Huffman suggests starting county chamber of commerce

The Marion County Commis?sion reacted favorably Monday to an idea from economic development director Teresa Huffman to create a county-wide chamber of commerce.

Huffman said she is looking for volunteers to join with a ?true passion? for what they are doing. She noted that Marion, Hillsboro and Florence have chambers that serve those communities well. But she also is looking for volunteers from the other communities in the county.

Volunteers could join her in calling attention to Marion County at events such as trade shows, she said. Huffman added they could follow up with her on opportunities in things such as tourism, which involves more than one person can do.

Huffman said she could use volunteers for the Kansas State Fair that begins Sept. 11 to work four-hour shifts, then enjoy the fair the rest of the time.

Recycling issues

The commissioners inched closer toward starting a permanent recycling program. Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director who has coordinated the current recycling try-out as part of his job, told the commissioners some sort of decision is needed on whether to use volunteers or employees to run recycling trailers to communities the first three Saturdays of each month.

The commissioners said they favored employees, perhaps extension of duties for noxious weed department employees who Schmidt also directs, in the effort for reliable coverage.

They discussed continuing pickups at Centre and Goessel high school, where students volunteer to collect beverage containers.

Schmidt said he would like the schools to contribute paper and cardboard to make the pickups pay better.

Jack Chappelle, consulting engineer from Overland Park for the county on the old Marion County landfill, advised the commissioners to clarify their goals on recycling.

He said since Marion County does not have a landfill, its main goal for recycling should be to reduce weight and volume?and therefore the disposal cost?of waste it sends to landfills.

He said collecting paper from the schools would add to the benefit of running a route to them. But simply collecting beverage containers with student help probably justifies a route.

Chappelle recommended asking all county schools to participate in a recycling route that would include paper. He said elevated bins, with steps, should be used for deposits. The bins would be unloaded into the county?s trailers from the bottom.

Record sales tax

County Clerk Carol Maggard reported a record-high sales tax receipt for the month of August going back through 2002. The total was $55,810.22.

The tax is for sales in June, collected by the state in July, and disbursed to the counties in August.

The only receipt to exceed this one since 2002 was $57,227.68 in November.

It boosted county sales tax total receipts to date in 2009 to $401,450, compared to $576,228 for all 12 months in 2008.

Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro submitted winning bids of $13,055.65 for road and bridge area fuel totaling 6,550 gallons of diesel, and $17,167 for road and bridge transport fuel totaling 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

Bids from Cardie Oil of Tampa were $13,303.65 and $17,385, respectively.

The commissioners approved a bid of $48,000?subject to coverage of all requirements?from Sky Construction Inc. of Wichita to remodel the communications center in the county jail facility.

Four other companies submitted bids.

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