High fuel costs, needed road repairs top commission?s weekly agenda

The Marion County Commission promised Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford Monday help in getting through a budget continuously threatened by depletion from higher fuel costs.

But in a county with a small population, the commissioners acknowledged that the best-laid plans often don?t fit budget shortfalls.

Crawford said his crew is busy rebuilding 120th Road off Nighthawk Road in the southern part of the county.

But, he said, his crew also is challenged by demands such as one near Ramona where the road leading to a driveway entrance is often blocked by puddle water.

Unfortunately, he said, the road near Ramona isn?t scheduled for any rebuilding for two years, and the budget makes it difficult to add temporary help to his crew, which is stretched thin.

As if to illustrate the high costs, commissioners approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $26,527.20 for 4,700 gallons of diesel and 3,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline from Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro that may run equipment for a month over a competitive bid of $26,632.70 from Cardie Oil of Tampa.

Crawford said it is helping to pitch and seal blacktop roads periodically instead of facing a larger cost later to have them resurfaced.

As if that isn?t enough in an era of confronting higher costs, Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards said the county may have to be prepared to do what it can to aid county residents under a state plan that may redefine the flood plain area of the Cottonwood River, perhaps raising insurance costs up to five times higher.

Richards said a national floodplain conference she just returned from may be one of the more valuable conferences she has attended to enable her to offer more assistance to county residents.

The commissioners approved county fireworks time limits for the July Fourth celebration for outside city limits, based on 2006 rules: from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 27 and 28, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 29 through July 3, up until midnight on July 4, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 5.

Fireworks are allowed on private property and inside the Marion County Lake area bounded by Lakeshore Drive, but not allowed at all at Marion Reservoir.

Commissioners approved payment of $57,456 to Roofing Services Unlimited of Wichita for reroofing the courthouse. They also approved County Clerk Tina Spencer offering special thanks to the company for its cleanliness in keeping the courthouse grounds clutter-free during the job.

Emergency Medical Services Director Steve Smith reported 74 ambulance runs for May, 17 from Peabody, four from Florence, one backup, 29 from Marion, 20 from Hillsboro and three from Tampa.

The calls included 13 transfers, six cardiac, 24 medical emergency, two standby, three motor vehicle accidents, six falls, 18 no transports and two 10-22.

There were also three first-response runs from Goessel, one from Ramona, and three from Lincolnville.


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