Commissioners step in to challenge railroad move

Marion County Com?missioner Dan Holub came to Monday?s commission meeting with news the Union Pacific Railroad had dug up 310th Road west of Centre High School, effectively shutting the Greg Holub family in at their home because the only other way out for them is a mud road closed to traffic by the rain.

Holub asked Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford to communicate with Union Pacific, and by Monday afternoon the railroad had reopened the road.

County officials were to arrange a meeting with the railroad to try to make sure such things don?t happen in the future.

Holub said such arbitrary action by the railroad could be disastrous in an emergency situation if ambulance or other services could not reach a home.

In other business, County Clerk Tina Spencer said that for the second time since March, an air-conditioning unit on the third floor has leaked a large volume of condensation water into the judge?s chamber.

The commissioners said the problem indicates neglect by a private company under contract, and promised to take prompt action.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said the rear end has gone out because of lack of oil on what he called ?a share-around vehicle,? which is a county vehicle that is used by multiple departments.

At Dallke?s behest, the commissioners voted to send a letter to all department heads, charging them with the responsibility to make sure frequently shared vehicles under their charge are checked regularly for extended maintenance.

Commissioner Holub, in telling Sheriff Rob Craft that the commissioners don?t wish to participate with the state in accepting its aid to finance a new sheriff?s squad car and patrolman, said the county is already contending with state revenues it has depended on that have since dried up.

He said it likely would be in four years that if the state proposal to the sheriff was accepted, the county would be left with either funding the added officer itself, or explaining to the officer why he is out of a job. The commissioners met with Craft for five minutes in executive session for personnel.

County Appraiser Ray Cook said new construction and valuation in the county has added $17 million to the county tax roll.

Economic Director Teresa Huffman told the commissioners she has been working on signage in coordination with Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas promoters of the historic cattle drive Chisholm Trail that comes through Marion County.

Department of Aging Director Gayla Ratzlaff said she is continuing work on ?adult day care? to help senior citizens stay in their own homes rather than moving into nursing homes.

The commissioners approved a bid of $56,686 for a semi-truck trailer for the waste transfer station from KNL Holdings/Sitco Inc. of Paragould, Ark., with $1,000 added for delivery to Marion County, over a bid of $64,120 from Wilkin?s of Stockton.

They approved a competitive road and bridge transfer fuel bid of $25,844.50 for 5,000 gallons of diesel and 3,000 gallons of gasoline from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa over a bid of $25,876 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

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