Marion County Commission approved a cell phone plan for the Road and Bridge Department with U.S. Cellular on Monday.
Half the department is already using a U.S. Cellular plan along with sheriff’s and appraisers offices. The commission approved a plan to include all the phones in the department, which is slated to cost $3,240 for a two-year contract. The phones themselves cost a penny apiece.
The plan for U.S. cellular costs approximately the same as the Verizon wireless plan, which only covered 13 phones, Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said.
The commission asked for an incoming text feature to be included so Road and Bridge Department personnel can receive in mass messages. Unlimited incoming texts and mobile to mobile calls are included. Outgoing texts are not.
Commissioners asked for a training session for employees about texting and what it would cost them out of paychecks, 25 cents per text.
Executive Director of the South Central Kansas Economic Development District Bill Bolin gave Marion County Commission an update of their activities as a member of the 14 county serving organization.
SCKEDD provides services for families to insulate homes as a part of the Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program through Kansas Social and Rehabilitative Services. The program pays for up to the complete cost of weather proofing a home.
SCKEDD also provides businesses with gap financing with two separate programs. Gap financing is when a business applies for a loan for a project but receives less than the necessary total to accomplish that task.
SCKEDD provides cities with free grant writing services, especially for community development block grants for streets, sewers, and other public projects.
Bolin said the requirements for CDBG have changed — a matching contribution from the community is necessary to receive a grant. The housing rehabilitation program has completely changed. The program is now conducted through a community survey. The survey determines what needs to be done on a housing project, like rebuilding one burned down house, to consider the project complete.
In other business:
- The commission approved work on chip-seal for Rollin Jirak’s driveway in northern Marion County. The surfacing deal dates back to road construction in the 1950s, Commission Chairman Dan Holub said. Commissioners told Crawford that just the driveway was approved in the agreement and this will be the one and only time it will be honored.
- Crawford is looking into purchasing a bucket truck through E-bay. The lightly used truck, located in Florence, Ky, is currently priced at $6,000 but still has two more days to receive bids. The commission gave Crawford the authority to purchase the truck for up to $20,000 to be used for tree trimming.
- Road and Bridge supervisor Bud Druse gave an update about an open range suggestion by Louis Vestring across a county road. Vestring wants to allow cattle to graze across the road. A land owner on the other side of road nixed the deal. Commissioner Randy Dallke had previously stated that the road would be used for grazing only if all surrounding landowners were in agreement.
- A one-year raise was approved for transfer station employee Norman Dirks from $2,021 a month to $2,061 a month. Transfer station employee James Wallace was moved to full-time employment at $10 an hour.
- The commission signed a resolution sent to Gov. Sam Brownback asking him not to move $800,000 earmarked for the Local Emergency Protection Plan budget to another section of the state budget.