Pipeline arriving in Marion County for project start

Road and Bridge Supervisor Jim Herzet reported to the Marion County Commission in a payday session Friday that TransCanada Keystone Pipeline had seven to nine rail cars to be unloaded on siding at Florence.

Herzet said the company had begun the process of transporting the pipe to its pipeyard at 290th and Quail Creek.

Tommy Darnell, Keystone representative, had told the commissioners a week earlier the pipe would be arriving, and that the pipeline transporting Canadian oil sand slurry to Cushing, Okla., would be under construction this spring, probably beginning in May.

Herzet said Kirkham Michael Inc. of Ellsworth, engineers contracted through the county for Keystone to advise on transportation routes for pipe through the county, has discovered one bad spot on Remington Road?also known as Pilsen Road?south of 230th.

Water has undermined a concrete structure there, causing it to begin to crumble, he said. Plans are to replace it immediately, Herzet added.

Herzet asked the commissioners what they thought of plans, which had been delayed, to begin rebuilding Pilsen Road right away.

He said since the repair process involves stripping surface, regrading and adding more rock to make a better surface, the heavy Keystone truck traffic could help settle it, compacting the road more quickly and firmly.

Commissioner Dan Holub said helping ?pack the road is a great idea,? but he said more thought should be given as to whether the timing is wrong as far as obstructing traffic.

In a related discussion, Holub said he has learned from the state?s property valuation department that early figures given for possible property tax collections on Keystone?s pipeline are incorrect.

He said valuation has to be determined after the line has been constructed; it would take into account such things as labor and material costs, plus use.

Other business

The payout expenditures for the session were at $610,302.19.

The sales tax collected in December, reported to the state in January and distributed to the county in February, was $49,966.34.

According to the county record, this was lower than the $50,389.26 collected last year for the same time frame, and the first time the figure was below $50,000 for February since 2007.

The amount received in January also was down, at $43,488.36 compared to $46,477.26 in 2009.

The commissioners said with the current economic problems, the lower figures represent only an aberration and not a trend.

The commissioners accepted a bid for 6,550 gallons of off-road diesel in area-wide road and bridge tanks at $13,771.35 from Cardie Oil Inc. at Tampa over a competitive bid of $13,942.50 from Cooperative Grain & Supply at Hillsboro.

The commissioners approved a bid for $1,800 from The County Seat of Marion to recarpet the county attorney?s office over a competitive bid of $1,995 from Supreme Floor of Hillsboro.

Commissioners briefly discussed a time capsule from 1906 that has an unknown location. They speculated it could be under that floor, as it was reputed to be in the northwest section of the courthouse.

Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards said her department may be putting up signs at Marion County Lake advising ?This County Is Zoned.?

She said the reason for this is too many people come to the planning commission for variances after already doing the practice that requires the variance.

This may be because of people coming here to live from out-of-county don?t know local rules. A majority of them may be moving to the county lake, Richards said.

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