Commissioners continue on four-day work week path

The Marion County Commis?sion Monday continued to discuss the possibility of putting county workers, and thus the courthouse schedule, on a four-day work week to save energy.

Commission Chairman Bob Hein said he talked to the county clerk of Gove County in Gove, and she told him the four-day week, started there June 1 for the same energy savings, seems to be working very well.

Hein said the clerk told him she would get back to him soon with dollar figures, but can tell the savings are going to be ?very significant.?

The commissioners said they believe there is potential for saving in several ways. By working four 10-hour days, they would realize savings in air conditioning and heating bills.

Workers, such as the road and bridge crew which makes trips to work sites throughout the county, would go four times to the same site rather than five times.

Appraiser Cindy Magill confirmed later in the meeting that her workers, now working near Goessel, would save mileage by being at location two extra hours rather than going out a fifth day.

She said her crew is doing the 17 percent rechecking of property required annually by the state.

Hein said workers like the Monday through Thursday schedule they are on in Gove
County because they can have doctor?s appointments or be free on Fridays.

He said the Gove County public also likes the schedule because the courthouse opens at 7 a.m. to help cover extra hours per day, and patrons can come in before they go to their own jobs.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said Santa Fe Railroad has used the four-day week for at least 20 years.

Commissioner Dan Holub said, ?It?s the coming thing.?

The three discussed that the transfer station might have to stagger hours among employees in order to be open for all expected service hours.

The commissioners decided to call a special agenda item at 8 a.m. Monday, July 21, before the regular meeting to discuss what to do about hiring a public works director and other outlooks with road and bridge personnel.

The treasurer?s June 30 report included cash on hand at $10,521 million, the county general fund at $3.1 million, and the road and bridge fund at $1.57 million.

Expenses paid from the treasurer?s motor vehicle fund were at $2,120 for June, $92,750 for the year, which included $79,750 put into the county general fund. The fund had a balance of $71,850.

Acting Road and Bridge Director John Summerville had a request from a resident asking that the county put a fence or trees at the county shop in Marion to block the shops from home view.

The commissioners agreed to have Summerville check the price of a security fence.

The commissioners agreed to have Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith write off $5,530 in uncollected ambulance call bills.

Smith said he continues to try to collect ambulance bills through small claims court and other means.

Holub advised Smith to meet with County Attorney Susan Robson to pursue bill collections through theft of services criminal proceedings.

Smith reported 77 ambulance runs for June, nine from Peabody, nine from Florence, one from Marion backup, 39 from Marion, and 19 from Hillsboro.

They included 17 transfers, five cardiac, 21 medical emergency, eight standby, six vehicle accident, seven falls, 10 no transport, two 10-22 and one other.

He reported five first response runs, three from Goessel and two from Lincolnville.

This brought totals for the year to 549 ambulance runs, 41 first response and 15 rescue truck.

The commissioners discussed enforcement of electrical usage rules for the residential trailers at Marion County Lake with Park Superintendent Steve Hudson. The electricity is provided by the county.

The commissioners said that if trailer owners don?t leave keys and allow Hudson access to trailers when they are away, Hudson has the right to shut electricity off to a trailer if the owner departs for a prolonged period but leaves the airconditioning on.

The commissioners also said that trailer owners should not have clothes washers and driers in their trailers to run at county expense.

They said that Hudson can shut the electricity off at any trailer where the owner refuses him access to check for laundry facilities.

Hudson said lake use has remained high this year, although it has been hampered by weather events.

He also reported that the Blue Grass Festival at the lake in June helped bring in extra revenue of $1,112 in camping fees and donations, although extra expenses of $1,102 left a net profit of $10.

Holub said the most important thing is the increased public use of the lake, resulting in other revenue generated throughout the county.

Representatives from Prairie View asked commissioners for a $65,000 annual budget consideration that they said goes entirely for mental counseling for county residents who have little or no health insurance.

They said the funding is especially important for the concerns of the chronically or temporarily challenged mentally ill who otherwise are not affluent enough socially or financially to be heard.

Many Prairie View referrals come through the schools or law enforcement.

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