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County considers making changes to revitalization program

Staff writer

Marion County’s neighborhood revitalization program needs to be simplified, county commissioners said Tuesday. The question remains whether to focus on simplifying it for property owners or program administrators.

Commissioners discussed revising the program with County Appraiser Cindy Magill, County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman, and County Attorney Susan Robson.

The program as it currently exists nearly warrants having a full-time employee to administer it, Magill said.

Commissioners addressed several issues with the program, but made no final determinations. Among the issues raised were:

  • Whether to allow extensions for projects that were not completed by the deadline.
  • Whether to allow multiple projects on the same parcel.
  • How to address projects that change in value after completion.
  • How long to issue rebates. Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said 10 years is a long time to offer rebates.
  • How to handle natural disasters. Greensburg had a revitalization program when the town was struck by a tornado, and tax rebates for reconstruction essentially wiped out the town’s tax base, Commissioner Dan Holub said.

Any changes to the plan would not affect projects already in the program.

Commissioners decided to meet Oct. 4 to discuss the program again.

Employees tracking flood damage

Two Road and Bridge Department and one Park and Lake Department employees were scheduled to begin documenting flood damage this morning for Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A lot of money to repair flood damage is at stake, Dallke said, but he didn’t know exactly how much. The county has 30 to 40 more days to document damage caused by June floods.

The employees will take pictures of and note the latitude and longitude of any damage they see. Employees had previously worked on the project as time allowed.

In other business:

  • Commissioners met in closed session for five minutes to discuss acquisition of land. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Cardie Oil Company of Tampa will supply 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline to Road and Bridge Department for $18,990. Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro bid $19,176.
  • Road and Bridge Department will spread sand on stretches of gravel road near Tampa and between Peabody and Burns to alleviate dust from former blacktop roads.
  • Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet met with commissioners in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Road Foreman John Summerville met with commissioners in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • A property owner who has solid waste in a waterway was given a 15-day extension to remedy the pollution before the county turns the case over to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The property owner was previously given a deadline of Sept. 1.
  • A young county resident received permission to bowhunt for deer at the former county landfill.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

Last modified Sept. 9, 2010

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