County learns that new EMS building is ready for business

EMS Director Travis Parmley informed the Marion County Board of Commissioners on Monday that the new building, located in Hillsboro, is completed, and they should be all moved in by the end of the day.

Those on duty were able to sleep there that night. There is still landscaping to be done and some other small projects, but overall, the building is ready. The project has been in progress for months and the board and Parmley expressed appreciation that the building was complete.

On other building news, Parmley and the board discussed the Annex remodel and various bids for work that is needed. Parmley explained that two main problems are lighting and paint. He also reported that the building needs carpet replaced, electrical work, some windows replaced and more.

“Windows on the east-facing wall are not good and allow for air to get in during the winter and heat to get in during the summer,” Parmley said. “Improving the lighting would provide significant savings.”

Parmley said he isn’t asking for a complete overhaul but mainly a facelift and some of the biggest problems taken care of to make things more efficient.

Planning and Zoning Director Sharon Omstead agreed that while there is a lot of work that needs to be done, focusing on the main issues, especially lighting and paint, would work for now.

The board agreed and added that the electrical work would be good to get done as well, since it will make a big difference and the bid is not that high.

Chairman Dave Mueller asked Parmley, County Clerk Tina Spencer and Omstead to go through the bids and give a summary to the board next week when they will all decide what direction to take.

County Treasurer Susan Berg gave the board an update that she sent out letters to people with outstanding tax debt for the past three years of delinquency through 2020.

“Our policy is going to be that they need to pay these taxes by May 10,” said Berg.

Berg said she will then get the list of those with debt still outstanding to Spencer by the beginning of June so that she can be informed and assist with the process. Berg stated that many have already come in and taken care of their debt, so the list is already smaller.

Berg gave an update on the severed mineral parcels. She said that she sent letters to the owners and that Omstead helped do leg work on all of it. Berg reported that there are only four owners and six properties that are delinquent at this point.

Health Department Director Krista Schneider gave an update on department business. She said that she met with school superintendents in Marion County regarding COVID-19 protocol for the schools.

Schneider also said that they have seen an upswing in the number of people getting vaccines and boosters.

“I think people were afraid to get out in the middle of the pandemic to get vaccines, but they feel safer now and are getting the shots,” said Schneider.

She reported that the department has given 433 vaccines since Jan. 1. She said that there have been 1,025 COVID-19 positive cases this quarter (Jan. 1-April 15) and 33 COVID-19 deaths to date. She reminded the board that many people have gotten home tests and not reported the positive results, so the actual number of positive cases is most likely higher.

The board asked about the numbers and the way they were counted. Schneider explained they were valid and none had been counted multiple times. She gave an example of if someone tested positive at the beginning of January and then was hospitalized at the end of January and were positive, it still only counted as one case and was not counted twice.

The health department is still providing vaccines and boosters.

Marion County Park & Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett asked if he could get bids to switch out fluorescent lights and replace them with LED lights. Either way, he has to do some replacement of parts of the lights so switching them out now to LED makes sense.

“I would like to paint the outside of the Lake Hall, the bathrooms at the Lake House and the office,” said Hett.

He said he would like to do tan with brown trim to match other buildings out at the lake.

“The paint is chipping and there is a lot of it where there is paint missing from the building. I think it would give it a really good facelift,” said Hett

The board approved Hett to get bids and thanked Hett for his suggestions. Hett believes he has enough money in his budget to cover the improvements.

In other business, the board:

•learned that Safe Kids Day is scheduled for May 28 on the county fairgrounds.

•met in executive session with Goebel to discuss personnel performance.

•approved National Volunteer Week for Marion County for April 17-23.

•nominated and approved the appointments Emily Kannady to the South Central Kansas Economic Development District Committee.

•heard a department update from Road & Bridge County Engineer Brice Goebel. He asked if a new assistant position under him could be created to help out with some of the workload.

“I can handle what they are doing now, but the problem is all the contracts coming up and the wind farm gets going. There are just so many things going on and to look at coming up,” said Goebel.

The board asked him to come up with a job description and more information.

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