County resolution would allow for economical disposal of old buildings

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met with county department heads Monday to develop regulations for a resolution that would allow county residents to tear down an old building and dispose of it through the county transfer center for as little as a $50 inspection fee.

County Attorney Susan Robson is to put the regulations on paper for expected passage next Monday.

Other department heads meeting on the subject with commissioners included Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt, County Clerk Carol Maggard, Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards and Appraiser Cindy Magill.

The department heads and commissioners favored a $10,000 maximum disposal credit on 25 tons of commercial and demolition waste priced at $4 a ton, with 14 days to accomplish the demolition, a limit of 10 permits total in the county with one per household annually, and the last permit issue date of Nov. 30.

The applicant would pay $50 for an initial inspection visit, and perhaps a second $50 if a second visit was needed after demolition.

The program would be for one year subject to review in six months.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said the purpose from the county?s perspective would be to encourage replacing old houses and buildings with newer structures, and to help rid the county of deteriorating structures that are unattractive.

Magill said the program could also help residents get rid of old structures they don?t want having on the tax rolls. She said people are too often building new homes and abandoning old ones that deteriorate.

Commissioner Dan Holub said the C&D waste from the program would not be allowed to include concrete, rock, dirt or steel from structures that would add heavily to weight to be disposed of.

Dallke said, ?It will be a trial, not necessarily a permanent program.?

Robson said government shouldn?t get into ?picking and choosing? who is allowed to participate in the program, and it should be kept limited on a first-come, first-served basis.

Schmidt said he could keep track of disposals from individual permits, and shut the free disposal down when it hit 25 tons. Any financial losses to the county would come from Schmidt?s budget with permit fees going into the county general budget.

Holub said he wanted it understood that the program is for individuals, not for entities such as cities.

Records storage

District Court Clerk Jan Helmer, attorney Dan Baldwin, Roger Hannaford of Hannaford Abstract, and Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene met with the commissioners to discuss what to do with court records voluntarily overseen in storage by Hanna?ford on the second floor of the health department building in downtown Marion.

Dallke said recent inspections of the building stairway show it badly needs to be rebuilt. He said it would be expensive because it would have to be rebuilt to the specifications required for a government building.

Helmer said the records are on microfilm, but although they are vital to the court system, there no longer reel headers available to look at them easily. The court system puts new records on CD files, she said.

Helmer checked to see what it would cost to move the micro-film records, mostly from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s to CDs; the estimate was $74,000.

Helmer said, ?The court doesn?t often have to have access to them, but when we do, we really have to.?

Baldwin said since his firm was active in Marion County during the time frame of the records, he has to refer to them two or three times a year. He said the second floor of his building is in good condition, and that he would be willing to store the records there.

It was suggested that, considering the $74,000 investment CDs would require, the commissioners should invest in improving the building instead.

Holub said following government guidelines for restructuring such a building ?could eat us like a cancer.?

The commissioners agreed they at least need to get estimates for upgrading the staircase.

Office space

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said she is in great need of a larger office space than she has within road and bridge headquarters.

At one point the commissioners were considering the health department among options as to where she could go when she has to more than one meeting. The ambulance annex was also discussed as an option.

Health department upgrade

Commissioner Bob Hein suggested Serene get estimates for window sealing and carpets at the department.

Serene said the building may have to be reconfigured and possibly remodeled in the future to meet with potential regulations for accreditation under privacy rules for patients being considered by the state.

She estimated that space in the building could only be 75 percent in use with gains expected with rearrangement.

The commissioners approved signing off on an $8,572 state formula grant for fiscal 2010 based on population of the county.

Serene outlined grants she is applying for, but said she expects limitations because of state budget problems.

The commissioners approved a payment of $1,541.71 to the South Central Economic Development District, located in Wichita, as an administrative fee based on 7 percent of the payments returned by SKEED to the county?s micro-loan program for a small-business revolving fund.

The fund was originated through a $100,000 one-time Kansas Department of Commerce grant several years ago to assist businesses that can?t qualify for bank financing. The commissioners said it is self-perpetuating with no additional cost to the county.

Road and bridge

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet received approval to get a preliminary general estimate from Kirkham, Michael Inc., consulting engineers from Ellsworth, on putting a 6-inch overlay as a commercial route on the four miles of county road going into Tampa.

Holub said he is hearing comments from truck drivers and the cooperative at Tampa that the rock base already established by the county on the route appears to be holding up well.

Herzet said a ?rough ball-park figure just off the top of the head? placed the cost of 6-inch, four-mile overlay at $1.6 million.

The commissioners said they wished they could get help from the state to do an 8-inch overlay.

Hein said, ?It will take 6 inches just to keep up with the truck traffic.?

Property valuation

Magill said county valuations will be mailed March 15. She said commercial values will be down?residential values will be mixed but about the same except in Hillsboro, where sales have been slow ?but coming in on price.?

She said according to new information from Wichita State University, the housing market in the nation bottomed out the first quarter of 2009, and now seems to be ?regaining.?

The commissioners approved Magill changing an annual maintenance contract to Vital Safe of Salina at $472 instead of continuing with a contract for $675 with Retrieval Systems of Wichita.

They also gave permission for $507 in repairs to replace a machine system file door through Vital System.

Other business

The commissioners approved a $19,485 transport fuel bid from Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro over a $19,492 competitive bid from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa for 6,000 gallons of diesel and 2,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

They approved a bid of $182 per tire from Rod?s Tire & Service of Hillsboro for four 10-ply pickup tires over competitive bids of $221.90 from Cardie Oil and $222 from Peabody Co-op.

Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said framing on the County Lake Hall insulation project should be completed Wednesday.

He has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. April 17 for the lake handicap jetty, built in part with a $2,588 grant from the Kansas Depart?ment of Health and Environ?ment.

The commissioners approved the City of Florence collecting trash at the lake starting April 1.

Steve Smith, Emergency Medical Services director, said the county 103 ambulance runs in February, 17 from Peabody, eight from Florence, 40 from Marion, 33 from Hillsboro and five from Tampa.

There were six first response runs: three from Goessel, one from Durham and two from Lincolnville.

Dickinson County is asking Marion County for the recycling trailer it loaned back by the end of the month unless Marion County wants to buy it, Schmidt said.

Holub said he will ask Dickinson County for an extension on the deadline with Marion County paying compensation while Marion County decides on a recycling program.

Holub and Hein both said they are getting public response favorable to recycling so far.

Huffman reported she and volunteers gave away 500 Marion County information bags at the boat show and the garden show in Wichita last weekend.

The commissioners awarded an air conditioning installation bid of $5,200 to KVK Inc. of Woodbine for the communications center at the jail over competitive bids of $6,585 from Flamings Inc. of Marion and $9,440 from Suffield Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Marion.

Sheriff Rob Craft said the old system wasn?t cooling adequately.

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