County closer to waste contract

The Marion County Board of Commission moved closer Monday, Nov. 10, to new contracts to save the county money on solid-waste disposal.

Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, said County Attorney Susan Robson has finished reviewing agreements that might send waste for disposal to Butler County rather than being shipped to Perry, and that would result in paper and cardboard recycling.

Concerning the Butler County contract, Schmidt said Robson only suggested minor changes that Butler County is indicating will be acceptable.

Concerning the recycling contract with Sunoco, Schmidt said Robson only wanted a phrase saying matters would be conducted according to South Carolina law changed to Kansas law, so the issue, again, is probably minor in holding up an agreement.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he and Commission Chairman Bob Hein would not take any action on the contracts until Commissioner Dan Holub returns for the next commission meeting Nov. 24.

The commissioners were not to meet Nov. 17 for their usual weekly meeting because they would be attending the Kansas Association of Counties annual meeting.

Schmidt said mostly because of declining diesel-fuel prices, the cost per ton for hauling and landfill disposal of waste dropped to $39.95 for October from monthly costs that were running in the $40-plus range.

The county disposed of 1,003.7 tons of total waste in 49 hauls for October.

Schmidt said commercial and demolition waste is beginning to decline from highs this summer, although roofers tell him they are only half done with repairs because of hail storms.

Hein said delay also was warranted on any decision to contract with the firm of Swindoll, Jantzen, Hawke & Loyd?the county?s budget consultant and former auditor?because going with both that and another auditor could add more than $20,000 to the budget.

Dallke agreed, although he said there would be issues arising in the next four years that the the county would need to discuss with Scot Loyd of that firm.

Later, in teleconference, Loyd said he had thought the same thing, and believed it might be better just to leave his position with the county flexible according to need.

Dallke said that in many ways Loyd is acting as though he is a county employee, and that he is needed that way.

Although the county already undertook measures to rid the courthouse of mold, the commissioners said they are receiving complaints that the lower floor again smells of mold infestation. They approved paying $1,549 to American Metropolitan Environmental to collect samples for mold detection.

The commissioners approved three upland game bird hunts for youth and disabled groups at the old Marion County Landfill, two of them for Marion groups, and one for Formosa.

The commissioners delayed decision on road and bridge bids on a tractor with a boom mower running in the $100,000 range until Holub returns, because it involves an unexpected transfer from the blacktop fund for payment.

They awarded a competitive road and bridge transport fuel bid of $18,183 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of gasoline to Cardie Oil of Tampa over a bid of $18,670 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

Road and Bridge Director John Summerville said he has been told the Martin Marietta Aggregates quarry at Marion is running low on rock supply. According to quarry employees, he said, permanent rock supplies could run low with a reduced workforce needed in the future.

Despite that, Summerville said, the county should continue to benefit from having a local rock supply because the quarry at Florence is expected to open another 80 acres for stone excavation.

Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith said EMS will easily set a new record for ambulance runs in Marion County this year.

As of Oct. 31, the number of runs for the year stood at 958 compared to the record for all of 2005 of 1,024. The latter figure included 1,007 for the county and 17 for a Florence service that wasn?t included in the county system yet.

Last year EMS reported a total of 915 runs.

Smith said there were 110 ambulance runs in October, five first response runs, and one rescue run.

The ambulance runs included 16 from Peabody, five from Florence, four backup, 41 from Marion, 37 from Hillsboro and seven from Tampa. They included 20 transfers, two cardiac, 37 medical emergency, six standby, eight motor vehicle accidents, 10 falls, 24 no transports, two ?disregard? calls and one other.

The first-response runs included three from Goessel, one from Durham and one from Lincolnville.

Smith said he is working to update hours to recertify 51 crew members in December.

He said he is concerned that continuing state efforts to upgrade certification standards to professional levels will hurt the ability of rural counties like Marion in recruiting volunteer EMTs.

He expects a new Hillsboro ambulance ordered through Osage Ambulance/Keene Schaff to arrive Nov. 24.

He said Florence crew member Dave Miller was recognized for 37 years of service at a retirement party in October.

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