The Marion County Commission decided Monday to replace a deteriorating long-span Cottonwood River bridge on 330th between Bison and Chisholm roads with two smaller tube bridges.
The decision came after commissioner spent multiple sessions discussing closing the road with landowners, in part because of vandals and deer poachers, and drivers going off the seldom-traveled road and into fields.
After an hour-long discussion with landowners Gerald Unruh, Galen Martens, Gene Unruh and Hal Krehbiel—with county attorney Susan Robson listening for possible alternatives to closing and gating the road—the commissioners decided the better alternative was leaving it open with new tube bridges.
Randy Crawford, county road director, said he will consult with Krehbiel on a possible lead for purchasing the steel tubes.
After a 10-minute executive session with Tonya Richards, director of planning, zoning and environmental health, the commissioners voted 3-0 to approve giving her a $200-a-month pay raise because he has recently obtained “significantly more education” particularly on watershed contamination and response.
The commissioners approved a joint resolution with Harvey County for state renewal of long-term service funding for the Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization.
At the county’s payday meeting Wednesday, Feb. 29, the commissioners approved a payday figure of $1,229,481.
County Clerk Carol Maggard reported a February sales tax receipt from the state for collections for December of $50,493, down $9,449 from the previous year.
In addition to the regular sales tax, $44,776.30 was received in special sales tax earmarked for bond funding of the new county jail, she said.
The commissioners and members of the press were guided by Treanor Architects consultant Andy Pitts and Sheriff Robert Craft on an hour-long tour of the interior of the new jail on Fourth Street in Marion, where most work now is being done.
Craft reviewed purchase plans for such items as storage for inmates’ clothing and kitchen equipment possibly now totaling near $35,000.
The commissioners approved add-ons and deletions for the jail at an increased price of $10,832.
They also approved longer-lasting concrete surfacing over asphalt for the jail driveway and parking at an additional cost of $29,000.
Pitts said the first inmates may move to the jail in August.
The commissioners approved a bid of $525 for an air conditioner from Hillsboro Hardware for the Marion County Fair 4-H Building, and a letter of appreciation to Concrete Products of Hillsboro for donating 2.25 yards of concrete for the fair’s arena area.
The commissioners decided to wait until July 1 to determine which cities are successfully keeping recycling Dumpsters full for continued pick-up service.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub said the commissioners will consider recycling as the “right thing to do” as well as whether the practice is providing significant cost benefit to the county as opposed to landfill disposal.