County continues recycling talk

Staff writer

Marion County Commission collectively expressed continued interest in single-stream recycling.

The commissioners would prefer that Marion, Hillsboro, Goessel, and Florence would come on board with a county program. Having Marion and Hillsboro would ensure enough recyclables would make a difference in reducing transfer station trash costs.

“We should all have the same goal, which is to reduce the trash load going to Butler County,” Commissioner Dan Holub said.

The commission established a meeting date, 10 a.m. May 28, to have a member from the Hillsboro, Marion, Goessel, and Florence city governments discuss concerns with a recycling program.

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt advised commissioners to be prepared to answer questions concerning potential costs with the program.

Trains

The Commission held a public hearing with concerned residents living near railroad crossings at 150th and 180th Roads. Union Pacific Railroad plans to close crossings at each location.

In return, the county will receive $150,000 and two armed crossing stations at Pawnee Road in Aulne and over Remington Road near the 180th crossing.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said the reason for the closings is safety … and that the railroad wants to save money in crossing maintenance.

Don Fruechting and Betty Richmond have neighboring 80-acre plots separated into eastern and western sections by the 150th crossing. Both landowners were concerned with gaining access for renting farmers. They said Union Pacific denied the possibility of a field crossing. Dallke said he would bring up field crossings in a letter to Union Pacific.

Jason Kruse’s primary concern was also gaining access to land surrounding the 180th crossing, although he said there was already a field crossing in place.

Residents Scott Thornhill and Lowell Socolofsky were worried about the elevation surrounding the Remington Road crossing. Thornhill said it is difficult to see southbound traffic when approaching the crossing from the north.

“People coming over the pass are a bigger hazard than a train coming,” Thornhill said.

Dallke suggested moving the crossing south or elevating the road to provide better sightlines.

There will be a future public meeting to discuss the issue.

Health survey

The commission approved the health department to use John Leatherman, professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, to design surveys for an assessment.

Leatherman’s services will be paid in part by a Kansas rural Community Health Mini Assessment Grant. Health Department Director Deidre Serene said only 60 percent of the $4,000 grant can be used outside of the local community. She said the plan is to pay for Leatherman’s fee with help from other entities including local hospitals.

Questions may include inquiries about utilizing local hospitals, the use of home health, and elderly services. Serene is looking to find out what resources Marion County residents use and what resources they desire.

Another goal is for the county to cooperate with other health providers to find out if there are duplicated services.

“Everybody likes to network computers,” Holub said. “I like to network brains — pool our resources.”

The plan is to distribute surveys through hospitals, emergency medical service crew meetings, Parents as Teachers visits, and Safe Kids home visits.

Backhoe

The Road and Bridge Department will pursue trade in options for a 1992 backhoe.

Road and Bridge director Randy Crawford said there was a 12-year-old backhoe he had inspected. He hopes the newer backhoe to cost about $30,000 in a trade-in deal.

In another Road and Bridge Department development, Crawford will hire Jason Creevan, previously acquired for summer help, to replace Paul Webb when the summer season begins.

Storage

The commission specifically discussed plans for the 86x91 storage building planned to be placed near the new jail building with independent adviser Mel Flaming of Peabody.

Particular items broached were the roof, bathroom, locks, sprinkler system, and lights. The building is still in a stage of discussion because the county needs to apply for a conditional use permit through the city of Marion.

When completed, the building will hold files, pickup trucks, trailers, and other pieces of small equipment.

Stage

The commission approved a bid from the Lumberyard in Hillsboro for $730 worth of lumber for a stage for the Marion County Fair.

Previously this bid was won by Seacat’s Hardware in Marion, which went bankrupt.

The Lumberyard had the lowest bid competing against two bids from Peabody Hardware and Lumber of $872 and $931.

Fence

The commission discussed 620 feet of 6-foot tall privacy fence to surround the east and northern sections of the jail.

Commissioner Roger Fleming talked with Andale Ready Mix concrete about poured in place concrete panels. The commission decided to pursue bids on this option, preemptively estimated at $55 a square foot.

“The company said they put this in a lot of gated communities,” Fleming said. “Well, we have a gated community we’d like to put it around.”

Boxcar

Road and Bridge and transfer station will cooperate in a project to destroy and dispose of an abandoned boxcar filled with tires and scrap metal located on the old county landfill property.

 

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