Commission hears updates from county departments


The Marion County Board of Commissioners met for their normal weekly meeting on Monday afternoon after having a work session Monday morning.

Susan Berg gave her first department business report as County Treasurer since taking over the position this month after Jeannine Bateman retired.

Berg brought up concerns about her department’s configuration in light of COVID-19. She stated that it is not very spread out for the staff or customers causing a higher chance of exposure to germs. Berg offered some suggestions of changes she would like to made such as work space setups and other ideas based on research she had done and observations of other county department setups.

Berg expressed her desire to have a set meeting time for her staff that would fall during business hours making them unavailable for a small amount of time once or twice a month. She stated it would help their department run smoothly as they communicate. Berg does not want to make her staff have to meet after hours. The commission stated they would support that if she laid out a plan and a time of how it all would work.

Other updates Berg gave included using attorneys who specialize in taxes to audit records and consult in order to improve the work that the department does. She also talked about different computer programs that could help them be more efficient.

Commissioner David Crofoot thanked Berg for her report and work so far and said, “Sounds like you have a plan.”

Berg laughed and said, “I have lots of plans!”

Park and Lake

Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett reported that the heated dock is progressing well. He said the whole dock structure is completed on the water. The framework is done and insulation is scheduled to be here on next Monday.

Hett reported that they are concerned about getting the sheet metal up with the high winds and rain predicted this week, but they are still scheduled to come out and begin work on it on Tuesday. Insulation is supposed to be here on Monday.

He also gave an update on the dam.

“I talked with Brian with the plans for the dam and he is working on getting them finished up and then submitted to the state so then it is just a matter of waiting to hear back,” said Hett.

Hett reported that he experienced an issue this weekend when a camper was leaving and had their AC damaged by a tree on a private property at the county lake on Lakeshore Drive. Hett was not sure where the responsibility fell for repairing it.

County Counselor Brad Jantz stated that he would need to double check as to what the zoning codes were regarding all of it but he believed the responsibility would fall on the property owner. Jantz will be looking into it.

Hett stated that he plans to have a tree clean-up time at the lake as it does need to be done and both county property and private property will need to have trees trimmed. He also said that this type of issue with trees causing damage to RVs could happen more as the vehicles get bigger in size. Jantz said that they could issue warnings and require owners to clean up their trees as well if they needed to. They would just need to decide how they wanted to deal with it all.

The Commissioners and Hett discussed coming up with a policy regarding the upkeep of docks and storage spaces. Some of the topics that have come up are awnings or carports and other structures. Hett said there isn’t really a set policy leaving a lot of room for interpretation.

Commissioner Randy Dallke and Hett explained to the other commissioners that they have been getting complaints from those who fish that the new dock is shorter than the old one. Hett and his staff went out and measured and it is about 5 ½ feet shorter than the old dock.

County Engineer Brice Goebel gave his department update and began by asking the commissioners if they had thought more about meeting with his staff. He suggested meeting with them right before Veteran’s Day. The commissioners are meeting with the Road and Bridge Department to discuss the pay structure as there appears to be a “miscommunication or misdirect” from 2018 to now according to what Goebel is understanding from his employees.

Commissioner Mueller said, “I would think you would want to do this sooner rather than later so that we can let them know that this is important and we are here to hear them.”

The decision was made to meet out at the Lake Hall (pending availability) in the afternoon on Nov. 10.

The board will meet on Friday morning for another work session as well as payday.

In other business, the board:

n heard an update from EMS Director Travis Parmley on the new EMS building currently being constructed in Hillsboro. They are having issues finding the right installation which is causing a delay in the completion of the building.

n heard updates on various projects from Goebel.

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