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Counties work together to fight pipeline exemption

Staff writer

Marion County and five other counties agreed to jointly hire a law firm to oppose an effort by TransCanada — owner of the planned Keystone oil pipeline — from receiving a property tax exemption.

Marion, Butler, Clay, Cowley, Dickinson, and Washington counties each committed $2,000, Marion County Commissioners announced Monday. Commissioners previously approved committing $2,000, contingent upon at least four of the other five counties committing.

A planned Jan. 7 meeting between commissioners and state legislators regarding the pipeline was canceled because only Rep. Bob Brookens would have been available. Commissioners decided to invite Brookens to meet with them as part of the Jan. 4 meeting.

Commissioners approved a permit Monday for a temporary pipe storage yard at the intersection of Quail Creek and 290th roads for TransCanada.

Marion County will pay state property tax on four lots it acquired in tax sales rather than apply for exemptions, because Kansas has added a $50 application fee per lot for exemptions.

Taxes on the lots total $56. There are two lots in Lost Springs and one each in Lincolnville and Tampa. Commissioners said they were willing to give the lots to the cities.

In other business:

  • Kansas Association of Counties dues for 2010 are $2,462, based on county population and property valuation.
  • Commissioners gave tentative approval to move a 1998 mobile home to a lot near Marion. Current zoning regulations prohibit any mobile home older than 2001, but Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards discovered that the building standards in 2001 were established in 1994. Commissioners plan to go through the process of changing the regulations to allow 1994 and newer mobile homes.
  • Kansas Workers Risk Cooperative premiums for 2010 will be unchanged at $105,682.
  • Canada Bait and Tackle’s cereal malt beverage license renewal was approved.
  • Ransom and Lilian Wiebe, of Durham, were enrolled in the county neighborhood revitalization program. A miscommunication before construction of a farm building led the Wiebes to believe the application was due after construction.
  • Canon won a bid for a microfilm scanner for the register of deeds’ office with a bid of $6,991. Konica Minolta bid $7,355.
  • Raymond Just met with commissioners regarding waterways surrounding farm land he owns. He said he was displeased when commissioners, in a previous meeting, gave the impression that he had done something wrong. He said he wanted an apology in a newspaper.
  • Commissioners met in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel, at the request of Commissioner Randy Dallke.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Dec. 24, 2009

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