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County to change recycling program

Staff writer

Marion County Commission voted Monday to end the county’s monthly recycling trailer route and to replace it by putting a large recycling bin in each community on the route.

The county will pay Stutzman Refuse Disposal Inc. of South Hutchinson $125 per bin per month for 10 large Dumpster-like recycling bins, which will be emptied every two weeks.

The county will pay to have one bin in each incorporated city in the county, excluding Marion, Hillsboro, and Peabody, plus a bin in Pilsen. Hillsboro and Peabody each have a city recycling program, and the recycling center at the transfer station in Marion will remain open.

Commissioners Roger Fleming and Dan Holub voted for the proposal. Commissioner Randy Dallke abstained, expressing concerns about the cost and how it would affect cities.

Holub said there are two advantages to the new system. The local sites will probably be more available than the once a month recycling trailer which traveled to each community. Also, residents will not have to sort their recyclables to go in the local bins.

The limited availability of the trailer and the requirement that goods be sorted combined to reduce participation in the recycling trailer program.

The new program was approved as a six-month trial. The commission will decide whether it wants to continue the program after six months. If the county discontinues the program, cities could have the opportunity to pay to keep a bin in town, Holub said.

“A couple years ago I was told we were only going to try the recycling route for one year and we’re still doing it,” Dallke said.

The recycling route began in the spring of 2009.

The biggest drawback of the planned program is the need for communities to monitor the bins to make sure people don’t put non-recyclable waste in them. The commission decided to leave that responsibility to the cities. Fleming said he wants written confirmation that the cities will supervise the sites.

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt said that a similar program operates in Butler County. Some of the cities there have bins at city buildings, which are unlocked at the start of each work day.

Holub figured that the bins need to average about three tons per bin per month to pay for themselves, as the county pays about $40 per ton to send waste to Butler County Landfill.

County will rent storage from City of Marion

The commission approved renting 1,000 square feet of space in a building owned by the City of Marion to store two trailers, a generator, and a pickup truck owned by the Emergency Management Department.

The building is located at 1003 Batt Drive, and the county will pay $232 per month for the space it rents. The rental will be on a month-by-month basis because the city is trying to sell the building.

Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin told the commission that the city would be willing to sell the building to the county for the right price. A document provided by Kjellin showed an asking price of $180,000 for the 10,000 square foot building.

In other business:

  • County Attorney Susan Robson discovered that Kansas law would allow the county to permit golf carts on county roads with certain restrictions. Golf carts can only be allowed on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or below and only between sunrise and sunset. That opens the possibility of allowing golf carts on roads at Marion County Park and Lake, which the county has received several requests to do. Roads around the lake have speed limits ranging from 10 to 35 mph.
  • Cardie Oil Company of Tampa will supply 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline to the Road and Bridge Department for $26,294. Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro bid $26,844.
  • Purchase of a half-ton 2001 Ford pickup truck for $8,200 was approved, contingent on it being in good condition when inspected in person. The truck has fewer than 60,000 miles of use and will be used by Road and Bridge Department.
  • Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson will seek proposals from local dealers for a tractor to mow at the lake.
  • Leadership Marion County will have a booth at the county fair, Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said.
  • Planning and Zoning Department will purchase a 2002 Ford Expedition for $9,500, contingent on it being in good condition when inspected in person. The SUV has fewer than 28,000 miles of use.
  • Appraiser’s Department employee Nicole Reid received a raise from $1,576 to $1,869 per month for changing jobs from data collector to office assistant.
  • Sarah Olsen was hired as a part-time office assistant for the Appraiser’s Department at a pay rate of $10.78 per hour.
  • The county’s cost to be a member of North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Junction City for 2012 will be about $35,675.
  • The commission met in closed session with County Clerk Carol Maggard for 10 minutes to discuss property acquisition at Dallke’s request.

The next scheduled commission meeting is Monday.

Last modified June 8, 2011

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