County told of petition against jail location

Marion Mayor Mary Olson came to the Marion County Commission payday meeting Monday to say she expects to receive soon a petition against locating a proposed new county corrections center in Batt Industrial Park.

She arrived just as commissioners were in conference with David Arteberry, bond counsel with George K. Baum & Co. of Overland Park, and in teleconference with Tony Rangel, architect with Law/Kingdon of Wichita, to discuss wording on the November ballot question whether to allow bond issuance for the proposed corrections center.

Olson said she has no idea how many signatures will be on the petition, but she understands it will protest the jail?s location because of the potential lowering of adjacent property values.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he believes such concerns stem from a misunderstanding of what the proposed facility will look like.

He said the petition signers probably are expecting a prison-look with ?chain link fences, concentino wire and machine gun stations,? when in reality ?the grade school will have more chain link.?

Holub said the corrections center would be an attractive, modern-looking building totally self-contained where the public will not even see the prisoners housed within.

Meanwhile, Arteberry said the maximum bond amount the county can spend on the bond issue based on the 1 percent sales tax in question is $8.65 million.

He said he would rather wait on bond issuance, if approved in the election by Marion County voters, to determine the final amount from the actual bids of contractors. That figure might be lower, he said.

Another estimate by Arte?berry, working with Rangel, had the final basic figure, less later costs, coming in at $8.478 million.

They said this could be reduced if the commissioners decide to forgo contracting with a construction management firm, and instead work only with a general manager, an estimated $550,528 expense.

Holub said the commissioners have been favorably considering a construction manager because such an arrangement had worked favorably for the schools in recent projects.

Arteberry said if voters approve the sales tax to finance the bond issuance, the commission will need to approve the tax, then pass it on to the state for final approval. This process, he said, could take 90 days, setting the beginning of construction at April 2009.

He listed issues for locating the jail in the industrial part as its remoteness from courthouse facilities, and the potential market for housing prisoners from other counties.

Rangel suggested changing the wording of the election resolution to clarify that the community corrections center would house the county?s 911 center, and it would all be in the same building at the same cost.

The commissioners agreed this is an important point for voters to consider because they will have to do something to provide more room for the existing 911 center in the old jail even if the bond fails.

They noted that all recent equipment purchased for 911 is more easily mobile than older equipment for moving to a new center.

Arteberry said he would take language changes for the Novem?ber question for consideration by legal services.

Both he and Rangel will consult with commissioners again next week.

Other business

County Clerk Carol Maggard gave the figure for payroll and warrants at $719,249. She said this included payments out of the building fund for $10,528, with more than $9,000 of this amount for roofing the jail.

The commissioners approved a three-year, $6,500 contract with Savant Services of McPherson for implementing the county?s strategic plan.

They approved presentations by Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator of the Department for Elderly, for notifying North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging that it will receive $3,200 budgeted from Marion County, and for appointing Gerry Kline as a representative to NCFHAA.

Baker Bros. Printing of Hillsboro was awarded a clerk?s office bid of $3,063 for 100 cases of 8.5-by-11 20-pound bond paper over bids of $3,550 from Navrat?s of Emporia and $3,320 from Dick?s Business Machines of Emporia.

Cardie Oil Co. of Tampa was awarded a road and bridge fuel bid of $22,879 over a competitive bid of $23,097 from Cooperative Grain & Supply from Hillsboro.

The Cardie bid was for 800 gallons diesel in Area 1 at $3.482 a gallon, 2,150 gallons of diesel in Area 2 at $3.482 a gallon, 1,800 gallons diesel in Area 3 at $3.502 a gallon, and 1,800 gallons diesel in Area 4 for $3.502 a gallon.

The per-gallon prices for the same areas and quantities respectively from CG&S were $3.5290, $3.5290, $3.5190 and $3.5290.

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