Health dept. to move to electronic records

Marion County?s burden of storing boxes of county health records in limited storage space may soon be relieved by switching to electronic rather than paper records.

The Marion County Board of Commission approved Monday that the health department apply for about $17,000 in state sharing funds administered through Wichita State Univer?sity for a Patagonia computer electronic records system.

Department administrator Diedre Serene said fears expressed by Commissioner Dan Holub about saddling the county with greater expense while still requiring paper space were not quite justified because the system would do away with paper space and added labor after two months of setup.

Currently, the records are part of a general concern that the county is running out of space to store records.

Health insurance providers will be able to access the system for quicker payments to patrons, Serene said.

Marion County may partner with Franklin County for training, and with Harvey County for larger population operation. Serene said Marion County files will be kept confidential to concerned parties.

Road plans

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said his crews are busy monitoring road closings and washouts across the county due to heavy rains.

Nevertheless, he has been able to put together plans for hard surfacing roads in 2016 and 2017. In 2016 he is planning for a $561,456 road hard surfacing budge with $223,200 for road oil and $338,256 for build-X surfacing.

In 2017 he is planning for a $485,425 hard-surfacing budget with $292,450 for build-X and $192,975 for road oil.

The 2016 budget would include four miles on Limestone from 290th to 330th, 18 miles on 290th from Diamond to Wagon Wheel Road, three miles on Marion Reservoir Pawnee Road, nine miles on Kansa Road from 200th to 290th, and 14 miles on 190th from Goldenrod to Remington.

The 2017 budget would include 10 miles from Marion to U.S. Highway 50 on Sunflower, 0.5 mile on Hillsboro Industrial Road or Jade, 12 miles from Hillsboro to U.S. Highway 50 on Indigo, 14 miles in the Peabody area on Nighthawk Road from 60th to 200th, and five miles in the Peabody area on Old Mill Road from 10th to 60th.

Requests from patrons

The commissioners considered a request by Jirak Farm on 290th to lower the speed limit from 55 to 45 going past the farm because of the mix of slow-moving farm equipment and high-speed auto traffic.

The commissioners said they probably wouldn?t able to do it with the high cost of signage, considering other businesses that might request the same thing.

The commissioners gave permission to Bill and Candy Vinduska to locate about 12 hives of honey bees for their honey production business at the former county landfill southwest of Marion. The Vinduskas agreed to locate the hives in a more heavily wooded area away from other activities in the southwest corner of the landfill grounds.

They said the bees would be active from April to Sep?tember, but become inactive in preparation for winter during the October-Novem?ber deer-hunting season when young, predominantly disabled, persons are allowed with activity centering in the eastern end.

Department business

The commissioners approved a road and bridge transfer fuel bid for $16,860 for 5,000 gallons of diesel and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro over a competitive bid of $16,899 from Cardie Oil at Tampa.

Emergency Medical Services Director Brandy McCarty said ambulances in both Florence and Marion are operating now with repair costs of $10,000.

She recorded 116 ambulance calls for May, including 29 transfers, seven cardiac, 33 medical emergency, one standby, two motor-vehicle accidents, 10 falls, 27 no transfers, six 10-22 and one other.

Bud Druse, director of noxious weed, household hazardous waste, transfer station and recycling said large musk thistles growing in areas they?ve seldom been before are common with this year?s abundant rainfall. He said he and his crews have had limited time to spray the thistles because frequent rains have enable them only to put in four full days.

Druse said recyclable waste is becoming a larger part of the waste stream, already totaling 158.03 tons for the first five months of the year when the collection for all of 2014 totaled 227.65 tons. The recycling total for May alone was 53.82 tons.

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said she has been elected treasurer of Southern Kansas Economic Develop?ment headquartered in Wichita, which administers the Marion County micro-loan program.

Huffman said she hopes the state will reallocate other development funds through South Central Kansas Economic Development District to make sure they are used because some agencies don?t take time to service them so they remain dormant.

She said efforts to host trail riders at Florence appear likely to increase participants from outside the county.

Ty Wheeler, director of Kansas Legal Services, again asked commissioners for $4,000 in the 2016 budget to help with legal cases such as physically abused persons with low financial abilities who need separation from abusive partners.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette, also an attorney, said Wheeler?s program is also important to keep children from harm.

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