County considers repairs options for transfer station

Marion County commissioners discussed options with Bud Druse, director of the transfer station, about the best remedy for the county’s structural problems at the facility at its Sept. 27 meeting.

Commissioner Dianne Novak, at a previous meeting, requested they talk about the transfer station before something major happens.

In May, Druse told commissioners about the floors needing to be replaced and the roof was leaking. The cost to fix it was $278,000, he said.

At the time, Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said he wasn’t aware of the roof leaking.

Commissioner Kent Becker said he took a tour of the facility and saw the “flexing” that goes on when heavier trucks come in.

Four months ago, the commissioners said the transfer station will need to be discussed someday soon, but if the floor takes too much “flexing,” Dallke said, it will give out.

Contingency plan

If that happens, a contingency plan should be in place, Novak said.

One of the options discussed was spending $106,000 for a temporary building.

“It would be a place to dump trash,” Druse said.

The temporary facility could be a round top, he said, which is similar to what the state uses on road projects.

Dallke was concerned about doing a $500,000 fix on a building that in the future might not meet the needs of the community.

Marion City Adminis- trator Roger Holter joined them and said the land available for building is 2.5 times as large as the present location and offers greater flexibility without relocating the scale system.

Another option previously talked about was that all cities in Marion County be required to haul their own trash to McPherson or Butler counties.

“We would need permission from KDHE to do that because right now only Marion County is able to haul trash from here to the landfill,” Druse said.

Becker said, “Whatever we do, time is of the essence.”

Bruce Boettcher, a professional engineer and vice-president of BG Consultants in Emporia, said he was glad to know the county is looking at a long-term solution to this problem, and not as worried about the costs.

The commissioners plan to review the options and determine the best decision for the transfer station.

Radio project

Lester Kaiser, District 5 fire chief, who questioned why money can’t be used on the new 800 MHz radios at the Sept. 18 meeting, returned to discuss the matter.

Kaiser reiterated that he can’t understand if radios for all emergency responders at a cost of $700,000 can’t be picked up by the county when there’s a surplus of money in the amount of $15 million.

“Why is there hesitation from the commission to earmark money for this project?” he asked.

Dallke asked Kaiser how much he has set aside for buying radios for his district. Kaiser said his district can pay for the radios.

“Usually this is a county-funded project,” he said. “It is in Harvey and Riley counties.”

Novak said after she and Kaiser spoke about the radios last week, she wanted to bring up the fact that while she is in favor of buying the radios, she isn’t wanting to buy too many of them.

Novak said EMS is buying 68 radios, but some of those people are firefighters and EMTs.

It’s the duplication that she doesn’t favor.

“If we reduce a substantial number, we need to come to a workable solution,” she said.

Other business

In other business, the commission:

• heard from Diedre Serene, director of county health, regarding the purchase of a new freezer to store vaccines.

Some of the vaccines, she said, must stay lower than 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, she said. The freezer she is requesting is a TemPure at a cost of $1,095.

• reviewed a bid from APAC-Kansas Inc. for $113,000 for 22 lane miles, said Jesse Hamm, Road and Bridge superintendent.

A bid opening for the 330th Road project will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in commission chambers.

• questioned Hamm about training provided by the Kansas Department of Transportation regarding culverts, bridges and other road issues. Hamm said he would look at the KDOT site for more details, but he was informed about one recently and couldn’t spare any road crew members for the class.

• heard from Donella Humphries regarding concerns she has with the county attorney’s office and the lack of help in finding paperwork on her father’s trust. Humphries said the state attorney general’s office said she needed to talk with the local government (county commission) before coming to going to the state.

After discussing the problems, Dallke agreed to draft a letter to the Kansas attorney general’s office and request information.

• accepted money from Mike Beneke on behalf of his father’s memorial fund. Beneke said his father, Alfred Lawrence Beneke, wanted a portion of the memorial to be given to EMS and the new facility, formerly AutoHouse.