County mill-levy increase proposed for 2010 budget drops below 1.0

The projected mill-levy increase for Marion County in 2010 was lowered Friday to .071 mills, slightly over $7,000.

The change was the result of a work team from the county clerk?s office going through the budget line by line, then joining the Board of Commissioners? payday meeting with budget consultant Scot Loyd.

The preliminary mill levy given the previous Monday was 1.697 mills, so Loyd, who is with the McPherson firm of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd, said the new estimate is good news for the county.

The clerk?s team, commissioners and Loyd were going through the budget again line by line with the hope of completing the process by Tuesday.

In other business, the commissioners approved lowering the speed limits on 330th, the east-west road north of Tampa, and Limestone, the north-south road south of Tampa?the main entry-ways into the town?to 45 mph until hard surfacing is completed in the future. The intent is to reduce dust from the gravel.

Commissioners said they will ask the sheriff?s office to strictly enforce the new limit.

They also authorized road and bridge department putting sand on the road through Tampa to reduce dust for an upcoming softball tournament.

The commissioners authorized a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons who moved road barriers from the Tampa roads, and placed them on Quail Creek.

The culprits also stole the warning lights from barriers.

John Summerville, road and bridge superintendent, said putting the barriers where a motorist could have struck them in the dark created a dangerous situation.

County Clerk Carol Maggard announced a ?very good? sales tax report, ?the highest since before 2002,? of $50,271.42, which compared to $43,052.73 for the same period last year. The taxes were for May, collected by the state in June, and dispersed in July. This brought the total for sales taxes collected for the year to $345,639.68?$22,428.48 ahead of last year.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said there could be a dark side to the sales taxes collected because at least a part comes from increased prices for goods and services.

The commissioners reviewed the latest plan?developed under the leadership of Dickinson County to also include Marion, Clay and Marshall counties?to present a united front of regulatory planning for the building of the Transcanada Keystone oil sands pipeline from Canada to Oklahoma.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said the agreement specifies such things as what to do about bridges if they won?t take the weight of Keystone activity, damage to roads, and who will be responsible for adding gravel to roads and for trimming trees.

He said Keystone will use large trucks, each hauling two 80-foot lengths of 36-inch pipe for high tonnage on roads. He also said roads will need to carry large bulldozers and other equipment.

Cardie Oil of Tampa was awarded a $12,392.55 road and bridge area fuel bid over a competitive bid of $12,516.20 from Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro.

The commissioners authorized Rollin Schmidt, solid-waste transfer station director, to purchase a 10-bin trailer for recycling from Pro-Tainer of Alexandra, Minn., for $17,058.

He will investigate borrowing a trailer from McPherson County to run routes in the meantime.

Schmidt said the trailer the county has used was on loan from Harvey County, and was returned.

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