Commissioners hopeful for funding of new bridge

Road and Bridge Direc?tor Randy Crawford told the Marion County Commis?sion Monday, that there?s a possibility the county could get its 20 percent share of $238,000 to build a new bridge on Alfalfa Road east of Florence from federal exchange funds.

Otherwise, the county will have to add its share to next year?s budget to meet the state?s $1 million share of the mandated project.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said landowners at the site on the Cotton?wood River want the bridge enough that they have agreed to donate the additional land needed to move the project forward.

But Kenny Blair, project engineer of CFS Engineers in Topeka, warned it?s best to budget the funding because ?sometimes the landowners will change their minds when they find out how much they can get.?

With bid letting on the bridge projected to October, 2016, Blair said bridge construction could begin in 2017.

At the end of the session in Marion, the commissioners recessed the meeting to travel to another bridge at 340th and Falcon, which is being proposed for closure.

Florence ambulance crew will be using the Marion backup ambulance following the result of an inspection on its 2005 ambulance at Midway Motors in Hillsboro. The inspection revealed the vehicle is needing more than $10,000 in repairs.

Emergency Medical Services Director Brandy McCarty said the Ford ambulance purchased from Hillsboro Ford has just gone out of warranty.

The commissioners told McCarty they were granting her authority to move forward with the ?best course? for repair of the ambulance to expedite returning it to service.

Ashlee Gann, director of Families & Communities Together, said her program has brought $2.3 million in grants and funding to Marion County to help provide food and care for children in the county.

She said she is required to work with county departments and organizations to fund projects, and cited the Marion County Health Department and Marion County Food Bank as examples.

The commissioners advised Gann to also work with the county extension home economist.

Bob Gayle of Florence objected to the short-language coverage of his objections to county wind farm development delivered at the last commission meeting, but the commissioners said that is the standard form their minutes take.

Holub said if he wanted more detail, Gayle should look at minutes from when he met with the county zoning committee.

The commissioners asked Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman to seek getting food and service grant money to upgrade kitchen facilities at the county fair building to avoid being shut down by state restaurant inspectors.

The commissioners met in executive sessions for personnel for 10 minutes by themselves, for 12 minutes with Emergency Manage?ment Director Randy Frank, and again for five minutes by themselves concerning Frank with no action taken in public session.