Commissioners say revitalization program not successful

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which gives Marion County residents property-tax reimbursement on new construction, may have failed in its intent to stimulate new home construction.

Commissioners Randy Dallke and Lori Lalouette agreed at the county commission Monday that the program, launched more than a decade ago under former commissioners Howard Collett, Leroy Wetta and Bob Hein, has had limited success.

County Clerk Tina Spen?cer said Commission Chair Dan Holub, who was absent because of illness, confirmed by telephone that he agreed the program hasn?t worked for residential construction, but he would like to work out a plan to retain it for commercial construction.

Nikki Reid, appraiser?s office assistant, said the program has added tremendously to her workload, but she said taxpayers usually only take advantage of it on for new homes they intended to build anyway.

Reid said it apparently is not having the sought-after effect to induce more people to build homes here.

Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards agreed, saying she could remember only one case in which people chose to build here when it was the deciding factor between building at Marion County Lake or at El Dorado.

County Attorney Susan Robson said the program also adds to the workload in her department with limited value for it.

In other actions, Transfer Station Director Bud Druse said patrons are creating a growing problem by dropping of various quantities of household hazardous waste at the transfer station entrance during hours when the facility is closed?apparently trying to avoid paying the fees or the rejection of the materials for disposal.

He said he and his staff have to clean up and sort the waste before they open the facility for normal operation.

The Labor Day storm damaged glass windows and fiberglass siding on the south and west sides of the transfer station, Druse said.

Dallke said he would look at the damage to recommend to the commission whether window sizes should be modified.

A company called Mid?west Iron and Metal has contacted Druse about whether it could locate a 4-by-8-by-30-foot trailer at the transfer station for collection of recyclable metals for which it would pay the county $35 a ton.

Druse said the county currently receives about $80 a ton for recyclables, but only nets about $35 when transportation and wages cost are considered.

The commissioners agreed to take another look at going with the company if it could confirm the county would be paid more if metal prices increase.

Druse said the transfer station collected 469.63 tons of municipal solid waste, 26.1 tons of commercial and demolition waste, and 0.47 tons of tires in August for a total tonnage for 2015 of 3,823.13.

The commissioners voted 2-0 to award a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $14,336 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,55 gallons of unleaded gasoline to Coop?era?tive Grain & Supply of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $14,351 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.

The commissioners met in executive session for personnel with Spencer, and with Robson for attorney-client consideration.

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