Commissioners hear requests for purchases

The Marion County Board of Commissioners heard from six of its departments, some providing updates on recent activities, while others needing approval to purchase items of necessity at the April 23 meeting.

Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett spoke with commissioners about work needing to be done to replace the overhead wiring to the stage.

“We received a bid from Landmark Electric in Tampa and two from Elcon Services Inc. in Hillsboro,” he said.

The only difference between the Elcon bids was the installation with one from the dock pole and the other from the lake office, he said.

After reviewing the bids, Landmark Electric of Tampa was approved with the low bid of $3,881.

The work, Hett said, will also include installing 100-amp disconnect, 100-amp outdoor panel with four 20-amp ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outdoor receptacle and one 30-amp outdoor receptacle, trench underground and remove 20-inch wide concrete.

Elcon Services Inc. Hillsboro bid $5.909 for underground from dock pole and $7,354 underground from lake office.

Sanders Electric in Marion was contacted, but didn’t submit a bid.

Appealing to public

Jesse Hamm, superintendent, Road and Bridge department, said if the public has concerns about the roads, particularly up north, they need to contact him so we can figure out if it is haul route.

“If it is a haul route, I have the phone numbers and contact names to get ahold of the right people to take care of the issues that they may have,” he said.

“It might be safety, dust control, but I can’t go and deal with haul routes. They need to call me and we will take care of that issue.”

Hamm said he would get with the right people and the issue would be taken care of.

Anything to do with county right-of-way, they need to contact the Road and Bridge Department.

“One other thing,” he said. “Our department and the county is getting beat up about the hauling to the wind farm, and I want to make a statement.

“I am the person that decided 290th Road will not be on the haul route. I want 290th in the haul route if they (Diamond Vista Wind Turbine Project) are willing to put it in the Road Maintenance Agreement.”

In addition, he reported today (Monday) that Pawnee going north of 340th is needing attention and it is part of the haul route.

More road problems

Another is 290th Road needing attention severely from U.S. Highway 77 to Bergkamp Quarry.

“Aren’t they not maintaining that?” Becker asked.

Hamm said they are supposed to be, but they have been taking care of dust control.

“I am on top of it,” he said. “They are going to dump rock on it this week.”

Commissioners voiced concerns about ordering a new truck with three trucks in the works.

“For the price of a brand new truck, do we need to do this at this time?” said Commission chairwoman Dianne Novak.

“I am just afraid we are going truck crazy.”

Jesse Hamm, superintendent of Road and Bridge, said he might have to do some thinking on these trucks.

The cost of a new truck would be about $170,000, he said.

Commissioner Kent Becker asked about the pups, and if the new truck would be outfitted for one.

Hamm said the first pup is about three or four weeks away from getting here.

Becker said: “Why don’t you come back to us when you get a better feel for it, too, and give us some flexibility on the budget.”


Gerald Gilkey with Bergkamp Construction, Lincolnville, stopped by the commission meeting with Hamm to say how much he appreciated working with Planning and Zoning people and Hamm.

“I just wanted to stop by and say thank you,” he said.

Becker asked if he is willing to sell rock to the public?

Gilkey said they are.

“The rock is getting better all the time,” he said.

The new quarry is located about three miles east of Lincolnville.

In other business, the commission:

◼ approved MFA Oil in Emporia for transport fuel at a cost of $17,301.

The other bidders included Cooperative Grain & Supply in Hillsboro at $17,467, AgriTrails Coop, Navarre at $17,535 and Epps Services, Elbing at $17,647.

◼ heard from Hamm about truck with spreader and plow for $20,000 and two more are going to be for sale shortly. All three are Kansas Department of Transportation vehicles.

◼ heard about Hamm buying a spreader for $1,500 using a hydraulic pump which would be the same type set up as what KDOT would use. The spreader was made available by Bergkamp Construction.

◼ learned from Bud Druse, director of recycling, that an increase in steel translates to $500 more on four recycling bins based on the $20,000 grant his department received.

The additional cost will be $3,100, and Druse said he has that in his budget.

The four new bins will be located in Peabody, Hillsboro, the county lake and the city of Marion.

◼ looked at the latest publication from the Marion County Health Department.

Health Department administrator Diedre Serene also gave her quarterly report noting that of the seven county health departments in the south central metro region, Marion County is the only health department without a Facebook page.

“It is something to pursue,” she said. “Facebook is free advertising to the very people we need to reach.”

◼ listened as Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator of the Department on Aging, gave her quarterly report.

In summing up, she said she helped with 84 state and federal tax forms, 64 Homestead exemptions, which was up from last year’s number of 50 and helped 22 people with LIEEP or low income energy efficiency program, up from 10 the year prior.

Something new that’s happening is with commodities and how the Kansas Food Bank and Marion County Food Bank will give box of food with eligibility requirements and proof of age.

In the near future, Ratz­laff said she will be issuing Farmers Market checks with the same guidelines as commodities.

Ratzlaff said she is having problems getting anyone interested in a year-long program designed to help people stop the progression of pre-diabetes into Type 2 diabetes.

The class was to start April 24, but it’s difficult to know if the cost of $120 was a concern or if there were other reasons, but half of the money would be returned to participants in the form of a rebate at the end of the program.

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