Commissioners have full week of meetings

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met multiple times in the past week. They met for their normal weekly meeting on Tuesday, May 26 since Monday was a holiday. They then met
on Wednesday, May 27 for a special session. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a local plan to move forward with re-opening in light of Governor Kelly turning over the authority to
the individual counties.
Commissioner Randy Dallke moved to convene as the Board of Public Health so they could make decisions in that capacity. Goering seconded and all agreed.
Diedre Serene started the meeting with an update and stated that she wanted to thank the residents of Marion County for doing their part in keeping the cases at 0 since mid-April.
“We have had no community spread in Marion County,” she said.
She reminded everyone that individuals as employers, employees and residents of Marion County need to continue to stay home when sick, practice social distancing, practice thorough
handwashing with soap and water or hand sanitizer and wear a mask in public.
Serene again reminded high-risk individuals to continue to stay home.
“If you leave your home for essential needs or exercise, wear a mask when you come in contact with people,” said Serene.
Serene said she will not be ordering mass gathering limits and that, at this time, it is up to the individual to apply common sense and maintain the 6 feet between family units.
She also said she will not direct what businesses should or should not remain closed but when they open, they are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines posted by KDHE.
“Businesses must also follow their governing boards or associations,” Serene said.
Dr. Hodson was also available by phone and agreed that personal responsibility was going to be very important going forward.
Serene added a warning.
“With increased movement of individuals and increased testing, we will see positive lab-confirmed cases. We will also see individuals who will be placed in quarantine because of being
considered a contact of a positive case. KDHE will continue to issue travel-related quarantine mandates. The travel-related quarantine guidelines can be found on the KDHE page,” said
Serene. “Individuals placed in quarantine, isolation will receive a letter, and quarantine and isolation orders are enforceable by local law enforcement. I encourage individuals to keep a
journal of their movement, including date, time and location.”
After further discussion, Dallke moved to open it up to the responsibility of the individual businesses. Novak seconded and the motion carried unanimously. All businesses are allowed
to open at their own pace with each business or entity putting in place their own protocols to safely reopen.
Gehring moved to support Serene’s recommended guidelines. Dallke seconded and the motion carried 5-0.
Gehring moved to close the Board of Public Health meeting and reconvene as Board of County Commissioners. Becker seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Gehring moved to adopt Disaster Resolution 2020-15 which declares a state of local disaster emergency in Marion County. Becker seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
May 29
Commission met again on Friday, May 29 and decided to open the swimming beach at the Marion County Park and Lake and post signs with Serene’s COVID-19 strategy posted on them.
The Lake Hall will also be open again with reservations and signs posted recommending social distancing.
County Clerk Tina Spencer gave an update on the individual departments. She reported that the majority of the county departments are prepared to open more fully, with each office limiting
the number of individuals allowed inside. Tape marks and additional signs can be placed to encourage individual responsibility of the public to follow social distancing and other
recommendations provided by Serene.
Chairman Jonah Gehring said, “I would like to see everything in county buildings have social distancing required.”
The board discussed how the commission meetings will be held moving forward.
Gehring made a motion for press to have first access to seats. Dallke seconded. Novak opposed but all others approved. Passed 4-1.
In other business, the board:
* approved the payroll amount of $524,461.08.
* discussed the possible need to raise the fees for using the Lake Hall due to increased cost in more detailed cleaning due to COVID-19.
June 1
The June 1 Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting opened up with a moment of silence for the unrest in our country.
All of the commissioners attended in person: Chairman Jonah Gehring, Randy Dallke, Dave Crofoot, Kent Becker and Dianne Crofoot. County Clerk Tina Spencer and County Attorney Brad Janz were also in attendance. The meeting is now open to the public as long as social distancing is observed. In order to help with this, the public is also allowed to attend remotely by computer and phone.
Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene reminded everyone to continue practicing social distancing and washing hands and all of the other safety measures.
Emergency Management Director Randy Frank stated that disaster boxes will be handed out this week. Check with your city offices to see where your town is giving theirs out.
These are not income-based but will be first come first served.
Park & Lake
Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett brought up the fact that there were numerous ATV complaints over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Hett said the increase in ATV action started on Wednesday of the week. He caught several ATVs with drivers with kids on their laps as well as those with open alcohol containers and golf carts with drivers with open alcohol containers.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department and wildlife and game came in and helped the park and lake staff.
Becker mentioned that he had heard reports of ATVs being driven into town as well which is illegal. Hett said that this was true.
The commissioners discussed the recycling and (the?) need to not spend so much as a county on it.
Gehring said, “Recycling is very important to people in this county so we need to figure out how to make it work.”
“I agree with Jonah that recycling is a good thing. If we are going to continue this, we are going to need some help from maybe Hillsboro or even Marion,” said Becker.
Gehring explained that Hillsboro is not the biggest user of the recycling program. He explained that a large amount of Goessel’s recycling comes into Hillsboro. Gehring pointed out that Hillsboro should not have to pay the largest amount because it is Hillsboro and the surrounding areas that contribute to the recycling.
Hillsboro Mayor Lou Thurston was online and was asked for his opinion. He said that it was very important to Hillsboro and surrounding area residents and that Hillsboro would continue to
recycle no matter what.
Hillsboro City Administrator Larry Paine agreed.
“I think that if you folks are looking at trying to do some kind of cost-share, you need to have some kind of conversation between the county, Hillsboro and Marion because there are a lot of people using the facilities in Hillsboro that are not residents of Hillsboro. But don’t walk away from recycling because of the cost. It matters to people in this county,” said Paine.
Becker suggested a work session.
“Well I am just worried about the budget,” said Novak. “I don’t recycle. It all goes in the trash.”
The board, Thurston and Paine will meet and have a work session on Monday, June 15 to come
up with a cost share plan for maintaining recycling.
In other business, the board:
n heard from Hett that the heated dock project is further behind than it should be even in regards to COVID-19 issues. Hett is in touch with the contractor to get things moving.
n heard from Hett that there is a provisional watch for blue algae

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