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Ramona Senior Center gives up building

Staff writer

Senior citizens in Ramona voted recently to dissolve the city’s senior center, county Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff told Marion County Commission on Monday.

The center’s building needed a new roof, but no money was available to pay for it, so at a June 12 meeting, the seniors voted to dissolve the senior center corporation and deed the building over to the City of Ramona, Ratzlaff said. A family had donated the building to the senior citizens group, she said.

She said the group planned to continue gathering for meetings, probably in the same building, though they won’t own it, they will distribute food commodities. The Department on Aging will continue to send information to the former senior center patrons.

The commission approved changing the department’s hours to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ratzlaff said the department hadn’t had any visitors between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Workers will still work a 40-hour week but take only half an hour for lunch instead of an hour.

Ratzlaff met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

Tax, loan benefits

Renee Lippincott from the Kansas Department of Commerce discussed the state’s rural opportunity zone.

Beginning July 1, residents of another state can move to certain rural counties — including Marion County — and receive a state income tax credit equal to their Kansas income tax for up to five years.

Also, residents of another county may move to Marion County and have up to $15,000 of student loans paid, depending on the commission’s action.

The state is willing to match up to $1,500 per person per year for five years if the county contributes the same amount. The recipient would have up to $3,000 of student loans paid for each of the first five years they lived in Marion County.

Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin told the commission that he had urged a family that was planning to move to Marion to wait until after July 1 if possible.

“I wouldn’t move here until after July 1,” Lippincott said.

People will have to prove residency in the county, she said. She said cities or other entities could contribute to the county’s share of the program’s cost, but no restrictions could be placed on where the recipient lived in the county.

In other business:

  • A resolution declaring a disaster related to Friday night storms was approved. Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini said damage in Marion was consistent with 70 to 90 mph winds. The city is seeking help from Kansas Department of Transportation to clean up.
  • The commission began preliminary steps to sell $1 million of temporary notes for short-term financing of jail construction. The notes will be available for purchase locally. Individuals interested in purchasing the notes should contact their financial adviser, bond counsel David Arteberry said.
  • The commission met in closed session to discuss personnel for five minutes at the request of Commissioner Randy Dallke.
  • After a five-minute closed session with County Clerk Carol Maggard to discuss personnel, the commission announced that the economic development position qualifies as an administrative position exempt from receiving overtime or compensatory time off. Current director Teresa Huffman will keep already-earned comp time but will not accrue any more.
  • Patching and chip-sealing Nighthawk Road between U.S. 50 and U.S. 56 will cost about $395,000 for materials, Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet said.
  • Herzet met with the commission in closed session to discuss personnel for 20 minutes. The commission met another 10 minutes without Herzet afterward. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier met with the commission to discuss rescue truck equipment. Equipment to meet four primary rescue trucks’ short-term needs will cost about $10,000, he said. To completely standardize the four primary units would cost $60,000. The county budgeted $25,000 for rescue truck equipment in 2011.
  • Jessie Kaye, chief executive officer of Prairie View, the community mental health center for Marion County, requested $65,000 for 2012, the same as Prairie View requested for 2011. The county budgeted $62,000 for 2011.
  • Community mental health center Prairie View chief executive officer Jessie Kaye requested $65,000 for 2012, the same as the 2011 request, although the county budgeted $62,000 for 2011.

The next scheduled commission meeting will be June 27.

Last modified June 22, 2011

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