County gives quail group green light to till up grass to attract wildlife

Dale Ehlers, representing the county chapter of Quail Forever, received the permission of the Marion County commissioner Monday to till up grass at more than 100 feet from the county landfill southwest of Marion to plant grain crops for wildlife.

The commissioners told Ehlers that for additional crop area, his group could also remove trees that were killed or injured by spraying in the attempt to eradicate a state designated noxious weed, sericea lespedeza.

Ehlers said tillage could help further eliminate the lespedeza.

Commissioner Dan Holub asked Ehlers see if the Quail Forever group would be interested in developing a shooting range for kids at the landfill area to help them learn proper use of shotguns, archery and BB guns.

Teresa Huffman, economic development director, assured commissioners that grant funds received by Marion County for possible development of a Flint Hills commercial kitchen would be well spent. She said the kitchen would be used for education and to attract people and business here. The money also benefits other counties with Marion assuming financial responsibility, she added.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said he has had business people question the location of such a facility on county property when they have commercial locations that might work.

He doubted whether there would be any way for the county to carry on with such a facility in the future without a continuous renewal of state grant funds.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said Huffman should be careful to consider whether the commercial kitchen continues to fall within her area of responsibility.

Emergency Management Director Dan D?Albini said the need for the awareness of severe weather and tornadic conditions in the county apparently is growing with 102 participants showing up for storm spotters training in March compared to 90 last year.

The commissioners received state notice that Marion County residents remain in a burn ban through April to reduced smoke pollution.

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said he will follow through on a request from Holub for new oil surfacing on the Pilsen Road coming into Pilsen from the Durham-Lincolnville Road to the north. The action would be in preparation for spring traffic coming from U.S. Highway 77 to the Father Emil Kapaun memorial.

Both Fleming and Dallke said the road project is among the more affordable things the county can do to ease the traffic situation, although they acknowledged it makes it more difficult for some county communities to profit from the influx of people.

The commissioners approved a request from the state through Sheriff Rob Craft to proclaim April 14-20 National Public Safety and Telecommunications Week.

The commissioners approved a request for installing railroad signals from Union Pacific Railroad at its junction with 370th after a railroad representative assured them it is being done entirely with federal funding in a separate project from the signals being installed at 360th.

The commissioners approved a bid of $57,456 from Roofing Services of Newton for roofing on the courthouse.
















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