County lake director sees new projects

Maybe it?s because Marion County Park & Lake Director Steve Hudson has had a good run at preventing a zebra mussel infestation for the last decade?while Marion Reservoir has had one?that he?s feeling optimistic about moving ahead on new projects.

Hudson told the Marion County Board of Commis?sioners Monday that not having the mussels isn?t for lack of use.

Boaters from out of town unfamiliar with situations here typically try to move boats from the reservoir to the lake in high-wind conditions. But they seem to understand, once it?s explained, why they need to have boats inspected for mussels before putting them in the lake, Hudson said.

Still, it?s only a matter of time before the dreaded day arrives when the mussels arrive at the lake with sharp edges that can cut feet or other objects.

The Cottonwood River already has the mussels, Hudson said.

Still, increasing use and demand at the county lake makes Hudson ready to move on with projects such as adding four more campsites across the finger of the lake at the swimming area.

Although he doesn?t have a bid for the project yet, Hud?son told commissioners that it can probably be done from a capital outlay fund that has built up to $113,338 over three years, with only $3,000 for a riding mower taken from it, and from a separate $50,000 line for improvements.

Hudson intends to get bids from local dealers for a used half-ton pickup truck that, among other things, can be used to tow the mower to different locations.

Hudson said he also will solicit bids for replacing air conditioners in the Lake Hall and electrical work in the mobile home area.

After reviewing Director Ashlee Gann?s work with Families and Communities Together, the commissioners approved allocating FACT $6,000 for 2016 just as they did for 2015.

The commissioners met for more than an hour of multiple executive sessions for personnel with Hudson before allowing him time off to compensate for extra summer-time hours.

Also involved in executive sessions were Road and Bridge Director Randy Craw?ford, Economic Develop?ment Director Teresa Huffman and, for client-attorney privilege, with County Attorney Susan Robson.

Mike Beneke, feedlot operator from northeastern Marion County, told commissioners his insurance companies have told him he has adequate coverage if he wants to grade roads himself.

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