Commissioners override zoning commission on lake cabins

The Marion County Commis?sion overrode the Marion County Zoning Commission by a vote of 2-0 to allow the construction of cabins for rentals by the Holub family at Marion County Lake.

Tamara Holub represented herself and her siblings, Molly, Heather and Daniel, at the meeting. She said they all want the cabins as a way to support themselves if they choose to return home after current military service.

She said her family also wanted their project to do something for Marion County after enjoying growing up here.

Commissioner Dan Holub withdrew from the meeting at the beginning of the discussion to avoid any conflict of interest.

The commissioners allowed commentaries of one minute each from among the nine concerned citizens who attended the meeting.

One person said putting a development done by private interests on government land is a mistake because it might put a bank first in line for default money recovery.

Another person questioned what can legally be done at the lake, as parts of the grounds are on the National Historic Register.

Another person said development shouldn?t be allowed to further obscure views of the lake as has been done at Council Grove Reservoir.

Another person, looking at the youthfulness of the Holub siblings, said after seeing all of the recent high school graduates of Marion County, it would be good to have projects to help a small percentage of young adults come back, while aiding development in the county.

?What better use of the land could there be than to get some of our young people to come back??

Another person said the Holub children are to be commended for wanting to come home and do something for the area, but it?s ?hard? to see an area with appeal changed.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said he realized there are a lot of issues going into development of cabin rentals at the lake, but he felt most of the real difficulty lies with where at the lake they can be located.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said this isn?t a matter of rejecting the Holubs or their final planning, but a matter of determining best land use, including location of cabins, at the lake.

Fleming said, ?This shouldn?t be a question of (the cabins) not being done. It?s a question of them being done properly.?

In making his motion to override planning and zoning by moving ahead with the project, Holub said he appreciated the work of the group, but it?s up to the county commission now to move ahead with the Holubs on how the project could be accomplished.

The commissioners favored a location for cabins near the heated dock area, but said they were open to ideas on other locations.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said his department has decided to resurface Nighthawk Road this summer over a possible selection of Sunflower.

Herzet said his department can move ahead on some resurfacing projects while the commissioners take a week to review others.

Holub said his experiences with resurfacing the county road into Tampa have taught him the value of allowing time to restructure and rebuild a road before resurfacing to make sure it is a job that holds up correctly.

?If we can?t afford to do it right, we can?t afford to do it at all,? he said.

The commissioners have approved a six-inch overlay with engineering by Kirkham-Michael at Tampa.

Tony Epp of Goessel told the commissioners he thinks it is morally wrong to have a sales tax to finance a new jail when many entities such as churches, school districts and hospitals are exempt from paying the tax.

Holub said the jail bond will have to move forward as it was approved by county voters, and that it is up to the state legislature who pays sales taxes, not the county.

Rollin Schmidt, noxious weed, household hazardous waste, transfer station and recycling director, said three truckloads of rubble have been hauled away from demolition of an old home along Fourth Street in Marion to make way for a new county jail.

He asked whether his department is to pay for the disposal from his own budget. He estimated the disposal costs would be about $500 on the three loads.

The commissioners discussed that such expenses for disposal will be paid back to Schmidt?s department from the budget for jail construction, but that small fees, such as for deed transfers for properties purchased for the project by the county, would be covered as budget items in the departments where they are incurred.

Schmidt and the commissioners discussed the possibility of locating eight recycling bins at a cost of $1,000 monthly provided by Stutzman Refuse Disposal operating under Waste Connections of Kansas Inc. in communities for the collection of materials from the public.

Holub said the bins would save disposal costs for the county, and possibly even return part of the cost when demand is high for recyclable materials.

Fleming and Dallke said they would want time to discuss the proposal with city governments in Hillsboro and Peabody before making a decision.

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said that at the Kansas Sampler Festival this month in Leavenworth, she was able to vastly increase public interest in visiting Marion County by providing a seating area next to her booth that gained time for people to look at the exhibit.

Huffman said the county is under consideration to receive another $50,000 from the state of Kansas micro-loan program to disperse to business applicants in the county through a consultant.

Her department has a balance of $7,000 from the original $50,000 program on hand with all other funds currently out with recipients, she said.

Emergency Management Director Dan D?Albini said he will check on the status of a 40-foot portable communications tower the county has in storage this week before checking on the operation of a similar one at Hutchinson this month.

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