Trucks dumping manure causes stink on county road

County seeking RFPs for lake development

Staff reporter

A trucking company and a Marion County farmer could face fines and repair costs after damaging a stretch of county road on Nighthawk.

Marion County Sheriff Lee Becker and undersheriff Randal Brazil told Marion County Commission March 31 that trucks were unloading manure into a field. When the trucks re-entered Nighthawk Road approximately two inches of material, mostly mud, fell from the vehicles and onto the roadway. Becker said if rain would have mixed with the six-foot wide, two-block long mud pile it could have caused vehicles traveling on the road to "wipe out."

County motorgrader operators scraped off the debris and citations were issued for spilling on the roadway.

Numerous loaded trucks that had turned into the field also damaged the county road. There were five trucks in all, Brazil said.

"It wasn't a good deal," Becker said.

The commission agreed that the citations needed to stand and the county should try to recoup costs to repair the road.

In other business:

— Commission Dan Holub told the commission that he wanted to seek requests for proposals from those interested in developing cabins and providing boat rentals at Marion County Lake. The RFPs would not include any type of café or use of the lake hall.

He said he wanted to see a privately-owned business develop at the lake instead of the county trying to do it with budget constraints, and he doesn't want to increase taxes to do this project.

"Fifteen to 20 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing," Holub said.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said the "big draw" to the lake is the heated dock.

"Wouldn't the cabins be a revenue stream like the heated dock?" he asked.

Holub said he wasn't totally against the county being involved in the development of the cabins but wanted to see what private developers had to offer.

He continued that he received a call the other day from a woman in Colorado who wanted to know how many cabins would be available in July for a family gathering.

— A correction was made regarding the date that a raise would become effective for acting public works director John Summerville.

The commission had approved a pay increase for Summerville to be effective Feb. 1, but his six-month anniversary as acting director would not have been until May 5. However his six-month anniversary as road foreman was March 1.

It was determined that the commission was increasing Summerville's salary as road foreman not as interim department director, so after a 10-minute executive session with the commission and county clerk Carol Maggard, the commission determined the pay increase should have been effective Feb. 21.

The increase was from $2,750 per month to $3,045 as road foreman.

— A 20-minute executive session was held between the commission and county attorney Susan Robson for attorney-client privilege regarding personnel.

The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— CKC representatives are planning to attend Monday's commission meeting. Maggard said she made contact with attorney Michael Mills, who agreed to come to the commission meeting to answer questions.

It was placed on the agenda for 1 p.m.

— The commission approved the purchase of a new air handler for the courtroom for $9,068. A new air conditioner had been installed for the third floor room but it was determined that a new air handler also needed to be installed.

— Former county appraiser employee Robin Taylor will continue to assist the appraiser's office as a part-time employee. The commission approved her salary at $10 per hour which was effective March 21.

— A new carpet extractor or vacuum cleaner was purchased for the courthouse and annex buildings. Maggard reported the other one had been out of commission for three months, waiting for parts.

She also informed the commission that the two custodians were working staggered shifts which allows more ease of cleaning when the building is not occupied.

— Holub requested and received a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Sales tax paid in January, collected in February, and distributed in March was $47,418 which continued to top previous year's totals.

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

See page 6 for this week's county commission story