County commission approves bait shop

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met on Monday where they heard from Isaac Hett, Park and Lake Superintendent, who brought a budget proposal for the bait shop that was proposed last week.

“All of the outlets and the wiring in the wall are fine. The problems are in the ceiling and we may need new wiring for the lights in the office. It sounds like there was a bunch of extra wiring in the ceiling,” said Hett.

Hett said he believed they would need about $1,000 for groceries.

After checking with local bait shops, Hett found that most people seem to get their bait supplies from a bait shop called Bill’s Outdoor Sports in McPherson. Hett called the shop and discovered that they can deliver orders every Tuesday when they are already in the area.

“For lake items, we just have basic items there such as life jackets, fire extinguishers and other items that are required to have on boats,” said Hett. “We could also do t-shirts and hats or items that say Marion County Lake on them if we wanted to do that.”

Hett has also looked into inventory systems and other services needed in order to conduct business and run credit cards. He looked at three different systems and found they all ran between $50-$75.

“We will probably do a lot of inventory swapping the first year based on customer feedback,” said Hett.

Hett is also checking into propane and batteries for companies that would set everything up and maintain it.

It appears it would be a start-up cost of $10,000 or $15,000 with the electrical work that needs to be done although Mueller stated that the electrical work should be done regardless and not held against a bait shop.

The commissioners voted unanimously for the bait shop to move forward but not to exceed $15,000 (with electrical costs separate of this).

Mueller said that this move will enhance the lake experience for those who use the lake. Money made from the shop will go back into the improvements at the lake. An improved lake experience also has potential to draw more visitors to Marion County which could lead to more business.

COVID-19 Update

Diedre Serene, Marion County Health Administrator’s COVID-19 report stated that there are currently only 2 positive cases and no hospitalizations. Serene informed the commission that there will continue to be vaccinations available. Those interested can call the health department or sign up online on the county website. Information can also be found on the health department’s facebook.

Road and Bridge

Goebel reported that he has a FEMA meeting this week to discuss issues from the flooding in 2019.

Goebel also explained that the company doing asphalt paving and rock crushing work on county roads is asking for payment on some of the work that has already been done in order to free up some cash flow.

“The original plan was to have it all done by April 1, and I honestly didn’t see a problem with it getting done by them. But the weather has caused all kinds of problems with generators and other equipment.

He is contracted to do about 40,000 tons. He has done about 5,000 tons,” said Goebel. “I feel bad for him with all of these problems.”

Commissioner Dave Mueller asked Goebel if he was pleased with the work that has been done and Goebel said he was.

County Clerk Tina Spencer stated that the man had come in and requested the full amount of around $25,500.

The commission discussed if there is a need to get a different contractor but decided to move forward with the current contractor unless he is unable to complete the project.

The commission suggested approving the amount contingent on completing the project. Goebel said he will follow up with the contractor this week and then with County Counselor Brad Janz for any legal documents needed.

Planning/Zoning/Env. Health

Director Sharon Omstead told the commissioners that the Planning and Zoning Committee did not meet last month due to a lack of agenda items.

She also updated the board on three reduction plan applications that were submitted. The first was for the Strassburg Baptist Church parsonage that was torn down for 7.32 tons. The county forgave $253 of that expense. The second application was for a dilapidated house removal at the county lake for a total of 11.33 tons. The county forgave $396.55. The third application was for a house on North Elm street in Peabody that was destroyed in a fire. The total tonage was 27.25. The county forgave $875.

Omstead said, “I would like to request a variance from KDHE from doing quarterly methane reports from our closed county landfill out on Pawnee Road. We haven’t had a methane level present at that landfill since we started monitoring methane levels around 20 years ago so twice a year or even once a year would be sufficient,” said Omstead.

The board gave approval for Omstead to move forward with her request.

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