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Commission OKs zoning for cabins

But more plans are needed for lease

Staff writer

Marion County Commission took the unusual step Monday of overruling Marion County Planning Commission’s recommendation to reject a conditional use permit application for rental cabins at Marion County Park and Lake.

Planning Commission members on April 28 recommended rejecting the application by siblings Chris, Heather, Molly, and Tamra Holub by a 5-3 vote. Planning Commission Chairman David Mueller said some members were categorically against cabins at the lake, while others opposed one location, and others opposed another location.

Commissioner Dan Holub, father of the applicants, excused himself from the discussion.

Tamra Holub said the siblings hoped to return to the county, but there are few jobs available.

Planning Commission member Nick Kraus, who was in favor of the application, said Monday that the county is having a difficult time attracting young families to return.

About 160 high school seniors graduated over the weekend in the county, and he questioned how many will remain or return in Marion County. Not many, he guessed.

Kraus asked what better use for land there is than to give young families an opportunity to return.

Gordon Pendergraft, who resides full-time at the lake, said he was opposed to private enterprise taking place on county-owned land. Other audience members reiterated concerns from the Planning Commission meeting about historic preservation of the lake, and overcrowding and safety at the proposed areas.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he had sentiments similar to Kraus, but concerns remained. He said the lake is “dear” to him, and he likes what the county has going at the lake.

The lake’s purpose to the county is for public enjoyment. His biggest concern on that issue is that there aren’t plans for a full-time manager at the cabins. That could result in partying that would be detrimental to the other people enjoying the lake, Dallke said.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming, who previously had a home at the lake, said location was his biggest concern. The Holubs are proposing building cabins near the heated fishing dock.

Conversely, he said he wants to reverse the trend of losing population, and tourism is one of the biggest attractions the county has.

“I vacillated back and forth so many times,” Fleming said.

Dallke made a motion to overrule the Planning Commission’s recommendation, and to grant a conditional use permit for rental cabins at 10 Heated Dock Road. Fleming seconded the motion, and it was approved, 2-0.

The commissioners said they want to see more detail on the Holubs’ plan before they would approve leasing the land for the cabins.

Road graders leased

The commission approved the purchase of three 2006 Caterpillar 140H road graders coming off lease from Foley Tractor of Salina for a total of $337,545 over five years.

The county traded in three older road graders and leased two new Caterpillar 140M2 graders with a total annual payment of $49,594 for five years. At the end of the five years, the county will have an option to purchase them.

Road and Bridge Department will also purchase a Caterpillar 320D excavator at an annual payment of $27,083 for five years and a $76,115 payment up front.

Recycling plan presented

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt presented a proposal for countywide recycling from Stutzman Refuse Disposal Inc. of South Hutchinson.

The company is proposing to put Dumpster-like recycling bins in communities for pickup once every two weeks. All recyclable refuse could be put in the bins without being sorted, Schmidt said.

The county would pay $125 per month for each bin. Holub said he reviewed the proposal, and he thought of seven communities that would be good locations to put the bins. The communities would need to provide volunteers to monitor the bins during hours they are available to the public, he said.

If one bin is insufficient for a community, extra bins could be added. Fleming suggested that in communities that need more than one bin, the city could pay the fee for the extra bins.

The recycled goods wouldn’t be weighed, so the county wouldn’t know how much was being diverted from the regular trash stream.

In other business

  • Marianne Siebert was hired as a clerk in the treasurer’s office at a salary of $1,820 per month.
  • Nathan Hoffman was hired as a part-time reserve officer in the sheriff’s department with a wage of $10 per hour.
  • The commission met in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel at Dallke’s request. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Goessel resident Tony Epp asked whether the county should cease sales tax exemptions for organizations and individuals in the county. He said it would be morally right for those groups to pay sales tax to help pay for the jail. He also said he would like the county to run a list of organizations and individuals with sales tax exemptions in local newspapers. The state has sole authority to grant and repeal sales tax exemptions, Holub said.
  • Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Huffman attended Kansas Sampler Festival in Leavenworth where she received a Positive Force for Rural Communities Award. She gave away all of the county visitors guides she took to the event.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Monday.

Last modified May 19, 2011

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