Commissioners hear ?very good? sales-tax figure again

Marion County Clerk Carol Maggard reported during the May 29 payday meeting of the Board of Commissioners a ?very good? sales tax figure.

She said $48,291.32 had been dispersed to the county at the end of May, compared to $44,516.47 a year ago. The tax had been received by the state in April and collected by merchants in March.

?We think the reason (for ongoing sales tax increases) is the last couple of months of compensating tax,? Maggard said.

She said compensating tax comes back into the county from the state for Internet sales and out-of-county purchases, such as automobiles.

The amount of compensating tax for Marion County included in the total figure was $3,700 two months ago and $7,201 for last month, she said.

Commissioner Bob Hein said he believes sales-tax increases also are due to some local businesses doing well. One Hillsboro businessman, he said, told him his sales are up 15 percent over the past four months.

The commissioners voted to install 75 surge protectors for $2,600, following a recommendation from AT&T, after storms in May ?fried? three telephones in the jail communications center, and damaged computer equipment.

Maggard said the storms also caused damage at the ambulance department in another building, separate from the courthouse, and it is thought connections from the ambulance building to the jail might have to be considered for better grounding during lightning events.

The commissioners approved a medical cafeteria plan for employees.

John Summerville, road and bridge director, said the county has roughly 50 miles of blacktop roads that could use chip-and-seal overlays this year at an estimated cost of $13,000 to $14,000 per mile with county crew doing the job.

The county has a total of about 150 miles of hard-surface roads, he said.

The commissioners asked about contracting the work to outside companies to help the county crew catch up on other work, such as patching, installing box culverts and building road bases.

Summerville said the difference in price between the county doing chip-and-seal and a contractor doing it could be as little as $2,000 a mile. At that price, he said, ?We would be better off to contract out to keep our guys going.?

Summerville named Indigo, the Durham-Lincolnville Road, and 190th from Marion to Hillsboro as roads that are probably going to need overlays in the near future.

He said the Ramona Road and Quail Creek are going to have to have more blade patching before they could be done.

?The Pilsen Road is blowing out, and doesn?t have enough base to be done,? he said. ?Most of the older roads in the county have exceeded their lifespans, and they weren?t designed to carry the heavy equipment and traffic we have today.?

He came back later in the meeting to say he had gotten a $6,000 estimate from the consulting engineering firm of Kirkham-Michael to handle specifications and contracting on 28 miles of hard-surface roads including Indigo, 190th and the Marion County Lake Road.

The commissioners will ask for a meeting with Chase County commissioners June 8 to consider cost-sharing on a bridge. They voted to add county bridges Nos. 75 and 226 for reconstruction under the county?s five-year plan that must be reported to the state.

The commissioners awarded a road and bridge area fuel bid of $11,479.65 to Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $11,724.45 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

The CG&S bid included 800 gallons of diesel in Tank 1 at $1.7580 a gallon, 2,150 gallons of diesel in Tank 2 at $1.7550 a gallon, 1,800 gallons of diesel in Tank 3 at $1.7450 a gallon, and 1,800 gallons of diesel in Tank 4 at $1.7550 a gallon.

The competitive bids from Cardie for prices per gallon for the same quantities and tanks respectively were $1.779, $1.779, $1.799 and $1.799.

The commissioners approved a bid of $3,640 from Hett Construction Co. to do concrete reconstruction on a hole in the floor at the transfer station, providing it can be done in a Friday to Monday four-day weekend time frame.

Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, said the hole probably developed because the original concrete floor was designed for the building?s use as the power plant for the city of Marion, and not for the heavy trucks that bring waste there now.

Marion County Fire Chiefs Association, promoters for the concerts at the county fair this year, told the commissioners the public will be able to buy tickets for all three concerts for a total $25 from area banks or from its Web site.

Marion County Fair Presi?dent Chuck McLinden said it is hoped the concerts will help promote the fair?s rodeo.

Commissioner Randy Dallke publicly commended Communi?ca?tions and Emergency Manage?ment Director Michelle Abbott for her extra work with installing an emergency generator on the courthouse grounds.

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