Updated fairgrounds kitchen could host cooking classes

Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman had potentially good news for the Marion County Commission Monday.

The state will be funding a much-needed upgrade of the kitchen in the food service building on the Marion County fairgrounds in Hills?boro.

The upgraded kitchen will provide more space for the state-sponsored cooking class she coordinates, which is getting too big for the kitchen at Marion County Lake.

The cooking class is for people who want to open their own restaurants or work as a chef.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said the state funding will be only for the kitchen, not the entire food services building.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said plans should include plenty of electrical outlets, with electric upgrade to serve the many cooking candidates expected.

Huffman has said previously that class participants can come to Marion County from a broader area covering several counties.

The commissioners approved Planning, Zoning and Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards attending a flood plain managers? conference in Atlanta, Ga., this month to finish her flood-plain certification using federal grants.

She and the commissioners discussed the problems of homeowners in federally designated flood plain areas affording insurance and regulations when with from 10 to 30 years of experience living in the areas they already know how to contend with familiar flooding streams.

The commissioners commended Hillsboro Ford for offering Emergency Medical Services Director Brandy McCarty support in seeking help from Ford Motor Co. for an estimated $11,000 in costs for repairs of a 6.0 turbine engine in a late-model ambulance serving Florence.

The commissioners approved a letter from County Attorney Susan Robson seeking consideration by Ford.

The commissioners met in executive session for 30 minutes for an interview with a noxious weeds, transfer station, recycling director applicant and again for 10 minutes for personnel.

They also met for 30 minutes for a like interview at the March 31 payday meeting.

At that payday meeting, they also met for 15 minutes with Robson for attorney-client privilege.

They met with Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford for personnel for five minutes.

County Clerk Tina Spencer announced a payday figure of $689,157.

She said regular sales tax paid in January, received by the state in February and paid to the counties in March totaled 53,000, and the special jail sales tax was $46,247.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette was absent because of illness.