Road and bridge gets green light to advertize for a bridge worker

Marion County commissioners approved a request at Monday?s meeting to advertise to fill a bridge worker position for the county.

Road and bridges director John Summerville also reported his department has a mechanic?s position available, but he?s been able to have someone fill in without getting too far behind on the work.

?Keep going as you are,? Dan Holub, commission chairman, told Summervile. ?We?ll see what?s going on down the line.?

Summerville said he will work on estimates for road resurfacing projects in the county and doesn?t anticipate the cost will be any less than last year.

Holub reported that construction projects to be funded by the federal stimulus program have been approved for Cedar Street in Marion and Ash Street in Hillsboro.

In response, Commissioner Randy Dallke requested clarification regarding the county?s role with the projects.

?I think we need to sit down (with Marion city officials) to talk about that again?who?s doing what,? Dallke said.

The commissioners asked Summerville to make contact with Marty Fredrickson, Marion?s street superintendent.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill announced tax values will be distributed within the next week.

Magill said arrangements to schedule hearings need to be made within 30 days of receiving appraisal notices. Citizens with concerns will need to call or come to her office to schedule a meeting for a hearing, and they will receive notice of what documentation is needed for the hearing.

The real-estate market in the Midwest is pretty stable, Magill said, and valuations are still holding their own, although properties may sit on the market longer.

Values, according to Kansas statutes, are based on what they would be if properties were sold on the open market, she added.

Holub said the Pratt newspaper published a letter to the editor that clearly explained how the property valuation system works in Kansas.

Steve Hudson, Marion County Lake and Park director, reported receiving a $1,000 memorial donation for trees. He also said the heated dock rest-room facility is installed and ready to go.

Hudson consulted with the commissioners about a resident?s request to remove his dock and replace it with sand and gravel for launching canoes and paddle boats.

The commissioners agreed to this exception but urged Hudson to make sure the arrangements are documented and remind the resident the public will have access to the launching spot.

County Extension agent Ricky Roberts updated the commission on his office?s activities.

This winter much of his time was spent on agriculture-related programs, but his time now shifts to 4-H in the spring, Roberts said.

Teresa Huffman, director of the Marion County Economic Development Council, told the commissioners she was disappointed with the Peabody Gazette?s coverage of a Florence city council meeting in which she participated.

Huffman said her comments were misrepresented regarding the upcoming Symphony in the Flint Hills event to in Marion County this summer.

?I think things are going well,? she said.

Huffman told commissioners she didn?t want them to think she wasn?t doing her job well.

She also requested the commissioners change her MCEDC chair status from nonvoting to voting. The commissioners plan to address the voting request at another meeting.

The commissioners heard from Michele Abbot, communications director; Tony Rangel, architect of Law-Kingdon in Wichita; and Sheriff Robert Craft about the remodeling plans involved in exchanging space between the communication center and jail personnel.

Rangel said he estimated the cost at about $20,000, but he ?didn?t have hard numbers.? He plans to bring solid numbers to his next meeting with the commission.

Craft requested permission to apply for a three-year grant for an entry-level position in his office. The county would have to absorb cost of a vehicle and, after three years, the salary for the position.

The commissions asked Craft to bring back the request and they would respond.

County resident Marvin Nightingale asked the commissioners to look into a situation where is water leaking on to his property on 50th because of damming water by another land owner.

In other business, the commissioners:

n approved renewal of the solid waste management plan by Marion, Harvey and McPherson counties.

Rollin Schmidt, director of the county transfer station, was available to answer questions at the public hearing that preceded the vote. Renewal is required every five years.

n approved a request for matching funds from Tim Klein of Fire District No. 1 in Durham to purchase a metal cutter for its rescue equipment unit at a cost of $9,301.50. The county will pay the first half out of sales tax while the fire district board will pay the other half.

n approved a bid for $834.42 to purchase floatation devices from Prairie Lake Co. in Wichita for the fishing dock.

Hudson said $540 toward the devices had been raised at the fishing derby.

n met in a series of executive sessions to discuss personnel issues, but no action was taken.

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