Commissioners commit to spending money to clean up ?bad odor? situation

Saying they ?needed to maintain the building or shut?er down,? the Marion County Commission decided Monday it would commit to spending some thousands of dollars to clean up a ?bad odor? situation that led to the appraiser?s office relocating from the courthouse basement to a temporary home at Great Plains Computers.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said because the county is spending $500 a week rent for the space at Great Plains, prompt action is needed to remedy the situation.

The commissioners said they would bring in two companies immediately for separate evaluations and corrective bids on heating and air conditioning systems and ducts that could contribute to a dust or mold problem.

They also said they will immediately bring in carpeting companies from around the county to give bids on pulling up old carpeting, cleaning dirt and glue from beneath it, and replacing it with new carpet or covering in case moisture there could contribute to health problems.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill said employees have suffered irritation and health problems potentially related to the odor issue, including one employee who has had pneumonia twice.

The commissioners split road and bridge area fuel bids awarding a bid of $5,415.90 for 2,950 gallons of diesel in areas 1 and 2 to Cardie Oil of Tampa over a competitive bid of $5,467.45 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro, and a bid of $6,661.80 for 3,600 gallons of diesel in areas 3 and 4 to CG&S over a competitive bid of $6,681.60 from Cardie.

The commissioners approved a motion from Commissioner Bob Hein that contractors ?need to be assessed? a contractural penalty of $600 a day, estimated to end up $3,600 for a remaining six days of chip sealing in the county.

The commissioners said that wasn?t much compared to the $700,000 total contract, and they had already been generous in allowing a week to go to other projects because of rain here.

Remaining work includes one more mile on 190th east of Hillsboro, the Tampa road project and work at Marion County Lake.

County Agricultural Agent Rickey Roberts said Kansas State University specialists are ready to proceed on a coopertive project with Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro to assess chemical treatments for herbicide-resistant weeds on test plots leased at U.S. Highway 56 and Kanza north of the Hillsboro city lagoons.

The site will also give good public access to view wheat variety plots exhibited year to year by K-State, he said.

Roberts predicted that fall harvest will begin on a large scale as soon as ?things dry out, and I think it will be a good harvest, maybe bigger than last year. I think the beans will be really good.?

Roberts said the soybeans, corn and milo will infuse a large amount of money into the local economy. He said soybeans and corn continue to displace milo as crops on acreage available.

Gayla Ratzlaff, director of the elderly, said local merchants have donated 40 door prizes for the annual seniors meeting Oct. 15.

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said the funds for the micro-loan program begun through the Kansas Department of Commerce and supported by grant funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, for small business loans have been depleted. But they will be replenished as businesses pay their loans off, so that other businesses may borrow through the revolving fund, she said.

After 15 minutes of executive session with Huffman for personnel, the commissioners asked County Clerk Carol Maggard to contact all city mayor for a meeting with the commissioners within the next two to three weeks. They said if a mayor can?t absolutely make the meeting, the replacement person must be a city councilor, an elected official.

Leslie Lalouette asked that the bridge by his home on Alfalfa Road in the southeast part of the county be kept on the five-year list for replacement because it is his only road access, it also serves other livestock enterprises such as Doyle Creek Cattle Co., and it is the only bridge between Florence and Cedar Point.

He said he would donate right-of -way, fill dirt and offer any other kind of help he could to have the bridge rebuilt. Lalouette said his access now is cut off even in minor flooding, and the bridge is inadequate for modern farm equipment and truck loads. He said he has remodeled his home and intends to stay there the rest of his life.

Rex Siebert asked that road and bridge cut trees from under the bridge by his place on 190th. He said trees left to grow tall will heave a concrete slab there when they fall. He also asked that weeds by the bridge be mowed, or sprayed, to both control their spread and open the view for traffic from his driveway.

He was told by Road and Bridge Director John Summer?ville that operators do have chainsaws, but they don?t do it because they have to get out of the cab.

When Dallke complimented Siebert on his own tree cutting at his farm, Siebert said, to the amusement of the commissioners: ?Well you have to keep working at it. And you have to get off the darned tractor.?

The commissioners directed Magill to continue her selections and work on the mapping project that will serve several departments, and upon installing the state-required Orion software.

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