Commissioners OK zoning change for bait shop

After approving a change in zoning for a new fish bait shop to be located at 1626 230th near Marion Reservoir, Marion County Commission members said they wanted to do what they could to help the new enterprise.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said signage along roads advertising the bait shop location could be critical to drawing traffic from among reservoir fishermen who may drive miles now for bait since Canada Bait closed.
The bait shop owners, Tony and Rachael Merebout, said they were prepared to put up signs, at least along main thoroughfares as long as they could do so within state regulations.
The three commissioners agreed that regulation of signs along county roads probably falls under their jurisdiction instead of the state?s, but promised they would check.
Jesse Hamm, who is in charge of county road and bridge tree removal along roads, said his crew continues to have various problems with land owners.
He is getting requests to only trim trees growing in ditches instead of taking them out for proper road drainage and maintenance, Hamm said.
Then when trees are taken out, he said, the road and bridge crew is accustomed to finding cooperative land owners who will allow them to put wood debris on their property.
But lately, he said, there are land owners reluctant to allow that, and one even said he wanted two truckloads of gravel in payment if he allowed it.
Dallke said, ?I?ll go talk to them (the land owners). If they want good roads they have to do the right thing.
?It seems to be that the good old boys who used to do the right thing by helping us out don?t exist anymore. Everyone wants something for nothing.
?It?s a sad day for Marion County when people want to bargain to do something like this.?
In other road and bridge business, the commissioners approved a transport fuel bid of $25,702 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline from Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $25,971.50 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.
County Appraiser Ray Cook said property valuation notices to real estate owners were sent out March 28. Cook said he already has 60 hearings scheduled with real estate owners who disagree with their valuations.
For taxpayers who have difficulty in leaving jobs to come protest valuation, Cook said he is available for hearings by telephone.
He said the new valuation shows a $2 million increase over the county assessed valuation last year.
Dallke noted that even though valuation may have increased, the communities in his district of the county, Peabody, Burns, Florence and Goessel, have more vacant homes and homes for sale than they have had historically. He questioned how valuation could go up in the face of population and demand declines.
Dallke requested that Hamm provide him with a listing on all valuations and changes in those cities.
Commissioner Dan Holub said such information already is available in a publication produced by Joel Klaassen of the Hills?boro Free Press. Click for Appraisal Guide Here.
Holub, Dallke and Com?mission Chairman Roger Fleming noted that the books are very well done and easily available to members of the public.
In breaking down comparative costs of disposing of trash and disposing of recyclables with Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt, Fleming said it is important for the commissioners to have breakdowns of all costs because solid waste disposal will cost the county no matter how it is done. It is incorrect to view recyclables only as a method of savings, he said, because there are costs either way.

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