• Last modified 393 days ago (April 27, 2023)


County ponders request for tours

Staff writer

A hotel owner might add courthouse tours to attractions she offers guests.

Tammy Ensey, co-owner of the Historic Elgin Hotel, asked county commissioners Monday about arranging regular tours of the courthouse, Marion City Library, trails, and other places.

Each tour would last about 3½ hours.

“We plan to offer this on the weekends as well as weekdays,” she said.

She has applied for a grant to buy a bus to provide transportation for the tours.

County clerk Tina Spencer said she had worked with tours at special times.

“This sounds like a lot of times,” Spencer said.

Spencer said that security concerns would have to be met and that if a tour were to come on a weekend, someone would have to be at the courthouse to unlock it.

Liability and insurance considerations would need to be examined, too, commissioners said.

“It looks like we have to do some research,” chairman Dave Mueller said. “This is not a firm no.”

Commissioners also voted 4-1 Monday to seek an architect to design a health department building to be built at property that formerly housed the county food bank.

“Is our fee going to include an oversight of the project?” Spencer asked.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he didn’t want to specify that the architectural firm would oversee construction.

Commissioner Kent Becker, who has said he wants the county health department to relocate to Hillsboro, opposed seeking an architect.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Unanimously approved a request for proposals from executive search firms to recruit a county administrator.
  • Transferred the county’s Safe Kids trailer to Marion Fire Department so it can transport an inflatable fire safety tool by all departments in the county.
  • Heard that the city of Marion was contemplating an open records training session.

Last modified April 27, 2023