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New road chief hears county's expectations

Staff writer

Communication will be the key to success, Marion County Commission told new Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford on Tuesday — communication with the commission, communities in the county, and department employees.

Commissioner Randy Dallke emphasized that any issues that arise should be discussed with the whole commission rather than a single commissioner.

Commissioner Dan Holub said Crawford may expect occasional calls to let him know about issues, but any major decisions, especially those that involve spending money, will need the involvement of the full commission.

Crawford asked how to handle urgent needs, like if a truck needs new tires. Dallke said Crawford has authority for some emergency spending, especially when it is a matter of safety. He said that in Crawford’s example, he should get the tires replaced, then inform the commission of what happened later. He said he didn’t want Crawford to have to wait for an answer on matters of safety.

“We’re not going to micromanage,” Holub said.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said it will be important to keep communities apprised of the status of road projects in their areas. For example, chip seal projects were planned for roads near Goessel this year, but circumstances have prevented completion, and that is something Crawford should let the city know about.

The commission urged Crawford to go to city council meetings in all of the cities in the county to introduce himself and learn what road issues each community has.

In addition to the roads near Goessel, other major projects on the horizon include an asphalt overlay of 330th Road between K-15 and Tampa and culvert and blade-patching on Peabody Street in Peabody, which the city and county share 50-50.

“There’s a lot for me to learn,” Crawford said.

Crawford met in closed session with the commission for 15 minutes to discuss personnel at Dallke’s request. On return to open session, the commission announced employees Bud Druse and Jesse Hamm will serve as assistants to Crawford until the end of 2011, as Crawford gets adjusted to the position.

City of Marion will have a hand in jail project

Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin and Public Works Director Marty Fredrickson met with the commission to discuss cooperation on jail construction.

Fourth Street west of where the new jail will be will have to be torn up to hook up adequate electrical, water, and sewer service to the jail. That will require extensive repairs afterward, which Dallke said he expected to be done in spring of 2013.

The city officials and commission agreed that re-patching the brick street wouldn’t be adequate, considering the scope of the project. They said relaying a concrete street will be more likely.

Architect Andy Pitts spoke with the commission via speakerphone about who would do what work on the project. The city will be responsible for installing electrical lines to the meter and transformer at the building, as well as a 2-inch water line for regular water service, as well as tapping the water and sewer mains for other lines. Contractors will connect the jail to the sewer system, as well as installing a 6-inch water line for fire suppression.

Last modified Sept. 8, 2011

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