Eco-devo group to begin organizing

The Marion County Board of Commissioners Monday began organizing the new county economic development committee under the temporary chairmanship of Chris Hernan­dez.

The commissioners told Hernandez that although they would like the number of members on the committee reduced to five or six from the 15 who have volunteered, they expect that to happen by withdrawal of participants when they learn the scope and intention of the group.

Commissioners want the group to operate independently, unlike most committees under county government, and report only to commissioners when the group wants to report something.

The commissioners said they want to avoid any sense that they are trying to “grab power” or any feeling that any particular group is trying to do so, to let the past be the past because the future of the county is too critical.

They would prefer major manufacturing developments that would export goods beyond what county residents need and bring dollars back into the local economy.

Hernandez said it seems difficult to keep past issues out of such a group, and to keep individuals from trying to grab for power, but he will do his best.

The commissioners said a new start is why they have selected Hernandez to begin the committee.

The commissioners voted 2-1 to begin weatherization and restoration of the courthouse windows by state standards.

Commissioners Dan Holub and Lori Lalouette voted for the project while Commission Chairman Randy Dallke voted against because he favors lower-cost, equally effective alternatives.

The commissioners approved Saturday, Sunday and Monday fireworks for the Fourth of July weekend, plus a July 10 fireworks display for the Methodist church in Aulne.

The commissioners said they may send a sheriff’s deputy along when yards are mowed at lots acquired by the county for delinquent taxes in Florence and Peabody to make sure there is no sabotage or resistance from former owners.

Taylor Land Clearing was awarded a bid to mow the properties at $60 a lot.

The commissioners asked Dale Weber of Weber Tree Service and Mowing to trim dead tree limbs on the courthouse grounds and remove trees that have rotted on the inside core.

Road and Bridge Director Jesse Hamm reported he and Shop Superintendent Tom Holub had toured a Foley heavy equipment plant where they viewed satellite tracking of machines such as road graders by satellite.

Hamm said although the maintenance program from Foley comes at a price, the satellite tracking is effective at detecting beginning maintenance problems and servicing, saving thousands of dollars later in major equipment teardown and parts replacement.

The commissioners approved between three and four miles of fiber line to be buried by ATT on 120th west of Florence to Timber.

They met with Hamm for 15 minutes following his report and again with him for 15 minutes following the scheduled meeting.

They also met for 5 minutes for personnel with County Clerk Tina Spencer.