Rising fuel prices result in record bid for county tanks

With rising fuel prices, the Marion County Commission Friday, Feb. 29, selected bids for what Commission Chairman Bob Hein said was a record price for road and bridge fuels, $45,961.

It was under a circumstance that rarely occurs at any commission meeting, doing it this time for an end-of-the-month payday meeting.

The circumstance was Acting Road and Bridge Director John Summerville bringing in bids for both transport fuel bids and area fuel bids at the same time.

Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro took both bids, with Cardie Oil of Tampa coming in at $46,528. Still, Hein said, the bids taken separately were records with more than $3.10 paid average on 11,800 gallons of diesel, and $2.843 a gallon paid on 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

Summerville said consulting engineers checking on the road from Tampa to Kansas Highway 15 have determined that the reason the road deteriorates so rapidly is due to inadequate road bed beneath the surface. He said they have advised the county to build the same type of gravel bed beneath it that it did on Roxbury Road before it is hard-surfaced again.

Planning and Zoning and Environmental Health Director Bobbi Strait was dealing with salvage yards again. She said the Kansas Department of Transportation was hauling away materials from a yard owned by Delbert Thiessen.

But enough oil was found in an area there in the ground to run off when dirt was compressed that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment might become involved.

She was to join Summerville and County Attorney Susan Robson to meet at another troubled yard with owner Daniel King and his attorney on an issue where King contends a county road encroaches on his property.

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said county land leased under a new agreement for cabins and under part of the Lake Hall for a cafe at the Marion County Lake will need to be surveyed for taxation, according to the appraiser?s office.

As far as where payments under the lease will go, Commissioner Dan Holub clarified for the commissioners that they should go into the park and lake funds for further improvement, and to offset the need for more tax money. Holub said the goals of commissioners are to generate money from assets at the lake to pay operations rather than taking them from taxes.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said that when Jim Whitwell insulates the north part of Lake Hall, he thinks the county should insulate the south part at the same time.

He said the commissioners? goal is to increase use of the building. Increasing the heating and air conditioning capabilities with insulation will help, Dallke said.

Huffman said that since the Whitwells will be paying $50 a day for use of the north half of the hall for their cafe, that once already booked events at the hall are done with, it should be the Whitwells receiving rents for events in the future. They will be inconvenienced both by time and income when the hall is rented for events, she said.

Huffman said her attendance at water sports shows has convinced her that the impact of the new developments at the lake ?will be huge.?

The commissioners agreed to an increase of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance for employees from $412.55 a month to $444.11 a month. Hein said it was important for employees to be able to keep dependent coverage without a higher deductible.

Dallke said he hoped that when the county is criticized for not giving more pay raises, it is recognized that keeping up with health insurance benefits has constituted a raise.

The county pay-out payday figure given by County Clerk Carol Maggard was $759,111.40.

She said the sales tax paid to the county at the end of February for December sales was $50,389.26, ?really, really good,? although not a record.

Maggard said county encumbrances were at a total of $112,865.

The commissioners considered prices and capabilities for a new copy machine for the clerk?s office.

Dallke made a motion to get a better known Xerox copier from Office Plus of Kansas for $11,569. His motion died for lack of a second.

Hein joined Holub in voting to buy a Savin copier from Century Business Systems for $7,265.47, Dallke voting against.

Commissioners said representatives for both of these machines coming to the meeting was a factor in trusting in them for later servicing.

Other bids were for a Konica Minolta for $8,482 from Business Systems Inc., a Canon from Key Office for $9,794.45, a Xerox from Image Quest for $8,900, and a Copystar for $8,884 from Dick?s Business Machines.

Maggard said she had $8,000 encumbered for the purpose.

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