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County sees increase in oil company interest

Staff writer

Equipment upgrades were discussed for two county departments Monday at the Marion County Commission meeting. The requests were spurred by demand from oil companies with interests in the county.

Register of Deeds Jo Ottensmeier requested copying 126 deed books from microfilm to compact discs. The cost of the copies would be $12,096. She said she has $18,326 in her technology budget.

She said some of the older books are starting to get worn on the spines as oil company representatives check through patents searching for previous oil deeds on county properties.

“With oil leases, this is probably not going away any time soon,” Ottensmeier said.

Commissioners suggested Ottensmeier look into a file server system that would be easier for her to access and would speed up time with customers in the office.

The commission approved the purchase of a Ricoh Aficio SP printer, $643, for County Appraiser Cindy Magil. Magil said there has been increased demand for printed materials with oil companies asking for maps.

Trailers

The commission went over 40 rules and regulations for trailer park leases at Marion County Lake with Friends of Marion County Lake.

The main pillars of the agreement include preparing leases from Feb. 1 through Jan. 31 and that there must be inspections conducted by non-county personnel, electricians and construction contractors as an example, for trailers. Commissioners will hold a special meeting with the tenant association 1 p.m. March 26 to finalize the rules and regulations.

The two groups also discussed rent for trailers in the county. Commission Chairman Dan Holub argued that $327 a month trailer owners pay in rent, not including utilities, was not a steep enough charge to match the county’s expenses for lake maintenance.

“For you, for a month, we’ll get a camper or guy with an electric trailer hook up for two days,” Holub said.

Friends of Marion County Lake argued that the lake made a profit in 2011 and that all the fees should be analyzed.

A raise in rent will also be discussed further March 26.

  • The commission approved a bid from Welborn Sales, Inc. for culverts for Pilsen and 30th Roads. The bid was for $30,825. J&J Drainage Products had the other bid at $32,313.
  • Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson will investigate repairs for a termite-damaged trailer at the lake. Hudson told the commission that children 5 and younger would not be allowed to participate in the marshmallow roast March 24. Hudson also discussed a resident at the lake who wants to build a carport. The commissioners tabled a decision on the carport until Randy Dallke could be available. Dallke was repairing a gas main leak during the meeting.
  • Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford discussed hiring seasonal help. He will bring the commission an offer sheet next week. Crawford also discussed health insurance for road and bridge employees. He brought in insurance information was a decision was tabled for a future meeting.
  • The county approved a payment for the jail worth $286,529 to Lloyd Builders.
  • Deputy County Clerk Tina Spencer told commissioners that a resolution that would return four properties acquired by the county on tax sales was drafted and would be ready for next Monday after it is reviewed by an attorney.
  • The commission signed a letter of support to the North-Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging on its bid to become the statewide aging and disability resource center. NCFHAA would be a subcontractor for the state.
  • The commission will attend a public meeting for the closure of facilities at AGAPE senior center at 2 p.m. March 19 in Goessel.
  • The court of tax appeals informed the county that a property tax exemption for the jail has been approved.
  • The commission approved Marion PRIDE members to landscape around the courthouse. PRIDE president Pam Bowers said the organization would focus on finding low maintenance evergreen shrubs for the courthouse grounds.
  • The commission announced that Gov. Sam Brownback may attend the marshmallow roast March 24 at Marion County Park and Lake. “That’s a lot of work for a free marshmallow,” Dan Holub said.

The next commission meeting will be March 19.

Last modified March 14, 2012

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