Peabody builder Mel Flaming met with the Marion County Commission Monday to begin finalizing plans for a new 80-foot by 90-foot metal county building that might house departments such as health and zoning and also store county records.
Commissioners said the structure, which would be built in the vicinity of the county jail, would also provide space for garaging county machinery now housed in space owned by Cooperative Grain & Supply in Hillsboro.
The building, which would house climate-controlled office spaces and restrooms, would also include high shelving units, wide aisles and garage doors for forklift operation.
Flaming and Commission Chairman Randy Dallke are expected to continue bring a completed plan to commission meetings before bid letting.
Betty Richmond, Don Fruechting, Lowell Socolotsky, Jason Kruse, Dwight Kruse and Scott Thornhill, landowners with farm interests, met with the commissioners in public hearing to discuss acceptance of road closings on 150th and 180th to allow Union Pacific to build railroad sidings to help increase rail freight traffic.
The landowners contended that agreements with the railroads also need to include safe crossings in the affected areas for farm machinery, trucks and automobiles.
Dallke said the county will receive compensation of $150,000 from the railroad for 150th by Remington Road, and $50,000 for 180th by Pawnee Road, but acknowledged that before an agreement is finalized, commissioners also need contract assurance from the railroad for landowner access.
Richmond said the road closing could force her family to drive a tractor an extra 21⁄2 miles to get to land on the other side of the tracks; most of the other landowners expressed similar concerns.
The landowners said existing grades would make it difficult for vehicle visibility with the tracks lower than the roads going by them in places.
Dallke acknowledged the matter could be compounded by lengths of time for an increasing number of trains waiting at the crossroads for other trains to cross, and sometimes outside legal blocking time allowed waiting for trains perhaps just leaving Wichita.
The commissioners promised to look at train turn-out times, relative road elevations, and allowable road access concluding an agreement with the railroad.
The commissioners approved a bid presented by Kelli Savage of $730.73 from The Lumberyard in Hillsboro over a bid of $872.08 from Peabody Hardware and Lumber on building doors of differing qualities for the fairgrounds buildings in Hillsboro.
The commissioners also approved getting bids to put up 620 feet more or less of 6-foot concrete fencing on the north and east sides of the new county jail.
The commissioners approved a plan by Rollin Schmidt, noxious weed director, to provide herbicide for ground use by Dale Ehler for Quail Unlimited rather than aerial spraying for noxious weeds at the old county landfill southwest of Marion.
In an aerial photo of the landfill area, Ehler outlined planned acreages of grain production for wildlife of 4.7 acres, 9.1 acres, 5.5 acres and 1.7 acres on the east side of the landfill grounds, and of 5.3 acres in the southwest corner.
The commissioners agreed to a suggestion by Commissioner Roger Fleming to schedule a meeting with the communities of the county May 28 to seek cooperation for a county-wide waste recycling program.
The commissioners approved Department of Aging Director Gayla Ratzlaff training June 18-20 in a Kansas Department of Health and Environment Kansas care program.