Commissioners say no to request for hospital intervention

The Marion County Com?mission Monday reviewed a letter from Judy Reno, president of St. Luke Hospital and Living Center at Marion, asking for a special meeting to discuss a new county-wide medical center.

But commissioners Bob Hein and Dan Holub, in session without Commission Chairman Randy Dallke present, decided not to participate in such a meeting, and to instead let hospitals at Marion and Hillsboro discuss the issue themselves.

In a letter two weeks ago, the board at the Hillsboro facility expressed opposition to any county-wide hospital development. Their letter had been in reaction to an earlier presentation by Randal Claassen, a Hillsboro physician, favoring such a development.

Reno asked that the corporate officer of the Hillsboro Com?munity Medical Center and the corporate officer of St. Luke meet with one county commissioner to go through financial data that would lead to discussion of a county-wide facility.

Hein said, ?Let them talk to each other first without commission involvement.?

County Clerk Carol Maggard told commissioners the company doing courthouse renovation work at an estimated cost of $1,740 has the responsibility of re-hooking an air conditioner that serves the courtroom.

She suggested that considering that benefit, the commissioners also consider purchase of a $2,860 more efficient, modern unit to replace the 1970s model.

The commissioners agreed. Hein asked Maggard to confirm prices.

Steve Hudson, park superintendent at Marion County Lake, said the chili cook-off at the lake over the weekend raised $685.75 for the Marion County Lake Improvement Association to use for such projects as planting trees and renovating structures.

Holub said he wanted to publicly thank participants. He added that it showed ?what can happen when people get involved and take an interest.?

Hudson said 182 chili sampling kits were sold to the public. From among the 13 entries, Roy Patton and Amy Peace shared first prize for their chili creation named ?Peaceful.?

Second prize went to Mike Crane for a chili called ?Flamingo Fumes,? and third prize went to Bob McCurdy for ?Thinkin?.?

Planning, Zoning and Environmental Health Director Bobbi Strait reported to commissioners that a two-year period of grace expired Nov. 1 for Neil Hett to use a mobile home for an office at his stone business. She said Hett is required to have the home removed by Nov. 30.

Strait said Hett had been expected to seek a building permit for a permanent office by now, but had not done so. She said she was concerned about electrical use in the mobile home because of the structure?s age. She suggested the commissioners require Hett to respond to written notice, and perhaps to summon him to a commission meeting.

In discussing county requirements for salvage yard operators, Holub said the county is only requiring them to comply with state standards before issuing them conditional use permits.

?We are not out there hunting down salvage yards to penalize,? he said.

The commissioners approved use of a county-owned small acreage north of the former poor farm near 160th and Old Mill, formerly used as a road materials storage area, as a training ground for county firefighters.

They told county firefighter representatives Chris Killough, Mike Regnier and Todd Helmer that the road and bridge department would be directed to help smooth the area and deliver materials as needed.

Killough said practice would begin with putting out automobile fires on old cars that Emergency Medical Services members first would train on with Jaws of Life. Later, he said, practice would include a structure for ?search and rescue fire extinguishment.?

He said the practice field has the advantage of being centrally located for all county units. The area may be fenced or just have gates warning against trespassing.

The firefighters? schedule for improvements calls for ground working, leveling, weed spraying, fencing and graveling for parking in 2007 to 2008.

In 2009 to 2010, a water supply from a 30,000- to 40,000-gallon buried tank would be added and electricity installed.

From 2012 to 2015, a county-wide emergency meeting facility would be added with a fence and training tower.

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