Marion County hears from Emergency Management and other department updates



Storm safety was the topic for the weekly Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday when Emergency Management Director Marcy Hostetler gave a quarterly update.

Hostetler told the board about the upcoming Storm Fury on the Plains event planned for March 16. The event is at 6:30 p.m. at the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts at Tabor College in Hillsboro. It is a training on storm identification and safety presented by the National Weather Service of Wichita. The event is hosted by Marion County Emergency Management and is open to the public. The National Weather Service is also doing a specialized training with Hostetler, her dispatch workers and other staff.

“I’m doing something different this year and will do an abbreviated version for some emergency responders who are unable to make it to the event. I will do the training in Burns the following week,” said Hostetler.

She said another new thing the department is doing is to see if there is any interest for home spotters.

“If they want to report conditions from their home or back deck, they could do that to help us know the conditions around the county. They can’t be out in their vehicles or anything dangerous like that. They have to go through a yearly training through the National Weather Service, but once they do, they can be on my list to report weather conditions to me and help us spot issues,” said Hostetler.

Hostetler explained some of the procedures for dealing with hazardous materials to the board and shared the training and handbook material that she has. The material explains what the department as a whole does as well as individual responsibilities and how the department works with other departments such as the Sheriff’s office. Hostetler stated that all of the information is available on their website including any training meetings that they have.

“Those things are public information so that everyone can know what is supposed to happen,” said Hostetler.

She also said that there was a fire outside of Marion over the weekend but multiple fire departments worked together to put it out quickly.

“They all did a fantastic job and things turned out a lot better than they could have,” she said.

The board also head a grant update from Marion County Health Department Director Krista Schneider. Schneider said that KDHE has notified her that the final date to expend the COVID-19 grants (Expanding Infrastructure, IAP3, IAP4) has been extended to July 31, 2024.

“We have ‘ear tagged’ a portion of those funds for carryover in the 2024 state fiscal year which is July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.

Schneider will return to the board on March 13 for final grant approval.

In other business, the board:

n met in executive session with Schneider regarding personnel performance.

n met in executive session with Hostetler regarding personnel performance.

n heard from Contracting Officer Stanley Entz regarding the Whitewater Water Shed.

n listened to Road and Bridge updates from County Engineer Brice Goebel. Goebel also gave a department update.

n met in executive session with Goebel regarding personnel performance.

n met in executive session regarding possible litigation.

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