Country adopts 2008 budget with no mill-levy increase

With only seven patrons attending the 2008 budget hearing on Monday, the Marion County Commission approved the new budget that included no mill-levy increase.

Scot Loyd, county auditor, said a $170,000 valuation rise had made it unnecessary to consider a mill levy increase beyond the 59 mills.

Loyd noted that the commission had been ?helped tremendously? in keeping costs down by a bid coming in for resurfacing Sunflower Road at $793,000 instead of an expected $1.1 to $1.2 million anticipated cost, a savings of $300,000.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said everything had been done ?to squeeze the thing around? to keep taxes down.

Lester Kaiser of the County Fire Chief?s Association said proceeds from this year?s Labor Day fireworks and attractions at Marion County Lake will be used to start building a county-wide firemen and emergency personnel training center on county-owned land by the former county poor farm on Old Mill Road.

Kaiser said initial work in 2007 and 2008 will include working and leveling ground, spraying weeds, graveling the parking lot and training area, determining fencing placement, Con-ex boxes for search and rescue training, an SCBA training course and automotive training.

The firemen will be assisted by county road and bridge personnel and equipment.

In 2009 through 2010, Kaiser expects a water supply well to be put in, electricity installed, and an all weather road built.

Kaiser said that from 2012 to 2015, additions will include a county-wide emergency meeting facility, a complete fence and a training tower.

Events at the Labor Day event begin at 2 p.m. in the lot next to the beach and grass area, and end with the fireworks display.

The events include a vehicle display, dunk tank, wildland fair education, kids? games, drawings, fire safety presentations and dinner.

Following a 30-minute executive session, the commissioners announced they had chosen two persons from among applicants to head the Road and Bridge Department. Dallke said the two will be offered the positions; if they accept, their names will be announced at the Aug. 27 meeting.

The first position will be offered as ?public works director,? and the second position will be offered as ?foreman,? he said.

Two of the acting directors for the Road and Bridge Department, Tom Holub and Dennis Maggard, said county roads that have priority to be finished patching and surfacing this fall include 40th, 60th, Remington, Sunflower, Timber, 30th, Quail Creek and Timber. In some places this includes only a portion of a road.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to accept $48,494 from the South Central Kansas Homeland Security Region in three annual payments for Marion County administration of the program, and to allow Michele Abbott-Becker, county emergency management director, to accept $5,000 annually from the Region for her work.

Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro was awarded a $20,575 road and bridge transport fuel bid over a competitive bid of $21,120.50 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

The co-op bid included $2.635 a gallon for 4,500 gallons of diesel in tank three, $2,375 a gallon for 1,500 gallons of diesel in tank one, and $2.575 a gallon for 2,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

The same bids per gallon respectively from Cardie were $2.691, $2.434 and $2.681.

The commissioners voted to abate taxes on properties owned by the county from delinquent tax sales.

They set aside encumbered money for BG Consultants of Manhattan for undone work on building a new jail facility until the end of the year ?to see where we are.?

The commissioners have been using Law/Kingdon of Wichita to do planning previously done by BG.

The commissioners delayed decision on a low bid for an economy car, a Ford Fusion, from Hillsboro Ford for $15,900 until bids come in from county banks on financing. The car would be an upgrade for Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman and would be used for showing clients around the county.

Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, said the county needs to keep exploring options for recycling and closer dump sites because costs for operations and fuel are expected to rise rapidly. He explained that all solid waste that can be disposed of by recycling will save the county money over hauling it to landfills.

He reported 701.5 tons of solid waste disposed of in July from the transfer station at a cost of $18 a ton. This was done in 34 hauls to the landfill at Perry with an average weight of 20.59 tons.

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