County moves ahead with recycling plan

Marion County commissioners Monday approved by 3-0 vote to begin an intensified collection of waste recycling materials such as plastics, glass and cans through acquisition of six Dump?sters, a special Dumpster trailer and reconstruction of the transfer station floor toinclude area for recyclables dumping.

Larger cities in the county, such as Hillsboro and Marion, the commissioners said, most likely will be asked to truck recyclable wastes to the transfer station in Marion while the portable Dumpsters would be placed for pickup in smaller communities.

Solid Waste and Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt, accompanied by transfer station workers, assured commissioners they were ready to begin work on the program as soon as the commissioners approved it.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said that before he was willing to join in the approval, he wanted it included in the motion that the transfer station upgrade would begin before or concurrent with purchase of trailers.

Schmidt?s major concern was having a large enough truck to transport loaded Dumpsters to the transfer station. The concern was addressed by Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford, who said his department could periodically loan a large truck for the service.

Commissioner Dan Holub repeatedly said it is in the interest of Marion County to get a program started even if the program is developed as it goes along.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said continued development of the program will be necessary if communities such as his own home of Peabody want to change how things are done.

Dallke was joined by the other two commissioners in predicting more Dumpsters will need to be purchased as the program grows.

Crawford showed a photo of what might be called an unusual find of solid waste, a more than seven-foot boa constrictor killed by members of one of his crews near Burns.

Attendees can make donations to throw a ball and dunk a commissioner the evening of July 24 at the county fair. They also can make dollar donations for a commissioner to kiss a pig at the demolition derby July 26.

Bets at Monday?s meeting seemed to be highest on Holub raising the most money.

Holub said he would prefer a small pig.

The commissioners approved paying $1,000 to assist with band entertainment at the fair.

Emergency Management Director Steve Smith and Sheriff Rob Craft joined commissioners in discussing how the county might reorganize its emergency management director post that handles 911 calls and disaster events such as tornados and terrorist attacks in the future.

They took special note of what counties such as Phillips, Smith and especially Rice do to handle the position with the job, some being full-time and others not.

Smith said although Rice has a similar-sized population to Marion County at 12,000 people, it pays its ambulance attendants. Marion County relies on volunteer EMTs.

Craft said law enforcement officers also qualified in emergency medical services often must offer emergency service first, even in those situations that involve enforcing law.

The commissioners approved proceeding with installation of a 6-foot concrete fence in back of the new county jail.

Regarding the 2014 budget, Health Department Administrator Deidre Serene and the commissioners noted the difficulty in adjusting any county contributions downward because the state is also likely to reduce what it contributes to the county budget.

In executive session for personnel, the commissioners said they had approved one employee in the appraiser?s office donating accumulated sick leave time to another employee with less leave accumulation in order to assist that person in dealing with illness.

The commissioners approved Appraiser Cindy Magill saving money by leasing an upgraded mapping printer to handle higher public demand at $151.34 a month compared to the former price of $236.20.

Magill explained that this is a case where improving technology is upgrading service plus saving money.

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