Health dept. warns of red measles outbreak

? Kids without shots a factor in most cases.

Marion County Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene confirmed Monday at the county commission meeting that the potential for a red measles outbreak here is high.

Commissioner Randy Dallke noted the spread of the disease across the states from California, and asked if the county and the state here have the same problem of many children who never received measles vaccination.

Serene confirmed the concern, and said her department is watching for any outbreak.

Serene met with the com?missioners in a required, special board of health session to review her department?s standard state health requirements such as control of tuberculosis outbreaks or of tall weed infestations that might harbor populations of rodents such as disease carrying rats.

In reviewing situations where her department might be involved in enforcement or quarantines, Serene said she does have the right to ask to be accompanied by a sheriff?s officer if a situation warrants the precaution. At the same time, she said, the constitutional rights of the public must be protected from arbitrary enforcement.

Serene confirmed for the commissioners that in the cases in recent years of quarantine of Marion Reservoir because of blue-green algae infestations, she was ordered to take action by the state, although her office has no power to regulate federal officials that might have been involved.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub asked Noxious Weed, Transfer Station and Recycling Director Rollin Schmidt to include out-of-county wholesalers in at least one bid for noxious weed chemicals against local companies to see if it would save the county significant funds.

Holub said it is important for the county to do business with in-county providers of goods and services, but it is also important to protect taxpayers when money can be saved.

In reporting on the county recycling program, Schmidt said the county disposed of 227.65 tons of materials in 2014 for a gross income of $7,512.45.

Holub noted that bids for road and bridge fuel have dropped to record lows this year compared to recent years.

Cooperative Grain of Hillsboro was awarded a road and bridge area fuel bid for only small change against its competitor, Cardie Oil of Tampa, at $10,413.00 for 5,300 gallons of diesel compared to Cardie at $10,414.70.

Cardie reversed things on a transport fuel bid taking it for $16,264.00 for 8,000 gallons of diesel compared to Cooperative Grain?s bid of $16,549.00.

The commissioners met in 35 minutes of executive session for personnel with Emergency Medical Services Director Brandy McCarty.

They approved a departmental office inventory review for the county of more than $9 million.

Holub wanted it noted that the state government has introduced plans to take money from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to support education.

Jan. 20 meeting

In a Tuesday, January 20, meeting, County Clerk Tina Spencer received permission from the commissioners to display work from local artists on courthouse walls as long as it ?meets appropriate standard? and ?pricing is displayed discreetly.?

She also received permission to seek bids for replacement of courthouse windows while keeping historical standards in mind.

McCarty reported 88 ambulance runs for December including 26 from Peabody, five from Florence, 27 from Marion, 28 from Hillsboro, and two from Tampa.

They included 11 transfers, eight cardiac, 25 medical emergency, three standby, four motor vehicle accident, 14 falls, 12 no-transports, six other, and five illness/injury calls.

There were two first response calls from Florence and five from Goessel.

There were 1,077 ambulance runs for 2014, McCarty said.

The commissioners met for 20 minutes in executive session with County Attorney Susan Robson and Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards.

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