Clerk gives first jail tax report

The first new monthly Marion County sales tax collection for July allocated for the new county jail under construction came in at $44,978.

Clerk Carol Maggard presented the figure separately from regular sales tax collection during the commissioners? Friday payday meeting.

The regular sales tax figure, also collected by merchants in July, returned to the state in August and disbursed to the county in September, was $50,650.

The commissioners noted that this was in line with an increasing trend in sales tax receipts that hadn?t seemed to deviate because of the jail increase.

Total regular sales taxes collected this year are now at $486,242, which is $21,251 ahead of last year, Maggard said.

The commissioners approved signing the contract with Loyd Builders for jail construction.

County Attorney Susan Robson said she has been notified by Sedgwick County that it will no longer allow its medical personnel to do state-required autopsies for counties outside its legislative district, including Marion County.

Robson said autopsies are expected, but in many cases the law requires a county to have them done.

Most often, she said, transportation of a body as soon as possible after death is required to be done by a mortician, which is a great inconvenience if the mortician also has to prepare for another funeral.

The only remaining autopsy providers, she said, are in Kansas City, Kan., or in Liberal, both longer distances for transport from here.

The commissioners asked Robson to check with other counties in this legislative district, such as Dickinson, Morris and Chase, to find out where these counties intend to send autopsy cases.

Robson said South Cen?tral Kansas Economic Develop?ment District has asked to turn the former motel at Florence over to the county to sell at tax sale rather than attempting to collect a failed mortgage debt.

The commissioners asked Robson to call SCKEDD ?to find out what happens if we don?t want it.?

Rollin Schmidt, in his capacity as waste management and recycling director, told commissioners that recent moves by Waste Management to remove one of two recycling containers from Goessel, when the community has shown it could use three, represent probable miscommunication between two administrative branches of the company.

In the meantime, Schmidt said he is pleased with the public response at Goessel and other communities in the county to recycling containers provided.

He suggested that the increasing need for container space may indicate that rural citizens are also discovering the convenience of using them.

Schmidt said recycling saves the county money when compared to disposing of waste at a landfill.

Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro was awarded an area fuel bid for 6,550 gallons of diesel at $19,715.50 over a competitive bid of $20,052.75 from Cardie Oil Inc. at Tampa.

Tonya Richards, environmental health director, said she will apply for a $20,000 grant through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that may be used for practices such as preventing water run-off waste from cattle entering Marion County Lake, and for educating lake residents on over-use of lawn fertilizers entering the lake.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill, for the second time in September, illustrated examples for commissioners on how the state requires her to set values on homes.

Commissioner Randy Dallke continued to contend that the state system is flawed in not allowing Magill to take into account auction sales.

Dallke acknowledged that his contentions may be frustrating for Magill in doing her job, but said they aren?t a reflection on Magill?s work, but a criticism of the way the state requires her to do it.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said at least part of the conflict is built-in because ?people want low property value when it comes to paying taxes and high property value when it comes to selling.?

Commissioner Dan Holub said he was to meet with Gov. Sam Brownback in Topeka Monday with commissioners from the other Kansas counties involved in opposing a 10-year property tax exemption for the TransCanada Keystone Canadian oil pipeline.

Holub invited the other two commissions to go, too. He said he was discouraged in advance of the meeting because Brown?back has already come out with a statement endorsing the tax exemption.

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