USD 410 position still open after commission selection

Marion County commissioners Monday selected Marlin Bartel from among three write-ins for Position 4 on the Hillsboro USD 410 school board.

But Bartel, contacted late in the day, said he was turning the position down.

No one had filed for the position inpreparation for the April 7 local election. On election day, on person received two write-in vites and six people received one write-in vote each.

It was determined that the person with two votes was ineligible because of being employed as a teacher with the district. Three people who received a single vote were determined to live outside the geographic district.

That left three qualifying candidates, including Bartel. The other two were Jim Elliott and Alan Goldsby.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said if the selection can?t be made at the county level, it could be turned back to the school board to appoint somebody.

In other business, Maggard said treasurer?s reports showed county cash on hand the end of March at $10,674,891, with interest earned for the year at $44,731. Motor vehicle funds expended for the month was $3,468.

Sheriff Robert Craft said the first two-hour meeting of the jail committee went well, and he is pleased that such a group of volunteers was found to spend up to a year and a half on the project.

Commissioner Bob Hein said commissioners are receiving many favorable comments from the public about how evenly distributed the committee is.

Dan Crumline of Marion County Lake, present at the meeting as an observer, asked why Hillsboro has more people on the committee than any other community.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub replied, ?Well, it?s the biggest town in the county. People are saying it?s a very broad representation.?

The commissioners voted 3-0 to reimburse Florence Emergency Medical Services $500 that was taken from memorial funds to buy a piece of equipment used to secure a person?s body during emergency operations.

Judy Creamer of Florence EMS said the memorial funds normally are used to buy items such as uniforms and to fund EMT scholarships. She said it was understood that after the county took over operation of Florence EMS, it was responsible for equipment replacement and purchasing.

Creamer, Randy Mills and Carri Cress expressed concern over a county decision to not pay EMS vehicle drivers during emergency responses.

Cress said it would create a reluctance among drivers who are ?bread winners? to take four or five hours from paid jobs to use as response time.

Creamer said there is no doubt that volunteers ?will do their duty? when asked to respond, but they deserve better explanation and consideration.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said the commissioners will make it a point to have better communications with EMS departments.

Workman?s compensation insurance representative Carl Eyman presented the commissioners with a plaque for being the No. 3 county in loss avoidance in 2007.

Dallke said, ?We need to thank the employees of Marion County because it?s them who have gotten this, and hopefully it pays them back.?

Eyman said the county paid $129,128 in premiums in 2007, and had $51,636 in losses. In 2008, the premiums were at $122,857 and the losses were at $30,730, he said.

Eyman said in most counties, including Marion, the top losses normally are in road and bridge with law enforcement bringing up second, and managerial offices far behind. There was an exception for Marion when noxious weed moved into second place one year, he said.

Strain and motor vehicle injuries were among top concerns, he said.

?We expect cuts and bruises when people work around heavy equipment,? Eyman said.

Hedlund Electric of McPherson was awarded a bid for courthouse grounds generator electrical work and needed concrete at $62,418, plus work time needed of 45 days.

Competitive bids were Shelley Electric of Emporia at $67,250 for 90 days, Elcon Services of Hillsboro at $82,500 for 75 days, Kansas Electric of Newton at $84,660 for 90 days, and H&L Electric for $95,000 for 150 days.

Dan Hall of BG Consultants in Manhattan noted that he had estimated the cost for the county at $85,000.

Hein said the bids reflected a higher competitive status among companies to get work during the present economy.

Dallke thanked all bidders for coming. He also said the commissioners should have the generator?s provider check the machines running after installation because it has set for two to three years to await installation.

The commissioners approved a bid from AT&T of $1,399.29 to move the telephone line as necessary for the generator work.

Award of a road and bridge bid for a large number of tires of various sizes was given to Cardie Oil at $43,059.51 when it was determined that unfamiliar tire brands were of sufficient quality. Competitor Rod?s Tires had also offered different tire grades.

Road and Bridge Director John Summerville was given the go-ahead to make recommendations for two county bridges to add to the county?s five-year plan for bridge replacement.

The commissioners said bridge replacements should be done on gravel roads rather than dirt roads, and done where there are higher traffic counts.

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