County to leave fireworks decisions to local fire depts.

Rather than impose a ban on Fourth of July fireworks during the current hot and dry weather, Marion County commissioners asked during Friday?s payday meeting that local fire departments and the public use ?common sense? in considering the variable moisture levels in each area for fire safety.

In a related decision, all three commissioners said they didn?t want to discourage young people from training with volunteer fire departments, but they couldn?t accept the liability of persons 14 and under helping to fight fires.

They voted 3-0 to have County Attorney Susan Robson write a cease and desist letter to fire departments in the county about allowing juveniles to participate in fighting fires.

Commis?sioners approved payday vouchers totaling $2,445,235. County Clerk Carol Maggard said the high figure was due to unusual payouts, such as the road construction projects on both sides of Kansas Highway 15 west of Tampa.

She reported average sales tax receipts of $50,853 in regular sales tax and $45,095 in jail-assessment sales tax. Both were collected by merchants in April, paid to the state in May and disbursed to the counties in June.

Commissioners Randy Dallke and Dan Holub both said they were pleased that the jail tax is nearly what it was projected to be to meet construction expenses at the half-way point of the year.

Agricultural Extension Agent Rickey Roberts presented commissioners with a $133,750 budget request for 2013. He said the budget represents a 3.25 percent increase with a 2 percent increase for salaries. Commis?sioners said the salary increase is in line with other county budget requests.

The commissioners told Roberts they would consider offering him use of a county vehicle, which he didn?t request but acknowledged it would be helpful.

Roberts said the extension service pays him mileage for using his personal vehicle, but it isn?t always suited for the work he does. He said when he goes to something with other county department personnel, he often rides with them in a county vehicle.

Roberts said he has received another request from Dickinson County asking their counterparts in Marion County to consider combining extension service for both counties for broader service and budgeting.

Candace Anderson-Dixon, executive director for the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Center, asked commissioners to consider including the agency in county funding for 2013. She said in 2010 the agency acted in 36 Marion County cases to protect women and children from spousal abuse and five cases to protect from harassment associated with Kansas Bureau of Investigation actions.

The agency also has assisted male victims of abuse, Ander?son-Dixon said.

She also asked for recommendations in locating an office in Marion County where a counselor might come for an hour to meet with persons in need.

For comparisons, Anderson-Dixon said her agency is receiving $9,000 annually from McPherson County, $3,000 from Rice, $5,000 from Kingman and is Harper County is considering a for $6,000.

She said in Harper County, cases of domestic violence associated with casino gambling are increasing rapidly.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said he would like to see the county do more ?to help people who seek help.?

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said his department has completed an obligation to overlay a driveway with 70 tons of asphalt for the Ron Jirak family at 1468 290th Road. He said he sent Jirak a letter of apology for not acting on the matter sooner in consideration of the family?s provision of a site for road materials storage.

Crawford and commissioners will meet with Gary Farlow, railroad specialist with the Kansas Department of Transportation, at 10 a.m. July 12 two miles southwest of Peabody followed at 11:30 a.m. on the east edge of Peabody to consider railroad crossing signal projects.

The commissioners awarded Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro a transport fuel bid for $23,833 for 5,000 gallons of diesel and 3,000 gallons of gasoline, plus an area fuel bid of $19,093.25 for 6,550 gallons diesel over competitive bids from Cardie Oil Inc. at Tampa of $24,192.50 and $19,450.15 respectively.

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