Bud Druce named as Schmidt?s successor

Bud Druse, former road and bridge foreman, was named transfer station, recycling, noxious weed and household hazardous waste director Monday by the Marion County Commis?sion.

He will succeed Rollin Schmidt in that position.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said Druse will start in one week at a position pay rate of $20 an hour. He will be required to secure additional certifications, and will receive pay raises in attaining each, with the goal of getting all required certifications in one year.

Druse was announced after a 10-minute executive session for personnel with the commissioners.

Marion City Admini?stra?tor Roger Holter received ?verbal commitment? from county commissioners ?subject to final plans? to provide $3,000 to lease a building to expand a food bank program. The building has been run by Valley United Metho?dist Church for the past 26 years with peripheral efforts by other groups.

Holter said the move could save the county in law enforcement costs because the people the program cares for receive food while searching for work instead of turning to crime in desperation.

Various ranchers are willing to donate meat from their herds to a food facility expanded to include freezer space, Holder said.

The commissioners agreed with Planning, Zoning and Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards that zoning require?ments she approves for power purchase agreements with electric companies and Windborn Energy are beyond what should be required, and should be struck from county zoning rules.

Windborn Administrator Rex Savage said road and bridge maintenance agreements with wind turbine companies also are in requirements.

Richards said she had checked regulations for many counties without finding any such requirements.

The commissioners agreed that the requirements probably should be removed, but wanted to check with County Attorney Susan Robson before making a final decision.

Conservationist Matt Meirhoff, with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service in Marion, and Marion County Extension agent Rickey Roberts described a plan for commissioners to remove non-native trees and reestablish soil retaining native grasses along the shoreline of Marion County Lake.

The plan would be funded through the Kansas Depart?ment of Health and Environ?ment

Meirhoff said native trees will be left, and so will trees such as cedars that are only trees holding a wash area in place.

Roberts said native grass is more effective than trees at filtering and purifying runoff water, as well as holding soil in place.

The commissioners approved Marty Stuchlik?s request that the 15-foot by 64-foot building that is 95 percent complete on his property at Lost Springs be included for reduced property taxes under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program because he had been unaware that the program still existed when he began construction.

The commissioners met for 30 minutes in executive session for personnel with Emergency Medical Services director Brandy McCarty, Ambulance Board chairman Gene Winkler, and Robson with no announced decision.

McCarty reported 98 ambulance runs for March, including 22 from Peabody, 10 from Florence, 31 from Marin, 32 from Hillsboro and three from Tampa.

She also reported three first response runs from Burns, five from Goessel, three from Peabody, one from Florence and one from Hillsboro.

The ambulance runs included five cardiac, 16 transfers, 27 emergency, five standby, 13 motor vehicle accidents, 11 calls, 15 no-transports, three 10-22 and three other.

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