FEMA rules limit claims by public entities

Staff reporter

Acting Marion County Public Works Director John Summerville reported to Marion County Commission Monday that after attending the FEMA meeting Friday, it was determined that the Marion County government entity did not have enough damage to warrant completing paperwork.

Cities and other governmental and non-profit entities can apply for assistance. Individuals do not qualify.

Summerville also reported that the county government would not be reimbursed by FEMA for assisting the smaller cities with debris removal. He was told that the individual cities had to contract haulers on their own.

Commission chairman Randy Dallke said he understood that FEMA would only reimburse those cities that had private contracts already in place before the storms occurred.

However, Dallke said he would like for the county road and bridge department to assist smaller communities with debris removal. Summerville said Lincolnville was the only community that had contacted him and made that request.

It was decided that if the county was to assist the smaller communities, debris had to be by the curb or sides of streets for the county to remove.

In other business:

— The commission approved a premium of $98,278 for property and content insurance for county properties.

Insurance representatives Richard Nickel of Hillsboro, Casey Case of Marion, and John Balthrop of Peabody presented the new policy for review. Insurance is through EMS Insurance Companies, Wichita.

Nickel said the major change in the county's policy was a nine percent increase of property value. The county has a $9.7 million blanket policy on property. All property is based on replacement costs.

Commissioner Bob Hein asked if some of the county vehicles could be covered for liability only instead of full coverage. Nickel said they had reviewed those and it was determined not to reduce any of the coverage.

The most frequent claims on the county's insurance was when people fell on the courthouse steps (seven), and claims of debris coming from trucks and damaging private vehicles (eight).

County clerk Carol Maggard commented that yellow paint was put on the courthouse steps where the most incidents had occurred.

— County zoning administrator Bobbi Strait reported that she recently was at the Danniel King residence and took new pictures of the situation.

King was reported to be out of compliance with a salvage operation. When the planning commission reviewed his application for a county permit in 2007, which is required for him to receive a state permit, specific conditions were required of King which included progress on a fence and a survey of his property.

The commission denied King's permit because he did not meet the requirements but reconsidered the decision and gave King additional time. It was determined that King had not been truthful with the commission and the commission then rescinded the extension and permanently denied the conditional use permit.

Strait showed pictures of a proposed fence line with no progress and a picture that verified that the "true" survey markers were still in place.

— The commission approved encumbrances of $7,500 for a drug dog and training, and $2,495 for five stinger stun guns for the sheriff's department.

— When the commission briefly discussed the possibility of hiring a financial consultant, Maggard commented that she would be in favor of the consultant but wasn't sure if he/she would be needed on a monthly basis.

A new three year auditor's contract will be reviewed by the commission at a future meeting when all three commissioners are in attendance. Commissioner Dan Holub was absent from Monday's meeting because he was attending a meeting in Topeka with county appraiser Cindy Magill regarding upcoming changes to the appraiser's computer software used for data collection and dispersement.

— Dallke requested a five-minute executive session with county noxious weed/hazardous household waste director and transfer station manager Rollin Schmidt to discuss personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.