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Chairman pursuing commission expansion

Staff writer

County commission chairman Dianne Novak voiced support Monday for an increase in the number of commissioners. Just before Monday’s

“I have until Sept. 1 to put out a petition to get a question put on the ballot about taking the county commission board from a three-member to a five,” she said.

No motion was made because it was not a proposal. Novak was notifying the board and the audience of her intent.

Novak said the county was mentioned at a meeting she attended last week at Manhattan,

The county was an example of a trend going in the wrong direction, Novak said. The presenter showed the county has seen decreases in the total mileage of paved roads, road workers and crewmembers since 1975.

“He does bring up a lot of really interesting things about roads that make a lot of sense,” she said.

Isaac Hett, park and lake superintendent, asked about items for the tackle vending machine at Marion County Lake.

Nightcrawlers are currently the only bait in the machine. While people are happy with the supply, Hett would like to expand the options available.

Glenn Ratzlaff of Hillsboro would sell the, worth $2,675, to the county for $900. He is willing to sell the rest of his stock, worth $6,500 at retail, for an additional $1,700.

“We could have gotten all of that for $2,500,” Novak said. “That’s not good business.”

Commissioner Kent Becker thought it was a sound offer.

“I think he’s being more than fair on price,” Becker said.

To purchase the supplies for less, the county would have to use a wholesale vendor.

“You could get it cheaper, but you’d have to buy a lot more,” Hett said.

After some discussion, commissioner Randy Dallke voiced his support.

“I’ll just throw it out there and make a motion to purchase the whole thing,” he said. “We can try it the one time and get a track record of what we’re doing.”

Commissioners voted 2-1 to buy supplies for $2,600, with Novak opposed.

Hett also mentioned removal of several dead trees around the county lake was done.

“A lot of people have come up and said that they’re really happy about getting those dead trees out of there,” he said.

Novak signed a $116,225 check for the balance on a new ambulance that arrived Tuesday. The county previously received another new ambulance and will be reimbursed for one of the vehicles.

A third ambulance is in for repairs, needing a new turbo worth $2,000, and a catalytic converter worth $2,400.

Transfer station director Bud Druse told commissioners with details for a packing machine at the transfer station.

The facility currently uses a crane, but repairs needed for the crane are not worth it, he said.

“I definitely want to get one that’s going to be big enough where that if we dump two loads of trash, we can push it,” he said. “I don’t to have to monkey around with it.”

Druse said he would look into options to bring back to the commission.

Marion County resident Lloyd Meier complained that the city of Marion is not keeping Johnson grass in check on one of their plots.

“The only way I found to kill it is to go in with a rotary mower and go right in after, get into that open wound,” Meier said.

Per county standards, if the city does not inhibit the growth, the county will kill the weeds and will be reimbursed.

Last modified Aug. 29, 2018

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