Deputy Jim Philpott appointed as first county jailer in new facility


Jim Philpott is moving from being a deputy sheriff to an appointment as the county jailer, effective the end of March.

Sheriff Rob Craft made the announcement Monday at the Marion County Commission meeting.

Although prisoners aren’t expected in the new Marion County Jail until late summer, Craft said Philpott’s early appointment gives him time to be in on the physical finishing of the facility—everything from electrical wiring to water pipes—to be more knowledgeable regarding future maintenance.

“He won’t do repairs,” Craft said, “but he’ll have the knowledge to know what and where it is to know who to get to fix it.”

With the new position, Philpott actually will take a pay cut from $16.30 an hour to $15.30, Craft said.

Rollin Schmidt, director of the transfer station, household waste and recycling, discussed with commissioners the possibility of having the transfer station open later on Thursdays and Fridays instead of having it open Saturdays. The topic was suggested by Commissioner Roger Fleming.

Schmidt said because of the hours employees are allowed to work, he has been able to keep only one employee working at the station on Saturday, and that person can be overwhelmed by the increasing volume of seasonal spring cleaning waste coming in.

Schmidt said on waste tonnage data for last month, a higher per-ton disposal cost of $42.60 a ton actually is good news because it indicates the county is delivering fewer tons for a higher rate at the landfill because of savings in such things as alternative disposal of recyclable items.

The transfer station processed 400.71 tons of solid waste last month, including 358.31 tons of municipal solid waste, 9.9 tons of white goods, and 0.88 ton of tires.

Commissioner Randy Dallke asked Randy Crawford, road and bridge director—in the interest of fairness the commissioners owe communities throughout the county—to advertise for summer help in the newspapers even though three positions have been filled from a list on hand.

Dan D’Albini, Emergency Management director, told commissioners there is a statewide burn ban for non-agricultural items from April 1 to April 30 to reduce the amount of smoke in the air while pasture burning is going on.

Fleming said he has received questions from the public, including the Tabor College administration, about who in the county is in charge of storm sirens given concerns that Hillsboro had a “near-miss” from a funnel cloud in the air earlier this year when sirens weren’t sounded.

D’Albini said storm sirens aren’t a county function, but are operated independently in each city of the county usually by fire departments or police.

A problem can develop, Fleming said, when the weather watch people depend on Wichita, and sources there let interest decline for what is happening in more sparsely populated counties when Sedgwick County is in the clear.

The commissioners approved, 3-0, spending $38,618 in 911 funds for equipment for three emergency communications stations upon request by Linda Klenda, interim director of communications.

The commissioners gave assenting agreement to Register of Deeds Jo Ottensmeier putting deed transactions from the 1800s on hard drive for $125 as backup besides continuing with putting the deeds on hard drive.

Ottensmeier is doing so to protect the aged paper copies in response to increased demand for them from oil leasing interests.

Steve Smith, Emergency Management director, said ambulance crews need to stock insulin supplies and become schooled in their use because of the increasing number of diabetic emergency calls received.

He said ambulance crews must administer diabetic emergency doses at an average cost of $108.50 in ad valorem tax money per in-county resident patient although persons from out-of-county are expected to pay costs themselves.

The commissioners approved transfer of lots seized for non-payment of taxes where speculative auction buyers didn’t pay the county for them to the cities of their locations in Lost Springs, Tampa and Lincolnville to use for free distribution to persons willing to build homes on them.

The commissioners joined other governments around the state in proclaiming April “Fair Housing Month.”

The commissioners had declined an offer from a bridge construction company to put their names on a plaque for a new county bridge at a cost of $135. They received word back that the company will do it for free.


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