Commissioners consider future projects on the horizon

The Marion County Commis?sion Monday seemed to move toward a new era for 2008 with discussions on proposed cabins at Marion County Lake, different solid waste practices and possible county-wide building codes.

Holub reported that private investors likely will spend $8,500 to $15,000 each on about 10 cabins to begin with. He said Corps of Engineers standards offering 25 years lease of public land for such investors is necessary to help them come out on investments.

Investors could be offered lease renewals at 17 to 18 years to give time to work out any disagreements, he said.

Holub described the wooden cabins as built on cement slabs with accommodations anywhere from queen-sized beds with bunk beds to those including kitchens to camp houses for Boy Scout-type groups.

?They will have a six-digit investment,? he said.

Dallke noted that a sewer lift station to serve the cabins could also have a gravity flow line to it from the trailers. He added that there?s ?rock everywhere at the lake,? and that it won?t be ?a simple backhoe job.?

Holub said the station could also serve eventual public showers and laundromat if those services were built.

Holub said his investigations also showed that cabins at El Dorado Reservoir rent for $75 a day, ?and they aren?t as nice as these will be.?

At Tuttle Creek Reservoir, he said the cabins are ?just roofs and walls, a place to throw the sleeping bag on the floor, and they rent for $60. It?ll pay the bills.?

Holub said he would actually like it if the county was making the investment, but he doesn?t want to put local government into the business of competing with private business.

Hein said the cabins looked like a good private investment that could be turned to the county if the investors didn?t make it. He said the heated dock at the lake started as private investment.

Dallke said if investors got tired of running the cabins, or if they failed to pay taxes, he would want it so the county could take them over at paying rates. He said he wouldn?t want them to ever sit empty like ?the restaurant at the Lake has.?

Hein said, ?Well, if they do well for several years, I?m sure someone would want them if they want out.?

Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson proposed encumbering $11,000 into 2008 for new electrical hookups to eight of 12 camping sites on the north side of the lake, and turning a storage room at the heated dock to rental space with dock users at $30 a year able to have private lockers for fishing gear and space for coffee inside it. The commissioners approved both ideas.

They also approved the purchase of $2,500 worth of channel cats before 2007 ends on a bid from Hajeck Fish Farm of Marion for 85 cents a fish or $1.60 a pound over 12 inches. Same bid prices per fish and per pound respectively from Harbin Fish Farm at Anthony were 90 cents and $1.55, and from Hartley Fish Farm at Kingman were 90 cents a fish and $2 a pound.

Hudson plans to repeat the practice quarterly in 2008 with $2,500 budgeted for the year.

The commissioners voted to require the 56 to 57 trailer homes at the lake to have liability insurance that will be periodically checked by the county in place by March 1.

They also approved installing street number signs for the trailer homes, and requiring the home owners to replace the signs if they disappear or are damaged.

Commissioners Randy Dallke, Dan Holub and Bob Hein also discontinued any extension of time for Daniel King to correct conditions on his salvage yard near Peabody, saying King ?lied? more than once to them in a session two weeks ago.

Dallke said that King ?had stretched the truth quite a bit? in alleging that a survey showed the county?s road past his place had moved with periodic storm wash-outs and grading.

Environmental Health and Planning and Zoning Director Bobbi Strait said the surveyor told her that the survey stake was up at the top of the ditch where it should be, and culverts have stayed in the same relationship to the road.

?His trees on the line are hanging over into the county right of way. The road is not on him.?

She said that King said he hadn?t finished required fencing to get a conditional-use permit because the road had moved.

Strait said she also had checked with the State of Kansas, and found they are considering a Jan. 3 licensing deadline for King, and that he had told them he had been granted an extension that would put him in compliance for a conditional use permit with the county.

Strait and Dallke said they had both been by King?s salvage yard, and had not seen any progress that would indicate he will be in compliance for a Jan. 7 county deadline.

Strait said, ?I have a real problem here. I don?t appreciate being lied to, and then not accurately being reported to the state.?

Holub said, ?I have no interest in continuing on this. He had plenty of time to remedy the situation during his first six-month extension. He?s just trying to get by.?

Hein said, ?I don?t like being lied to. I tell you that.?

The commissioners voted to rescind the 30-day extension King had been given after coming in with his attorney two weeks ago.

In talking with representatives from Baldwin and Johnson County, the commissioners determined they liked building codes for public safety and comfort. They liked minimum requirements for standards such as wind resistance.

They said 1800?s housing could be protected from undue interference by only requiring remodeling and rebuilding work done to code.

Homeowners could still do their own work as long as it met code.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to renew the 2008 contract renewal with Robinson Trucking of Florence for hauling solid waste from the county. But, before renewing the contract with Hamm Landfill at Perry east of Topeka, the commissioners appointed Hein and Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, to visit Salina Landfill for a quote.

Holub said the county could be ?looking at $300,000 a year? to get rid of trash. He wondered if Salina Landfill would negotiate on a $29 tipping fee.

Schmidt said all that Marion County has to offer on any negotiation is long-term commitment because it is too small to deal with trash disposal like more heavily populated counties.

The commissioners hope to cut tonnage with recycling. Holub said he would also like to cut hauls by having a local commercial and demolition waste landfill.

Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith reported 74 ambulance runs for November, 11 from Peabody, nine from Florence, 22 from Marion, 25 from Hillsboro and seven from Tampa

Acting Road and Bridge Director John Summerville said his department is receiving public complaint about not applying brine to prevent icing before the last storm. He said road and bridge did not apply brine because it was following weather forecast predictions at the time that determined the brine wouldn?t be needed.

He said he checked with the Kansas Department of Transportation for agreement, and the agency confirmed that brine shouldn?t be applied after the fact because temperature specificity and dry surface are required to start with. Roads were salted Saturday, Summerville said.

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