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County jail to get efficient heating/cooling system

Staff writer

State representative of Kansas’ 70th District, John Barker, came to Monday’s commission meeting to give a legislative update.

Kansas agriculture accounts for 44.5 percent of the state economy, he said. The concern is that the average income for the field has decreased drastically.

“The farm income has gone from $100,000 to $5,000,” Barker said. “Hopefully we don’t get into a trade war. There is some money to supplement the farmers for that, it’s not that much though.”

Barker pushed through a fund to erect a statue of President Dwight Eisenhower on the grounds of the state Capitol.

“I like to say he’s Kansas’ favorite son, even though he was born in Denison, Texas,” Barker said. “They have a plaque down there, we’re going to have a statue.”

Sheriff Rob Craft appeared to discuss options for replacing the jail’s heating and cooling system.

“What started this was, we’d have air conditioning on and it’d cool down to 70 degrees, sometimes lower than it needs to be,” commissioner Randy Dallke said. “Then the heater kicks on. In the middle of summer, we don’t need the heater on.”

According to Craft, the two systems are very finicky, sometimes running at the same time.

“I’d have an air conditioner going and in the next room I’d have a heater,” he said. “They’re fighting each other all the time. It’s not very cost effective.”

The commission unanimously approved replacing the system for $39,803.

Craft sought $3,325 for a spare hard drive for the jail, which passed unanimously. The jail’s control system needs specific features, and there are a limited number of suppliers.

When one hard drive goes down, the dispatch program shuts down temporarily to keep the jail online.

“Just trying to realize the importance of this, I think that’s something else that can be purchased,” Dallke said.

Barker was encouraged by the precautions.

In the event of a riot, Marion’s standard is to centralize inmates until they tire themselves out. The safeguards were similar ones in El Dorado and Norton, which worked well, he said.

“You were the first,” he said. “It’s a great facility, I’ve toured it.”

A bid was unanimously accepted for a packing machine to replace the crane at the transfer station.

A John Deere backhoe from Murphy Tractor will cost $115,993, and includes a five-year warranty. Until the vehicle is ready in mid-December, a rental will be supplied for $1,250 per month.

Officials representing Marion, Goessel, Burns and Peabody appeared to discuss connecting link roads in the county, but no decision was made.

Marion city administrator Roger Holter raised the possibility of a joint project between the county and local communities, where the communities would supply the employees and the county would train them.

“This is one of those problems that will continue to build day after day,” Holter said. “Until we at least have a path defined, it’s like we’re standing on a track and the train is coming. Are we going to jump off or are we going to figure out how to outrun this thing?”

Last modified Oct. 4, 2018

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