Railroad assures concerned citizens about bypass drives

Mike Benjamin of Union Pacific Railroad assured concerned citizens Monday at the Marion County Commission meeting that the railroad will build adequate bypass drives around its junction with 180th to compensate for closing the straight-through road for siding.

Benjamin, was speaking by conference call during a commission hearing during the weekly meeting to approve siding construction from 150th to 180th for which the county is receiving compensation.

Laddie Helmer, Lavell Socolofsky and Patricia Socolofsky, said they needed adequate road widths and turn-around space for modern machinery and semi-trucks to access grain fields at the 180th location.

Benjamin said he would plan funding to go to the county to construct the roads up to 100 feet widths and culverts at 24 foot width, and to relocate Helmer?s gate for better access.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said he could see no reason to delay commission acceptance of the railroad?s plans for another hearing if complaince with these concerns was guaranteed.

The commissioners approved proceeding with the railroad construction 3-0.

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said members of the public calling his office personnel, and becoming threatening, especially calling secretaries who have no firsthand responsibility with road consturction, will no longer be tolerated.

He said that no matter what time frame a caller may demand, maintenance of main thoroughfares and gravel roads will take precedence over dirt roads.

The commissioners said they would prefer that such public calls be directed to them, and, if threats persist, be turned over to the sheriff.

The commissioners told Crawford to proceed with purchases for road oil of $110,000 to be used for three miles of a double chip seal on a six-mile project on 30th Road near Peabody, and for $84,000 for seven miles of Quail Creek Road from 290th to 360th in the Ramona area.

The commissioners voted to approve Linda Klenda as interim emergency management director.

They and Sheriff Rob Craft said they will continue discussions on whether to select a full-time emergency management director again, or to make it a half-time position, or to make it half-time combined with another county.

They agreed there is great advantage in making the position full-time only for here because sharing with a neighboring county that also has suffered damage may divert too much attention away.

Commissioner Dan Holub said recent editorial attacks by Eric Meyer, an Illinois resident with business interest in a local publication, were done without fundamental understanding of property appraisal aerial mapping every few years and the necessities for law enforcement to invest in newer, more releiable cars.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke and Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt will attend the Butler County Commission meeting July 9 to thank commissiners there for continued Marion County waste disposal in Butler?s landfill, with hope that prices for that disposal won?t rise.

The commissioners approved a plan by Register of Deeds Jo Ottensmeier to record county deed records on film smaller than 35 millimeter that are now preserved only on temporary digialized microfilm at a cost of $21,834.58.

Ty Wheeler with Kansas Legal Services headquartered at Emporia said his group, which assists victems of domestic violence and physical disability, will ask for a funding increase of from $4,000 to $4,500 from Marion County for 2014.

Wheeler said KLS closed 22 cases of 34 representations in 2012.

KLS represented vicims in 15 domestic violence cases in Marion County, he said.

The group sucessfully resolved six disability cases resulting in $694 a month average payments.

Twelve children?s disability projdect cases resulted in $299,808 in direct benefits, he said.

Jesse Kaye, president of Prairie View, in seeking continued commission funding for mental health services in the 2014 budget, said her group faces continued mental health challenges among minors, and cited cases of continuing cases of child attempts at suicide or at harming others.

























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