Team of four to provide interim road supervision

Four of the most experienced road and bridge employees were given pay raises during Friday?s payday meeting by the Marion County Board of Commissioners to compensate them for service as an interim advisory group to the commissioners.

The foursome also will act as public liaisons until a new road and bridge director is named to succeed the departing Jim Herzet. In the absence of a director, residents having road issues will need to contact one of the four advisers, Commissioner Dan Holub said.

The four are Dennis Maggard, Tom Holub, Bev Cooper and Gary Williams.

Commission Chair Randy Dallke commended the four for being willing to assume the additional responsibilities for a short term.

Commissioner Bob Hein again commended Herzet for his years of work.

Herzet told the commissioners they have an opportunity being offered by the Caterpillar company headquartered in Peoria, Ill., to purchase new road graders at a heavily discounted price as a reward to the county for agreeing to be part of an experimental test of new graders begun two years ago.

He said graders in the test and the new ones are operated with a lever similar to a joy stick instead of a steering wheel.

Herzet said, ?When those graders were started in the morning, somebody in Peoria knew it.? He said the computers had been monitored through a computer-satellite system.

The commissioners awarded Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro an area fuel bid for 5,550 gallons of diesel for $14,902 over a competitive bid of $15,058 from Cardie Oil Co. of Tampa.

Tina Spencer of the county clerk?s office, acting in the absence of County Clerk Carol Maggard, reported the payday figure at $932,972.

Spencer said the county?s April sales tax share, collected in May and disbursed by the state in June, totaled $43,852.

Emergency Medical Services Director Larry Larsen told commissioners he spends an average of 20 hours a month on standby when not enough emergency medical technicians are available for ambulance service. This most often occurs in Marion, Peabody and Tampa, he said.

Dallke said that highlights the need for more volunteer EMTs to join the force. A new class is being formed for persons who are willing to take the responsibility, he said.

The commissioners met with Larsen for 20 minutes in executive session to discuss personnel.

The commissioners agreed to have Marion County join the Wichita Economic Development Coalition, a move Economic Development Director Teresa Williams said could bring more aircraft industry-related business to the county.

The commissioners discussed how state fire marshal requirements at the jail could affect law enforcement budgeting with Sheriff Lee Becker and Communications and Emergency Management Director Michelle Abbott-Becker.

Sheriff Becker said the budget may have to be adjusted six months down the road, depending on total jail costs. He said as many as two new employees may have to be hired to comply with one requirement that prisoners must be released within four minutes of an alarm.

Abbott-Becker said a communications employee alone at night cannot do all of the prisoner emergency release within four minutes.

The commissioners approved competitive bid purchases by Health Administrator Deidre Serene for a backup hard drive with related equipment from Great Plains Computers of Marion for $2,895, and of a 6-foot by 12-foot trailer from Deere Trail of Marion for $2,890.

Prairie View representatives told commissioners contractors have been delayed in putting modular units together for them at new county headquarters in Hillsboro.

They also said they need more clientele, particularly from among the elderly and men, to use new state funding and federal mandates.

Steve Hudson, park superintendent at Marion County Lake, received permission from commissioners to get bids for reprinting receipt books, to get rear-view mirror vehicle hangers so lake users can display whether they have paid use fees or not, and to use marker posts to assign camping spots,

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