Butler County leaves compact challenging TransCanada

?Butler County turned on us,? Commissioner Dan Holub told the Marion County Commission Monday.

He was referring to Butler?s county commission voting to seek a payment from Trans?Canada Keystone Pipeline rather than wait until the first of the year for a possible favorable tax-payment decision from the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals.

Holub said Butler County?s decision could remove the entity from its legal compact with five other counties, including Marion, to stop a 10-year tax exemption for Keystone given by the state of Kansas as incentive to cross the state.

But, Holub said, the vote may be moot because when Dickin?son County investigated doing such a thing, the Kansas Attorney General?s Office said such a move by a governmental unit could be regarded as extortion against the company.

It was noted by the commissioners last week that the Kansas Association of Counties is filing a brief with KCTA in support of the six counties? efforts to prohibit the exemption.

In conversation with Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet, the commissioners noted that the supply of pipe in Keystone?s Marion County pipe yards is dwindling as the company draws nearer to completion in the county.

The total line runs from Alberta, Canada, to the refinery at Cushing, Okla., where oil is separated from the sand slurry.

Herzet confirmed an observation by Commissioner Randy Dallke that Remington Road is pitted and warped from heavy Keystone equipment and use, and will require patching plus a 2-inch asphalt overlay.

Keystone corrected damage at 80th and Sunflower by pouring larger rock into a hole followed by smaller road rock, he said. In some instances, he said, they sent out a water truck to soak down dust that might have bothered patrons.

Park and Lake Superinten?dent Steve Hudson said bridge planks for rebuilding picnic tables to original condition at Marion County Lake may be cost prohibitive. Possibly 50 benches would need 10-foot planks costing $72.85 each and 20-foot planks at $143.70.

The commissioners directed him to price 2-by-12 lumber and composite lumber for the project, possibly composite that resembles cedar.

Hudson said he has a retired contractor at the lake who would volunteer to construct a 40-by-20-feet ?pavilion? with cooking facilities and picnic tables on top of the existing 50-by-20-feet cement pad for the former shop.

The excess concrete area would provide an outside portion, he said.

The building would cost about $12,000, he said.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said Jim Barnett has resigned as Kansas senator for District 17, which includes most of Marion County. Since the resignation comes before mid-October, she said, Republican committee members will meetnext week to select his successor as a candidate for the November general election. Barnett had two years left on his term.

Carl Eyman and Philip J. Rippee of the Kansas Workers Risk Cooperative for Counties said a Kansas Supreme Court decision may offset Marion County?s $7,500 premium reduction for workman?s compensation experience.

They said road and bridge leads the county?s departments in number of injuries because it is the largest department and because of the nature of the work. Strain injuries, especially those combined with trips and falls, is the most frequent injury, followed by motor-vehicle accidents.

The commissioners approved Appraiser Cindy Magill purchasing a nearly unused computer server still under warranty from Tampa State Bank for $2,700.

Commissioner Bob Hein said if the county didn?t have a server more reliable than the old one, pictures and files could be lost.

?Then we?re sunk,? he said.

Commissioners approved a zoning change for Larry Landsverk?s family properties at 2871 230th, upon the recommendation of the Marion County Planning Commission. The zoning will be changed from agricultural to suburban residential.

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