County considers round-about as part of jail site configuration

From flag poles to round-abouts, Marion County commissioners turned Monday to plans for the new county jail to be under construction beginning this fall.

Even as they talked, the county?s heavy equipment had begun removing a house off Fourth Street in Marion to make way for the new construction.

The commissioners said they were intrigued by initial architect?s alternative drawings that placed a round-about across Fourth from the jail to the courthouse in locations varying from north of the current jail to the turn to Marion City Library.

When Bruce Boettcher of BG Consultants told the commissioners his firm might be available for future planning, Commis?sioner Randy Dallke said, ?With the new jail being built, we?ll still have the old jail building on hand, and we may need it for offices and storage.?

Commissioner Dan Holub added, ?The building?s structure is sound, but the rest of it is not good.?

Holub said the old building probably will have to be gutted, and the interior rebuilt, to make it usable even though it could still provide economical, badly needed space for county offices.

Flag pole

County Clerk Carol Mag?gard?s news that the family who usually contracts to repaint the courthouse flagpole on high-rise ladder will be here this summer turned into a discussion instead of replacing the flagpole with matching three-flag pole sets, one for the courthouse and the other across the street at the jail.

Holub was to begin checking with veterans groups following the meeting to see where and at what cost the flag-pole sets might be available.

Sharing staff

After a half-hour executive session with Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator for the Department on Aging, the commissioners seemed to be setting a new program of some county employees being general workers for multiple departments instead of being specialists in one department.

They voted 3-0 to move Lanell Hett from being full-time in the Department on Aging to being half-time while also working half-time in departments yet to be designated.

Holub said that technically Hett is full-time with Aging, but she will be shared by other departments that are short-handed.

Dallke said the county is faced with a need to share employees among departments in order to retain workers without hiring as many new people.

?For Marion County to move forward, we have a need to diversify vocations,? Dallke said.

County lake issues

County Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson was asked by commissioners to develop a plan for using a motor-powered boat offered in donation as a public rental boat for the county before accepting it.

Hudson said the boat would open safety and use issues not associated with hand-powered craft now available for rent.

Hudson said the lake?s annual bluegrass concert is planned for June 18.

The commissioners discussed coming up with designated routes and signage to allow golf cart traffic for disabled persons at the county lake that could be done without violating state laws on public road use of the vehicles.

Commission chairman Roger Fleming said for public safety he would rather see the disabled allowed to use golf carts more than he would want to see persons using highway-legal electric scooters around the lake.

Road issues

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said county blacktop sealing projects this summer will include two miles of double seal from Kansas Highway 15 to Meridian, one mile of double seal on 120th from Alamo to Meridian, five miles of Old Mill from 60th to 10th, two miles of 60th from Nighthawk to Lime?stone, six miles of 140th from U.S. Highway 77 to Pawnee, one mile of Pawnee from U.S. Highway 56 to 200th, and 13 miles of Nighthawk from 19th U.S. Highway 50?if 10 miles of Sunflower from U.S. 50 to 170th isn?t chosen over it.

He said that roads to recycle for future surfacing will include Remington from 210th to 290th, and 340th from Xavier to Quail Creek.

Herzet, a Foley Tractor representative and the commissioners discussed options of purchasing or replacing three leased graders with prices beginning at about $102,000 per machine.

Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro was awarded a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $26,807 for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of gasoline over a competing bid of $26,886 from Cardie Oil Inc. at Tampa.

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