Lake dock total loss following recent storm

The Marion County Commission learned the heated dock at the county lake was a total loss following a recent storm at its meeting Sept. 16.

Isaac Hett, superintendent of Marion County Park and Lake, said the dock is closed and will remain closed while KCAMP, the county’s insurance pool, is provided with a total of three quotes from contractors.

The county’s deductible on the dock is $5,000, with costs for a new dock costing about $125,000, according to information presented.

Hett said he received one estimate, but two more estimates are needed.

The county’s transfer station project was also back on the agenda after commissioners took time to review the plans presented last week by Kaw Valley Engineering and Randy Purdue, an engineer with the company.

Purdue said he was requesting the commission approve the additional engineering service to provide plans for relocating and burying overhead high voltage lines, which would be a safety measure.

Phase II and III construction plans could be ready by Oct. 1 following additions or changes presented last week to the commission.

Purdue said the actual work on that project to include time and materials could be in the $25,000 range. Overall, with the increased engineering and work, it is a total increase of $40,000.

However, Purdue said it will save more than that on the overall project bid because contractors won’t be adding extra expenses with the overhead lines.

In other business, the commission:

◼ heard from Tom Britain, a Marion County resident, who inquired if Enel Green Power (funding the Diamond Vista wind turbine project) would be meeting with the commission to discuss ongoing road maintenance issues in the northern part of the county. Britain said he wanted to let the commission know he was frustrated that the project spent money to power the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, but still isn’t addressing the road issues.

◼ approved the low transport fuel bid received from Cooperative Grain and Supply at a cost of $17,773. Epps Service in Elbing also submitted a bid, but it came high at $18,041.

◼ received information about the Marion County Community Economic Development Corp., regarding payroll records. Commissioner Dianne Novak requested those records, but county counselor Brad Jantz said it was indicated to him that all records MCCEDC had were in the county’s possession.

◼ went into executive session for 18 minutes with Jantz to talk about pending litigation. No action was taken.

◼ discussed the road and bridge supervisor’s job description and pay plan now that Brice Goebel oversees the department as an engineer.

◼ agreed to have a special meeting on Friday, Sept. 20, to discuss the road maintenance agreement with Diamond Vista. In addition, the commission could also discuss contract negotiations with Expedition Wind, which has conditional use permits to construct wind turbines in the southern part of the county. According to public information, which could be discussed Sept. 20, the five Doyle papers were amended and contracts were signed on June 15, 2015. Pat Pelstring, CEO of Expedition Wind, on June 15, 2018, then signed and accepted those same contracts assuming all interests, duties and obligations to include leases, right-of-ways, conditional use permits and county development agreements associated with the 2015 contracts. Those contracts included the amended decommission and security, amended infrastructure and public safety, amended payment in lieu of taxes or PILOTs and amended permit for use of public road right-of-ways. If the Doyle contracts stand as signed, the county and other entities within the area to include Marion and Florence fire departments, St. Luke Hospital and the Marion-Florence School District would receive a percentage of the possible $4 million annual amount paid to the county as stated in the 2015 contract. These amounts could fluctuate.

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