County signs recycling deal with Sunoco

The Marion County Commission voted 2-1 Monday to sign a five-year contract with Sunoco of Hutchinson to begin recycling in the county.

County Commissioner Randy Holub was the dissenting vote because, he said, it wasn?t clear whether the move would save or cost the county money.

Under the contract, Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt said Sunoco, a national company that uses recycled paper in its manufacturing, would provide the county with a baler and pick up the recycled products.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said, as he has upon occasions before, that the county needs to move forward with recycling as a measure eventually to save money. Nobody can predict, he said, exactly how the effort will work out in detail without actual experience.

Commissioner Bob Hein made the motion to sign the contract with Holub seconding.

Schmidt and Hein, as the county?s representatives to the Regional Solid Waste Authority, said they believe it would be in the county?s interest to stay in the group for another five years to aid in meeting the strategic waste plan required by the state.

Holub said he is disturbed that the authority wants to review applications to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a commercial and demolition waste landfill at the Martin Marietta Quarry north of Marion.

Holub said other counties have proceeded with their own waste plans independently of the authority, and that Marion County should be given the respect to do the same.

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman reported she has 34 volunteers, ?so far,? from Florence, Marion, Goessel, Peabody and Goessel working on the Symphony On The Prairie to be on a ranch near Florence June 13.

She said events surrounding the performance by the Kansas City Symphony actually begin June 12 with vendors and entertainers in Florence for an event that drew 30,000 persons to Council Grove last year.

Huffman said, ?I am highly encouraged so far.?

The commissioners said they are encouraged by the progress of the event,too, but Dallke and Holub said they also are deeply disturbed that the group of volunteers doesn?t include participants from every community of the county.

Holub said, ?We all say we want economic development for the whole county. This is an event that will bring money and people in for everyone in the county. There?s even a person from McPherson, and McPherson will benefit.

?But we have people here who only want to work in development when it?s only for them individually or for their own community. They seem to just want a piece of the county?s money.

?It?s wrong, wrong, wrong! They need to help for the good of everybody.?

The commissioners approved allocating Huffman another $2,500 from sales tax for promotion of the symphony. They allocated the same amount in 2008.

County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman said the county cash position the end of December was close to $16.9 million, but nearly $5 million of that has been dispersed.

The funds included $2.1 million in the county general fund and $823,800 in road and bridge, she said.

Bateman reported that 57 percent of ad valorem property taxes due the county for dispersement to all governmental units in the county were collected by the end of the year, totaling nearly $8.9 million.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said the county has received notice that the water tower at Florence is being considered for state and federal historic registrars.

The commissioners decided to table action seeking annual transport fuel bids for road and bridge after a meeting with Chad Nowak of Cooperative Grain both to study prices and fuel usage, and to be fair to Cardie Oil as the company that usually competes on bidding.

Nowak suggested letting Cardie supply fuel at tanks 1 and 2, and Cooperative Grain at tanks 3 and 4 as the sites closest to each of the competitors for the best business planning.

The commissioners discussed contracting 35,000 to 40,000 gallons of the county?s estimated 70,000 gallons of fuel used annually for road and bridge.

They also discussed using higher priced No. 1 diesel for winter versus No. 2 diesel used for summer during heavier work load when higher volumes are burned.

The commissioners approved new zoning and subdivision regulations presented by Planning Director Bobbi Strait.

The regulations delete previous language that would have removed zoning approval for manufactured housing not lived in for a while in favor of language that allows continued approval of the structures as long as current use isn?t changed from residential.

Ben Steketee, Hillsboro fire chief, asked the commissioners to contribute $750 of an additional $1,500 needed for purchase of metal cutters for accident use on trade-back of new cutters previously purchased for $5,500.

He explained that when demonstrated, the first cutters appeared to cut adequately, but had proved not strong enough when used on a car at an accident scene.

Dallke said although he was drawn toward approving the money, he couldn?t do it because he wants planning for funds distribution throughout all county departments.

The other two commissioners voted against him to draw the requested funds from sales tax.

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