County hears about dusty truck traffic

Marion County commissioners addressed the concern about heavy traffic that’s raising a lot of dust for residents living along one county road.

Commissioner Diane Novak had received a call because up to 50 to 70 trucks per day are driving along 220th Street from U.S. Highway 77. The trucks are transporting quarry rocks to a construction site.

Jesse Hamm, Road and Bridges superintendent, expressed surprise because he said he had been told that seven to eight trucks would be traveling on the gravel road.

While the amount of dust is problematic, wear and tear on the road is also an issue, he said.

Hamm agreed to check whether an alternate route could be used and would report back to commissioners.

He informed the commissioners that Dan Kinning and Jesse Hiebert of the Hillsboro Police Department talked to him about their desire to move the speed limit signs further east of Hillsboro, closer to Jade Road.

He said they are seeing a lot of close calls at the intersection at Industrial Road.

Currently, he said, the city of Hillsboro owns the signs, but moving them east would make them the county’s responsibility.

“They become our issue if they are moved further east,” he said.

Commissioner Kent Becker said he thinks the trees on the north side of the road could be the vision problem at the intersection.

Hamm also reported that Teresa Huffman had asked to park the tour bus for the winter at their facility.

“It’s still there,” he said. “What do you want us to do with it?”

Dallke recommended that Hamm have it test-driven to make sure it was operational.

County Clerk Tina Spencer suggested that in light of the budget planning, the commissioners will need to consider what to do with some of the county vehicles.

Spencer asked the commissioners about the bids submitted from Emma Tajchman, director of Planning/Zoning/Environmental Health for air conditioning at 230 E. Main St.

Novak expressed hesitancy to spend $7,000 if the offices will be moved to another location in the near future.

Spencer reported that Tajchman is most concerned about the public’s comfort when they come into that building.

Commission Chair Dan Dallke said because of the poor condition of the unit, a decision needs to be made next week.

Adam Benson, interim superintendent for Park and Lake, briefly explained the circumstances related to an incident on July 4 at the County Lake related to rental of the meeting hall.

Dallke said Steve Hudson had asked whether the county would want to purchase five appliances, including a washer and dryer, he owns for $2,000. Dallke said he would want to inspect them first.

The Chat and Dine Club of Marion County is considering replacing the wood on the benches for the concrete picnic tables at Marion County Lake and has requested county funds to purchase the lumber.

Roger Kaiser, representing the club, attended the meeting to answer questions about the project. He said the group has had bake sales to raise some funds.

The commissioners unanimously expressed their support for the project, but requested a quote for the cost of lumber before committing to a dollar amount to the project.

Bud Druse, director of Noxious Weed, Hazardous Waste/ Transfer Station/Recycling, submitted a chemical bid for herbicide Dicamba. He said he only needs 100 gallons but the $33.40 per gallon bid from Van Diest Supply Co. requires a minimum purchase of 180 gallons. The higher bid of $34.49 per gallon was submitted by CPS.

Druse agreed to call to find out if making a larger purchase would lower CPS’s bid.

He asked the commissioners about a request to spray for weeds on personal property, which they said should not be done.

Spencer said fees for the upcoming year need to be set for the transfer station.

After discussion, the commissioners voted 2-1 to leave them at the current rate and do some research for next year.

Regarding charging businesses for bringing extra waste to the transfer station, the commissioners ask Druse to bring a fee structure for them to vote on.

Other business

In other business, the county commissioners:

• agreed to review the policy for credit card usage and charges by county employees.

Spencer told the resident at the meeting who raised concerns about expenditures reported in the Marion County Record that some were accurate and some were not.

• received salary changes from Hamm for two Road and Bridges employees.

• received an application for county lake personnel.

• heard from County Counselor Susan Robson that she was planning to meet with Jared Jost to discuss the space and charges for space used by EMTs in Hillsboro.

• met in a 10-minute executive session for attorney/client privilege with County Counselor Susan Robson and County Clerk Tina Spencer to discuss litigation.

• met in executive sessions to conduct employment interviews for the Park & Lake superintendent and county appraiser positions.

• met in executive session to conduct department head reviews.