County opts to own equipment outright

The Marion County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to pay off $250,000 for two road graders leased from Foley Equip­ment in a move to depart from lease programs in favor of owning equipment.

They noted that they hoped the commitment would continue into next year when buying another grader and a heavy dump truck for road and bridge.

Road and Bridge Superin­tendent Jesse Hamm said he and Tom Holub, shop foreman, had decided to recommend to the commissioners that they do their own grader maintenance program.

The commissioners and Hamm said they hoped the effort could continue to pay off all leases through 2019.

The commissioners determined that mowing at the Florence school, which is now county property after selling it to private bidders failed, probably will not need to be done more than twice a month.

On that basis, they approved a bid from Weber Tree Service to mow the property for $125 the first time and $125 each time after that against competitive bids from Taylor Land Clearing to mow it first for $200 and subsequent times for $100 each time, and Mark Austin to mow it first for $185 and each subsequent time for $145.

County Appraiser Ray Cook recommended to the commissioners that they continue with the McCully Co. appraising contract with its in-built comparison to similar counties for an unchanged annual price of $19,700. The commissioners approved the recommendation.

Bud Druse, director of noxious weed, household hazardous waste, transfer station and recycling, said he has been certified for spraying herbicide on right-of-ways.

Following an inspection of trees on the courthouse grounds, the commissioners were told that a rotted locust tree was removed, a catalpa tree is recommended to be removed in about three years, and the large linden trees on the west side are recommended to be removed right away.

After approving zoning changes recommended by the zoning committee, the commissioners met in executive session for personnel five minutes with Zoning Director Emma Tajchman.