Commissioners disagree on lake rental rates

The Marion County Com?mission were divided Monday on a motion to put off discussion for any increase in rental rates for trailer park residents at Marion County Lake until after the first of the year.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming, in seconding the motion by Commissioner Randy Dallke to delay discussion, said any rate increases should be done only a little at a time.

Fleming said county merchants benefit highly from purchases made by out-of-county residents who use the trailers as summer recreational homes.

Commissioner Dan Holub said there is a waiting list for the about 60 trailer home sites, explaining that spaces would fill if some renters moved out because of higher rates.

Holub also said the renters don?t pay a fair share of utility and mowing costs, so county citizens subsidize them. Besides that, he said, some trailer owners excessively use electrical appliances, violating county rules for the area.

Holub added that the county might benefit more if the spaces were occupied by camper trailers.

Fleming said, ?I like it because they bring in out-of-county people that help support our businesses.?

Holub said, ?I acknowledge that. But that doesn?t mean we have to subsidize them. I look at it as a marketable asset that could bring in hundreds of dollars more for each trailer than we get.

?We have people from Illinois and Oklahoma coming here because they can?t get this kind of deal anywhere except in Kansas.?

Dallke said he understood the arguments, but still wanted to put off discussion until the next budget, and even then he would only want rates raised a little at a time.

Dallke suggested that temporary assessment taxes be used in the future if utilities need upgrading.

Fleming said rules concerning utilities for the trailers need to be enforced.

The commissioners asked Dan Hall of BG Consultants at Manhattan to complete a study in the next two weeks on what it might cost for a new single-story 6,000 square feet building to replace the health department building in downtown Marion, plus add space for appraiser and economic development offices.

Hall said it could cost about $150 a square foot for the non-metal building the commissioners would want, or, depending on final plans, anywhere from $750,000 to $2 million.

He said it could cost a half-million dollars to upgrade the current health department building to use both floors. Hall noted that the building is rated for about 28 pounds per square foot load bearing on the second floor while modern commercial codes call for 450 pounds per square foot.

Dallke said, ?I don?t think we?re interested in spending a half million on a building with a load limit that won?t allow us to move forward with the space we need.?

Rollin Schmidt, transfer station and noxious weed director, asked the commissioners, by request of the school district, to locate an additional recycling waste Dumpster for Goessel schools.

Schmidt said response, with waste backed up, is so heavy for new recycling Dumpsters that some of them are filling up in one day.

The commissioners said they would wait to see how much this rate continues before adding any additional recycling bins.

Other business

In other business, the commission:

? approved a mill levy for 2012 of $4 million with the county portion at $1.4 million.

? approved a re-phrased zoning allowance leaving out the Holub name for permitting possible cabin construction in the heated dock area at the county lake, 2-0, with Holub abstaining because his children are interested in building such facilities.

? approved forgiving penalties and interest on past due property taxes for a motel in Florence to facilitate efforts to sell it.

? accepted the resignation of Bob Maxwell as county representative for the advisory board of the 8th Judicial District.

? accepted a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $25,954.50 for 6,000 gallons of diesel and 2,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline from Cooperative Grain at Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $27,092.50 from Cardie Oil at Tampa.

? heard John Summerville, acting road and bridge director, say road surfacing planned at Goessel has been completed for this fall.

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