County may offer reward for vandalism tip

The Marion County Commis?sion Monday tentatively decided it will be offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of vandals who damaged a road-and-bridge high loader last week on Kanza Road north of the French Creek Bridge coming into Marion Reservoir.

The commissioners said they first want to work with County Attorney Susan Robson and Communications and Emergency Management Director Michele Abbott to develop an anonymous telephone line for persons who might provide information.

The commissioners said part of what bothers them about this crime in particular is the level of damage the vandals attempted to inflict.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said the vandals actually took the fuel filter off, filled it with dirt, and put it back on.

?This was no kids? crime,? Commissioner Dan Holub said.

Herzet said he hasn?t seen insurance estimates yet, and the road-and-bridge shop is still working on the machine, but he is guessing damage will be in the $6,000 to $7,000 range.

FEMA options

Abbott told the commissioners that all government entities, including the county, municipalities, school districts and townships, should be aware that the Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives will be at the courthouse at 10 a.m. Aug. 25 to determine June and July flood damages.

Abbott said FEMA has determined that any level of government in Marion County may be eligible for flood aid.

Abbott expects to bring in an emergency-management trailer to provide generator backup while other power is off at the jail and communications center for 15 minutes to hook up a new county campus generator.

She reported to the commissioners that cell-phone use for 911 calls was up to 77 percent as compared to land lines in August, bringing average cell use to 68 percent for 2010 as compared to 58 percent in 2009.

Abbott said cellular phones are increasingly replacing land lines in homes. She warned that families with children should be cautioned to reconsider if they really want to not have land lines because children more often can find the land line in a home to make a 911 call.

Road projects

Herzet said the road and bridge crew is tearing up 40th Road by Burns to lay a better base under it, and will be moving to Goessel Road to do the same.

He will be meeting with TransCanada Keystone Pipeline representatives to assess damages to the Pilsen Road before restructuring begins there.

Commissioners directed Tonya Richards, planning and zoning and environmental health director, to have a sheriff?s officer hand deliver communication to a violator who is refusing to pick up certified mail.

Plan for lake cabins

Chris and Heather Holub met with the commissioners to make a proposal they have developed with their sisters and partners, Molly and Tamra Holub, to build log siding cabins at Marion County Lake.

Dan Holub, who is their father, removed himself from the commission proceeding in case of conflict of interest.

Chris Holub said the partners are looking at building an initial three or four 16-by-24-foot cabins with full kitchen and bathroom facilities in one of several locations, perhaps with others to follow in all locations.

The cabins would be landscaped with trees, bushes and flowers, and each would have a fire pit in front, he said.

Rather than run the cabin operation themselves, Chris Holub said the group most likely would contract help for things such as construction, maintenance, housekeeping and office oversight giving preference for Marion County contractors.

He said areas favored for locating the cabins include west of the heated dock, by the lake office or north of the trailers.

Heather Holub said they would take care not to obstruct views from other dwellings on the lake.

Chris Holub said use of the cabins would be allowed daily or for more prolonged stays, but it hasn?t been decided yet if there should be a maximum stay such as perhaps six months.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said prolonged stays could bring more problems as people might move in personal belongings and pets.

Commissioner Bob Hein said the cabins could be used for more prolonged stays such as when Keystone was looking for places for its crews to stay during pipeline construction.

Heather Holub asked the commissioners consider whether they might help with installation of sewage and other utility lines as an investment to open up the area for other developments.

Dallke said the area by the heated dock would require a sewage lift station.

Both Commissioner Bob Hein and Park Director Steve Hudson said parking for the cabins could be worked out.

The Holubs asked what might be considered for the lease rate of county property. The commissioners said they would want a plan and layout of the cabins before making further decisions.

Dallke said, ?I would hate to see you invest money in this and not have a firm understanding of what might be ahead. I would like you to do a layout of the entire area.

?Let?s look at the costs and the rental rates to see what can be done. If there?s a sewer to be there, we want to be sure it can handle it.?

?We want to see a plan,? Hein said.

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