Commissioners discuss lot rental at county lake

Park and Lake Depart?ment Superintendent Steve Hudson opened a discussion with the county commission Nov. 12 regarding a vacant lot at the Marion County Lake.
Hudson told the commission there were three main options for the lot:
(1) Build an experimental cabin for rent to see if cabins would work at the lake;
(2) Open the lot for long-term rental opportunities at about $250 per month;
(3) Continue to rent as a trailer space for $1,200 per seasonal year.
?This is something that doesn?t happen very often,? Hudson said, ?and we can either take advantage of it now or push it off to the wayside.?
The idea of building a cabin disregarded, the discussion centered on long-term monthly rentals versus a lump-sum rental. The vacant lot is located in an area for temporary housing with RVs or trailers. Occu?pants are not allowed to live in the area year-round.
?I?d like to see it monthly,? commissioner Roger Fleming said. ?They can move it in for a month, but then it needs to leave.?
Commission chair Randy Dallke asked if a renter could be allowed to occupy the space for multiple months?for example, through the summer. Three months at $250, he noted, is almost the cost for a year?s rental.
?If we?re in the business of making money to go back to the lake, that?s a heck of an option,? Dallke said.
Fleming said he wanted to make sure renters would not stay year-round. The commissioners discussed the possibility of off-season rental rules as well.
?We?ve got ground sitting there (in the off-season) that we could be putting somebody on,? Dallke said.
Fleming said to Hudson: ?I trust your decision-making, and I think if we go with the longer-term monthly rent at this point, you can work out what?s best for you.?
Plugging old wells
Tonya Richards, Plan?ning/Zoning and Environ?mental Health director, told commissioners funds are available through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to help Marion County residents plug illegal hand-dug wells.
?KDHE requires that all hand-dug wells?lined with stone and brick?those all need to be filled, no matter what,? Richards said.
Richards wanted to inform the public that funds can be acquired by contacting her office, 620-382-2945.
Radon gas testing
Richards also told the commission that KDHE is offering every county the opportunity to disperse free radon testing kits.
Public involvement would be volunteer, and would allow the state to collect radon data across the state.
Richards said radon is a natural gas found in the ground, and that long-term exposure to the gas is second only to smoking in causing lung cancer.
?I think if we?re providing the testing, we ought to be able to provide remediation solutions,? Fleming said.
One idea would be to provide a list of building inspectors who could direct home?owners to contractors for help to make the residence safe. The commissioners left it up to Richards to pursue the kits.
Richards was joined by Hudson to discuss needed fencing at the lake. The fence is part of an ongoing project partnership with a homeowner to keep cattle out of the water. The pair were instructed to put the project out for bids.
Other business
In other business, the commission:
? accepted 3-0 a bid of $29,700 from Pearsons Con?structing of Wichita for the demolition of the old jail. Competitive bids were $84,100 from McPherson Wrecking of Grantville and $195, 890 from Hett Construc?tion of Marion.
? heard from Rex Savage that his wind generator project is ?moving forward.? The commission then met with Savage and his wife in executive session for contractual issues. No additional information was reported in public session.
? approved 2-0 (with Dallke absent) a 2013 audit fee of $36,350 to Janzen, Hawk $ Lloyd, LLC, with planned yearly increases through 2017.
? voted 2-0 to purchase a $585.75 vehicle computer mounting system for emergency management.
? approved 3-0 a full-service contract of $19,900 with McCully and Associates of Louisville, Miss., to assist with appraisal duties through June 2014.
? met in two executive sessions for personnel, including one with Brian Frese, deputy appraiser. No action was taken when the public session resumed.
? heard from Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, that the new county recycling program ?is going really, really well.?
? heard Randy Craw?ford, road and bridge superintendent, report that due to budget constraints, road grading will be cut to three times per week instead of five times a week.

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