Commissioners continue to iron out budget

The Marion County Board of Commissioners worked most of the day on Monday on the 2022 budget. They spent part of the afternoon session discussing how to potentially make progress in funding some county building and space needs. The board wants to make progress toward several needs that have been identified, including a storage building and multi-purpose building to include storage as well as some administrative space. The space could include offices that are currently renting spaces, such as the health department. This could also be for Road and Bridge, which would include a county shop large enough to facilitate large equipment, such as motor graders as well as have room to walk around and work on the equipment, which has been a safety concern. Another possible building use could be for courthouse exterior needs and maintenance. After discussing some of these needs among the board, Attorney Brad Jantz and County Clerk Tina Spencer, the board said they would like to see about one mill ($160,000 in the 2022 budget) allocated toward either saving toward a building project or toward a lease-purchase payment to accomplish one or more of these needs. Park and Lake Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett updated the board on the damage to the lake area from the rains. He said water was rising so much it was running over the spillway by Friday night. “Once the water starts going over the spillway, though, it stops rising so much,” said Hett. “So we’ve been having to go out every day and clean out debris and keep things clean.” He said a lot of the limbs and branches had already been picked up, but some of the roads are pretty damaged from the storms. “There is some bigger stuff that I can’t get, such as dead trees that will need to be taken care of. And the rain that we have had has made some of the road situation just awful. It’s made the residential and gravel roads just washed out. This morning, when we got done cutting up trees and stuff, they [road departmentt] are going to be loaning us the small, single-axle truck, and we are going to be hauling gravel for the next couple of days. That is the best we can do for now. Brice [Goebel] has so much to do, and we can help with this. We’re not going to be make everything perfect, but we can do some. Even in my work truck, it’s rough,” said Hett. “Are you taking pictures and documenting everything as you go? It is important for you to do that any time we are restoring damage,” said Spencer. “I haven’t yet, but I will be sure to do that,” said Hett. Hett told the commissioners that the celebration for the Fourth of July is still on for Friday at the lake. There is a meal available for sale at the Lake Hall, and Rainbow Fireworks out of Inman is coming out to put on a firework show. “We filled out the special event permit with Sharon [Omstead],” said Hett. Commissioner Randy Dallke closed out the meeting by talking about the flooding throughout the county and all the work that fire and rescue ended up doing throughout the weekend. “I just really want to thank them for all the training they do and then the work they did. You never want to have to use it, but it is nice when they come through and help us,” Dallke said. In other business, the board: n affirmed the verbal declaration of local disaster in Marion County by Chairman Randy Dallke on Saturday due to flooding n approved Nicole Reid for the position of county appraiser for four years and Carl Miller for the position of assistant county appraiser for one year n met in executive sessions for personnel matters and contract negotiations; no actions were taken n EMS Director Travis Parmley reported that Nelson Fowles, LLC let him know that there will be a significant increase in the cost of the air conditioner for the new EMS building.

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