Commissioners not included in pay raises

Marion County Commission discussed pay increases Monday for part-time county employees.

At the previous meeting, the county had approved an across-the-board cost of living pay increase of $75 per month for all full-time employees.

At Monday's meeting, the commission clarified that the pay increase does not include the commissioners.

In other business:

— Discussion was heard regarding the location of a third work station in the county's emergency communications department.

The commission instructed director of communications Michele Abbott-Becker to contact Tony Rangle of Law Kingdon Architects, Wichita, regarding cost estimates.

— Representatives of Marion County Conservation District requested the same allotment of $28,790, as given in previous years.

— Linda Ogden of Marion County Communities in Schools, distributed information about CIS programs and budget. She said that some programs have been discontinued and new ones started.

Ogden is trying to establish an action team in Peabody to look at risks and problems in the community.

"The community has a high rate of foster children and high use of alcohol," Ogden said. "Peabody is poised to make positive changes with a new school superintendent and The Hub."

She continued that more work needs to continue in the northern part of the county because there is a high rate of under-age alcohol use. In 2008, there was an increase for grades six, eight, 10, and 12, Ogden said, with an increase in cigarette use.

"Make note of the fact that methamphetamine and hard drugs are not our primary problems. Alcohol far exceeds other drugs," she said.

Another noted increase was in binge drinking which can cause alcohol poisoning, brain damage, unintentional injuries, sexual behavior and abuse, and other dangerous conditions.

The county provides $6,000 each year for the program which is paid through the county's health department.