Commissioners wish to assist small businesses

It?s not unusual to find Marion County businesses with four or five employees. It?s those businesses that County Commissioner Randy Dallke thinks the county needs to help.

Dallke said at the Jan. 21 commission meeting that it?s those businesses already here and would like to grow, that the county doesn?t often offer help, instead of pursuinging state programs to attract new businesses.

It?s often the home-grown businesses that have the best potential to help the county over the long run. Too often, Dallke said, those businesses end up leaving.

Dallke wondered aloud what?s going to happen 10 years from now if those businesses are sold with no incentives from the county? How can they grow without help?

Dallke said he originated his thoughts while thinking of his home community, Peabody. He knew they applied to the entire county.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he agreed ?100 percent.?

Commission Chair Roger Fleming said that although he doesn?t know what the county can do, he thinks the commissioners need to investigate.

The commissioners agreed to ask Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman to look into programs that might be available.

County Appraiser Ray Cook said he and his staff are working extra hours to check valuations in order to meet a state deadline for March 1, but he also is seeking approval for a date extension.

Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards said home radon detection kits provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for distribution through her office have been so much in demand that the first shipment is gone, and the waiting list has 75 names.

KDHE will provide 35 more kits, she said, and the commissioners approved purchasing 50 kits to distribute for $250 funded from sales tax. When those run out, they said people can go to the county extension office near the courthouse to get more kits.

The commissioners approved contributing $4,000 to help purchase geo-grid material with the city of Marion in rebuilding Fourth and Williams streets near the courthouse. That would be in addition to the $32,000 the county has already agreed to provide.

In consideration of this, the commissioners said they will ask the city to build an additional driveway into the county employees parking lot.

Commissioners noted the city is rebuilding the street in stages that provide continuing access for sheriff?s vehicles.

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