County receives ?awesome offer? from Missouri road contractor

Marion County has received what county commissioner Dan Holub called ?a pretty awesome offer? from a Mount Vernon, Mo., company called Blevins Asphalt that did hard surfacing of county roads last year.

The Marion County Board of Commissioners had asked Blevins to make amends for last year?s crack-and-seal job that resulted in weeks of dust from limestone gravel used in the project.

The commissioners were handed a letter by Jim Herzet, road and bridge director, from Blevins at the Friday, April 30, payday meeting offering to do just that.

The commissioners voted to accept the offer, which Chairman Randy Dallke said amounts to a $275,000 credit to the county.

?This is an amazing offer, and we accept this with appreciation to this Missouri company that is making a big step for working with Marion County,? Dallke said.

In short, Adam Boswell, vice president of Blevins Asphalt, offered at no charge to chip and seal all 30 to 40 miles of county roads proposed for the work this year, as long as the county provides the materials.

Boswell wrote: ?I was recently made aware of an issue with the chip and seal road project we completed last year. I personally met with Jim Herzet, and after driving the project with him, we mutually feel that the rock is the main culprit at hand.

?The quarry and rock type was specified in the bid documents to be used on this project. The rock was dirty, and had too much lime. Therefore, the lime stuck to the oil rather than the rock sticking to the oil.

?With that being said we propose the following to resolve any issues, and to maintain a good working relationship with the county:

?Blevins Asphalt would like to be the awarded contractor to supply all labor and equipment to place chip and seal for the county on all of the roads this year. Marion County would supply the materials.

?In return, Blevins Asphalt will supply all labor and equipment at no cost to Marion County, the repairs to the double chip and seal on both roads completed in 2009?.?

Boswell added his thanks to the commission for the 2009 work, said he found working with Marion County hosts and citizens ?a joy,? and noted that he looked forward to a continued relationship in the future.

Dallke and Holub both said such willingness to make amends, and stand behind work as this company has done, are ?unfortunately? rarities in this era.

Holub said, ?We were finally kissed by heaven.?

Sales tax down

Dallke and Holub officiated at the $994,304 payday meeting with Commissioner Bob Hein absent because of an extended illness.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said the payday figure was higher than normal because this is the time for the county to make quarterly payments for mental health, mentally handicapped, the county fair, the soil conservation district and the county extension offices.

She gave what she said was ?kind of a disappointing? sales tax figure of $39,916.01 paid to merchants in February, collected by the state in March and dispersed to counties in April. It was the lowest monthly figure since March 2007.

Maggard said that leaves the county down $22,863 for the year to date compared to last year with a sales tax total of $176,376.

The total for the entire 12 months of last year was $600,165 which was $23,937 ahead of 2008 collections.

Maggard said according to figures from the treasurer?s office, the county?s total cash position March 31 was $11,753,178.

She said interest earned by the county for the year to that date totaled $31,036.02.

Expenditures from the treasurer?s special auto fund for the first quarter were at $2,070.

Other business

The commissioners voted to put $37,352 in encumbrances back into the general budget. Both of them said they didn?t want any tendencies for department heads to hold back encumbrances allowed for one purpose to be used for another purpose, a ?use it or lose it attitude.?

County Attorney Susan Robson received permission to get bids of $5,000 or less to replace an aged counter with furniture that might have more storage space. This included $4,500 already in budget plus another $500 allowed if needed.

The commissioners voted to approve the county?s solid waste plan and the regional solid waste plan as required in annual review by the state.

They also directed Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, to contact Stutzman Refuse Disposal of Hutchinson to discuss collection of a county single waste stream of recyclables.

Schmidt reported that an April 29 storm blew a tar paper roof off the transfer station office, damaging papers and soaking computer equipment.

He will be meeting with the insurance company to set a damage total, and recoup damages after new roofing bids are set.

The commissioners told Schmidt to go ahead with a little more than $3,500 in transfer station skid loader tire replacements, although the current skid loader soon will serve as backup for a new skid loader to be delivered.

The commissioners awarded split road and bridge area fuel bids with Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa awarded a bid of $7,248.13 for 2,950 gallons of diesel in areas 1 and 2 over a competitive bid of $7,310.10 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

CG&S was awarded a bid of $8,888.40 for 3,600 gallons of diesel in areas 3 and 4 over a bid of $8,917.20 from Cardie.

Cardie received the entire bid for road and bridge transport fuel bids of $21,183 for 5,000 gallons of clear diesel and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline over a competitive bid of $21,183 from CG&S.

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