County proposes 1.5% tax increase
Marion County Commission proposed a 1.5 percent tax increase Tuesday, an increase of $9.78 on property taxes for a typical $85,000 home.
The 2013 budget will be published and then residents will have an opportunity to voice opinions at a public hearing Aug. 20.
With an added mill, the county is now up to 67.107 mills, about $656 on an $85,000 home.
The increase will raise $112,585 based on assessed property valuations, which are up more than $3 million. The money will be inserted in a capital improvement fund for road projects.
With the added mill, the county will now have the equivalent of 10 mills reserved for road projects.
The first project up in 2013 will be a section of Remington Road near 30th Road.
Road and bridge will have the largest budget of any county department at $3,730,553. It increased by $710,558 from 2012 partly because of road projects to be completed this year. Separate from the regular budget there is a special bridge budget of $281,797.
The second largest increase in the budget proposed by the commission on Tuesday was for employee benefits, rising $160,828 to $1,293,478.
Most departments stayed the same or had their budget cut.
Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford reported that work was scheduled to begin on 40th, 60th, and 120th Roads. Work also will begin on a half-inch overlay for 120th Road in Goessel. That project will cost $39,000.
The commission also approved a decree that utilities in the county must be buried at least 2 feet deep in county right-of-ways.
In other business Tuesday, the commission extended the county burn ban through their next meeting Aug. 13.
Mike Benjamin, Union Pacific Railroad manager of special projects, clarified the railroad’s plans near Aulne.
The railroad will close crossings at 150th and 180th roads. It will then build a connecting road from 180th to the Remington Road crossing. The Remington Road crossing will have a set of lights and gates. Union Pacific will also add lights and gates to a crossing at Pawnee Road. The lights and gates will be paid for by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Lights and gates at 140th will be moved. The railroad will pay for barricades and signs but will have the county install the signs.
The railroad plans to pay the county $150,000 for the 150th closing and at least $70,000 for the 180th closing and construction. Benjamin said the railroad’s contractor would be responsible for any damage to 140th Road.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub also talked about the county’s request for a radio tower next to the jail.
He said that he and Sheriff Rob Craft had checked for a conduit between the old jail and new jail and it does not exist.
He said the proposed tower would not fall on the property of Darvin and Sue Markley, adding that the length was measured by commissioner Randy Dallke.
He also accused the Marion County Record of employing “yellow journalism” in its editorials and coverage of tower negotiations with the city.