County tax sale puts few properties up

The Marion County Commissioners reviewed property getting ready to be sold at the next tax sale in mid-December at its meeting Nov. 19.

County clerk Tina Spen­cer talked about the sale to include two areas in Florence, one on the east side of Main, and the other where the former Florence High School stood.

Other properties scheduled for the tax sale include:

◼ 309 W. Main St., 208 E. Case St., both in Lehigh, 25-foot lot on Lehigh’s Main Street and three other lots at Main or near U.S. Highway 56.

◼ a portion of land in Lost Springs, but without an access road.

◼ Peabody, which has seven properties to include 207 S. Olive, 202 S. Olive (home not liveable), Vine Street, 109 Walnut, 402 S. Olive, 203 N. Elm and a vacant lot on Plum Street near the railroad tracks.

Commissioner Kent Becker asked when the sale was planned.

Spencer said it was slated for Dec. 13, but that date could be pushed back.

Goessel ambulance

EMS Interim director Bob Church said he was approached by the city of Goessel requesting the ambu­lance be moved to another location.

He said the city’s fire department was willing to store the ambulance at the new fire station if the county agreed to pay $35 monthly for storage.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he was concerned about signing a multi-year contract in the event the EMS crew disbanded.

It was decided to approve a five-year contract at $35 with the stipulation that if there came a time that no responders were available, the contract would cease.

Church also proposed using the ambulance (replaced with a new one) located behind the Marion EMS station, as a secondary first response unit, if or when necessary.

Although it doesn’t happen often, sometimes both the Marion and Hillsboro ambulance crew are on transfers, leaving one unit left in the county, he said.

No action was taken, but Dallke did request Church to come up with numbers associated with the cost to bring another unit into the fleet, cost of supplies needed and licensing.

In addition to what Church reported, Dallke asked about volunteers in Marion and Hillsboro.

Church said Hillsboro has more EMS volunteers than Marion.

“I think there are seven or eight volunteers in Hillsboro,” he said.

“In the city of Marion, Kim Ross and two others not in the city (Lincolnville) are covering, plus we use EMT students to gain experience and as part of the grant requirements.”

Transfer station bids

Bud Druse, director of the county transfer station, and Leon Osbourn and Randy Purdue from Kaw Valley Engineering contracted by the county to oversee the transfer station project, opened bids for the first phase.

Five bids were received to include: Evergreen Design of Emporia, $376,830; Nelson-Fowels, LLC, Marion, $297,000; Hett Construction, $305,949; Trinium Inc. of Manhattan, $373,600 and Schultz Construction of Manhattan, $320,000.

Osbourn said he would check the bids and be sure all the specifications were met before returning to the commission for decisions.

In other business, the county:

◼ met with Lisa Reeder, director of the county appraiser’s office, who introduced a new employee, Montana Percell.

◼ spoke with Jeannine Bateman, county treasurer, who provided a report of cash balances. Becker noted that the office should be cautious in not depleting those balances.

◼ asked Jesse Hamm, Road and Bridge supervisor, to follow up with the engineers about what’s causing extensive cracking on 330th Road, which recently went through an expensive overhaul.

◼ signed a road crossing permit so that Rich Loewen could bore near the intersection of Kanza and 150th. Commission chairwoman Dianne Novak signed the permit.

◼ started a discussion regarding the Omni EMS billing contract, and whether to stop contracting with the company. The contract with Omni EMS ends in May.

Before the commissioners makes any decision, though, Jamie Shirley in the Marion EMS office, who is considering taking the billing over, would need to have conversations related to salary and other aspects of her current position.

◼ Sharon Omstead, director of planning and zoning, introduced Brandon Meierhoff, assistant director.

◼ heard from Diedre Serene, administrator of the county health department, with concerns about turning the Bowron building on Main Street over to the city of Marion while personal county records are still in storage there.

Previously, the building was home to the county’s health, planning and zoning and economic development departments.

Along with health records, district court records are also stored in the upstairs part of the building.

Randy Collett, economic development director for the city of Marion, approached the commissioners in mid-October about donating the building to the Marion Advancement Campaign, a not-for-profit group.

The commissioner’s at the Nov. 26 meeting agreed to sign the building over, but with the stipulation that until the stored records are properly dealt with, renovations will not be allowed.

County counselor Brad Jantz said he would review and add the additions to the document.