Rhodes named county roads director


John Summerville of the Marion/Florence area took the second-in-command job of road foreman to begin Sept. 4.

Rhodes succeeds Jim Herzet, who resigned this summer, and Summerville succeeds Steve Hudson, who left his position as road foreman to assume the job of park director at Marion County Lake.

Hudson later attended the meeting to discuss with the commissioners possible changes in rules at the lake. Among them, he is considering developing a policy for building docks.

Hudson said there have been locations for as many as 77 docks around the lake, and 11 of those locations don’t have docks now. He said a uniform rule for applying for a dock building permit needs to be established with a standard fee, and perhaps an annual permit fee.

He said there has been a tendency for persons to begin installing a dock, and later come for a permit, “seeking forgiveness to proceed with it instead of applying first.” He has one such applicant now who has already ordered materials.

Commissioner Bob Hein said the county couldn’t be put in the position of “doing that for one because you’d have to do it for another one.”

Hudson said lake residents are making it clear they don’t want the entire shoreline in docks, and they want to preserve the appearance of the lake.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he also agreed with Hudson’s thought that any dock built should be open to public access if the docks are open to the public portion of the lake. Sections of water north of the stone arch bridge are considered private property.

Hudson said he also wants to concur with commissioners on issues such as allowing swimming off boats in calm water areas away from water skiing, and allowing groups to camp near buildings when they are using them.

After having architect Tony Randell of Law/Kingdon Inc., Wichita, join them, the commissioners met with Dustin Hett of Hett Construction to discuss his lone bid for remodeling the county jail to follow the state fire marshall’s requirements for changes.

They checked Hett’s specifications and plans for bond before approving a bid of $21,200 with Randell monitoring work.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke asked Randell to continue with the Commission to discuss alternatives for jail construction anticipated, including building onto the current jail or building a new corrections center.

Randell said it would be possible to build a 30- to 40-bed addition to the existing jail from current bonding ability that would be supported by increased tax money.

He seemed to agree with commissioners that, from everything they have learned, a 72-bed facility may be necessary to house enough prisoners from other places rather than using taxes to pay for the jail.

Randell cautioned that a facility would need to have its bonds paid by taxes for the first two years before the pay-to-stay income could kick in to pay the bill.

From his experience with other jails, Randell would expect Marion County to receive at least $34 to $35 per pay-to-stay prisoner daily, given current demand. That demand appears to be increasing, he said.

The commissioners reviewed, and Dallke signed for the Commission, the more than $700,000 Sunflower Road resurfacing project.

Director of the Elderly Jayne Gottschalk reminded the commissioners that the annual meeting for the senior centers of the county will be Oct. 18 at the Marion Senior Center.

Gottschalk also urged the county’s senior citizens to on the internet at BenefitsChecUp.org to see if they’re eligible for federal programs, or to check with her for help.

The commissioners approved a $2,809.60 purchase of network area program equipment and software from Internet provider CDWG and Great Plains Computers in Marion by the register of deeds office.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said Register of Deeds Faye Macovec wanted commission approval. Even though she is free to use money from a state-required technology fund now at $50,000, if the fund is depleted, she will need county funds.

The commissioners approved purchase of an 8×820-foot metal-sided, hardwood floored shipping container for $3,850 from Chuck Henry Sales of Solomon to set behind the county health department building for storage.

The company will deliver the “building,” but the road and bridge department will level it.


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