Commission approves 2009 budget with 4-mill increase

The Marion County Commission Monday approved the about $6.456 million in ad valorem taxes for the 2009 county budget with a four-mill increase of about $404,000.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said the amount could vary by $92,000 more, according to final valuation figures.

Although all three commissioners went through the budgeting process, commissioners Bob Hein and Randy Dallke approved the budget in the absence of Dan Holub.

Acting Road and Bridge Director John Summerville said he has been contacted by a landowner offering to cost-share for raising a road surface that has worn away over the years on a miniumum-maintenance road. Summerville said the road, on Alfalfa south of 280th, ?will take lots of material,? and be expensive.

Dallke and Hein said there are other landowners with such wishes, and requests for the work could get out of hand.

Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine came to the meeting with Household Hazardous Waste and Noxious Weed Director Rollin Schmidt to request commissioners approve restoring household hazardous waste equipment to the Hillsboro Recycling Center.

Paine said the equipment had been removed when Hillsboro opened the center for continual public access, but it has since gone back to previous hours of operation under coordination by the First Mennonite Church.

The commissioners approved his request with Schmidt?s agreement.

Tom Brown of Savant Services in McPherson presented the commissioners with an update of the county?s strategic plan.

Among the many items in the plan, Brown noted that the county?s population continues to decline with a loss of 280 persons last year, predominantly due to more deaths than births. Brown said the county gained nine persons from foreign immigration.

Brown said the county economic director was helpful in outlining economic goals for the county. He said that with her first year over, it is apparent Huffman?s efforts are having an effect.

Among Huffman?s goals are assisting in the creation of at least one agritourism business annually, continuing to develop a county economic development Web site, developing an e-mail database of the top 25 county businesses, recruiting new businesses with the Kansas Depart?ment of Commerce with two new business start-ups annually, engaging community leaders in cooperation with Dickinson, Morris and Wabaunsee Counties to build development strategies and obtaining grant money for classes geared toward Menno?nite history at the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Goessel.

Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro was awarded a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $27,474.50 over a competitive bid of $27,558.50 from Cardie Oil at Tampa.

The CG&S bid included 3,500 gallons of diesel in tank three at $3.616 a gallon, 1500 gallons of diesel in tank one at $3.349 a gallon and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline at $3.265 a gallon.

The Cardie bid for the same quantities and locations per gallon respectively were $3.61, $3.353 and $3.298.

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