County hires new director for EMS

After a 30-minute executive session on personnel, Marion County Commission chairman Randy Dallke announced the hiring of Steve Smith as the county?s director of Emergency Medical Services, effective Aug. 27.

Dallke said Smith begins with a salary of $31,000, and, following an evaluation after the first six months, will receive a $1,000 raise.

In the meantime, Gene Winkler is serving as interim director.

Winkler agreed to $1,000 per month for a minimum of three hours daily in the office and on call 24/7 after meeting with the commissioners met in executive session.

In his report, Winkler said he had saved the county $2,500 by negotiating with Alltel to replace the analog phones with digital ones.

Dallke asked Winkler to check on a replacement insurance quote for the county?s ambulances made by Richard Nickel of The Insurance Center in Hillsboro.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill and County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman discussed the rebate request from a property owner that is participating in the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. The owner is ready to put another building on the property, Magill said.

But, according to the revitalization plan, only one approved rebate application is allowed at a time per property.

?This can become an administrative nightmare,? Magill said about trying to apply rates if different property values are accessed for a property.

?Where do I pick the value from?? she asked.

Bateman said the sliding scale for rebates complicates the matter because the system she uses figures the rebate based on the initial property value.

During a discussion about how the guidelines would apply for those upgrading their property, Commissioner Dan Holub said, ?This plan is working so good, we don?t want to hinder that because of some bookkeeping (problem).?

Dallke responded: ?I appreciate it coming to us. We know there are going to be some hitches in this. I do see a problem of putting plan, upon plan, upon plan.?

After the commissioners agreed to table the matter and make a decision at a later time, Magill met with them in executive session regarding evaluation of personnel.

County Clerk Carol Maggard introduced a comparison of county employee salaries with comparable positions in other counties. Three positions?sheriff, county treasurer and county clerk?are below the median.

The commissioners approved a salary increase for those positions in the 2008 county budget, drafted by Scot Loyd of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd, LLC.

During the meeting, Loyd reported on several internal adjustments to the budget, and told commissioners the mill levy will not be increased next year.

The public hearing for the budget will be at 9 a.m. Aug. 20.

Tom Holub and Dennis Maggard, representing the Road and Bridge Department, agreed to a meeting with the commissioners, two landowners and an engineer to discuss an easement along 140th and U.S. Highway 77. The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m., Monday, Aug. 13.

The commissioners announced that engineering firm Kirkham Michaels will the consultants on the bridge project. The firm will submit its fee for the contract, and the commissioners will decide whether or not to accept it.

In other business, the commissioners:

n accepted the bid from Foley Inc. for a trade-in/ease arrangement for two motor graders.

n accepted the low bid from Wright Chrysler of Hillsboro at $25,923 for a 2008 Durango, which includes a remote start device, provided Becker determines the bid meets all needed specifications.

n accepted the low bid of $2,245 from Supreme Flooring in Hillsboro to install flooring at the superintendent?s house at the Marion County Lake.

n discussed Edward Hett?s request to install a new dock at Marion County Lake. Both Holub and Dallke underscored a requirement that docks at the lake have public access and meet safety concerns. Super?intendent Steve Hudson agreed to check on past and current dock sites at the lake, and the matter will be addressed at a later date.

n opened sealed bids for four county properties for tax sale. The commissioners agreed that the minimum acceptable bid would be $180, which would recover the process costs.

The bid for a lakeside property and a property in Florence were below that amount. Bidders will have an opportunity to raise their bids to the minimum required. A high bid for $325 made for a third property, located in Florence, was accepted. No bids were turned in for a fourth property, located in Marion.

Commissioners told County Attorney Susan Robson to contact the city of Marion to see if interest to bid on the property.

n heard that Clint Seibel will replace Ted Nikkel as the county?s representative on the South Central Kansas Economic Development District.

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