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County allocates money for fairground improvements

Staff writer

Marion County Commission set aside $16,000 Monday for improvements at the Marion County Fairgrounds at the request of Marion County Fair Association. The funds will come from $26,000 the county was given for community enhancement during construction of the Keystone Oil Pipeline.

The funds will be used to add handicap-accessible restrooms and make other improvements to the 4-H building and to replace the rodeo arena announcer booth.

The 4-H building is rented out much of the year for gatherings. The announcer booth is a safety issue, Fair Association board members Kelli Savage and Dan Bernhardt said.

The estimated cost for both projects was about $16,000. The commission asked Savage to seek bids for the projects from Marion County businesses.

Wind farm agreements approved

The commission approved and signed agreements with Windborne Energy Inc. for the Doyle North 2 wind power project west of Florence.

The agreements require the company to pay to repair roads damaged by heavy traffic during construction of the project, post a bond to remove turbines when the project is decommissioned, and provide a payment in lieu of taxes to the county and other entities. The company is also required to provide as-built plans of the project after its completion.

The payment in lieu of taxes would be $400,000 annually per 100 megawatts of production capacity. The payment would cease if Kansas eliminated the property tax exemption on wind turbines.

In other business:

  • Jeff Saxton received an extension to July 1 to fix an overhand on his property at 21 Jerome at Marion County Lake. The overhang extends beyond the county’s required side yard setbacks.
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the former county landfill looked the best it has ever looked during an inspection Friday, Marion County Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards told the commission. Water testing results are not complete yet.
  • Alice Johnson, 2784 Meridian, requested 911 calls from her home go to McPherson County 911. Her house is right on the McPherson County line and is in the Durham fire district, but Canton is closer, Emergency Communications Interim Director Linda Klenda said. The commission agreed to the change, contingent on County Attorney Susan Robson signing off that the change is legal and that affected agencies are informed.
  • Commissioner Randy Dallke requested the commission schedule a meeting to discuss county employee health insurance.
  • The commission gave permission for county employees to wear costumes at work Monday for Halloween.
  • The county employee Christmas dinner will be Dec. 17 at the lake hall at Marion County Lake.
  • Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini met with the commission in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss job performance. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • D’Albini will delay purchase of a truck to tow a radio tower trailer until the beginning of 2012.
  • The county received about $54,000 of general sales tax for August sales. The jail sales tax collected about $48,000 in the same time.

The next scheduled commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Oct. 26, 2011

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