where it dead-ends west of Tampa State Bank on Main Street to where it joins at the city line with a road being built by Agri-Producers Inc. to its fertilizer plant?as long as the right-of-way is researched to avoid conflict with property owners.

Heiser said the action should relieve some of the traffic on 330th Road, where his crew is struggling with mud on road construction after a 5.5-inch rain two weeks ago followed by a 2.5-inch rain last week.

Heavy semi-truck traffic travels the road into businesses at Tampa, and Heiser said one truck had to be pulled through the mud to make it.

Road and Bridge Director John Summerville, Heiser and the commissioners discussed what to do about the road continuing from Tampa, which has large chunks of old blacktop breaking loose.

Heiser said that in some ways the road should just be gravel because it is falling apart, but residents there protest that and road grading that seems to create debris.

Summerville said he was relieved to bring a credit agreement for commissioners to sign from an asphalt plant that may be reopening at El Dorado because it would be much less expensive than bringing materials from the next closest point, Kansas City.

Holub said because the state is cutting money due counties, the county will lose $300,000 to $400,000 in payments from the state for 2010, most of which would have gone to road projects.

The commissioners approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $14,351 from CG&S over a competitive bid of $14,609 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

The cooperative bid included 5,000 gallons of diesel in Tank 3, 1,000 gallons of diesel in Tank 1 at $1.5400 a gallon and 2,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

OTHER BUSINESSs

The commissioners awarded a bid of $7,108.33 to Elcon Service of Hillsboro for installing lighting for the courthouse grounds and U.S. flag.

Marion County Park & Lake superintendent Steve Hudson reported that a repeat blue-grass music concert has been rescheduled, following its success last year. The concert will be from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 20 at the lake. Participants and more sponsors are sought.

Hudson said he is seeking grant money to build ramps for youth and people with disabilities to provide better fishing access.

Hudson said he is deciding how to best use insurance funds for storm and hail roof damage at four lake outhouses, two shelter houses and the lake house.

Hein recommended reroofing with Heritage shingles.

Ty Wheeler of Kansas Legal Services, a private non-profit firm serving Marion County residents based out of Emporia, asked commissioners to increase the county?s budget for the agency from $4,000 last year to $4,500 this year to help offset travel and other rising expenses.

Wheeler said his firm handled 27 Marion County representations with 18 cases closed. They included eight domestic violence, eight disability (six successful), one domestic and one other.

Disability cases have brought in $1,795,536 for adults and $388,224 for children to directly benefit Marion County, he said.

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