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County tables lake rent discussion

Staff writer

Marion County Commission voted Monday to delay making any decisions about increasing rent on mobile home lots at Marion County Park and Lake until 2012.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he wanted a full report on expenses for the mobile home court for 2011 from Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson before deciding.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said there are issues other than rent that should be addressed sooner, such as electrical service. He also said he would prefer any rent increases be incremental, because the mobile home court already covers its own expenses.

The county shouldn’t settle for covering expenses at the trailer court, commissioner Dan Holub said. It is a marketable resource that should be able to make money, he said. He added that his proposal to increase the rent from $1,050 to $2,500 was only intended as a starting point for discussion.

Direct income isn’t the only benefit of the rental trailers, Fleming said. Visitors spend money at other businesses in the county, and it can add up to a lot.

Holub said he would support reverting the area to recreational vehicle camping instead of permanent trailers through attrition as current leaseholders leave.

While most of the leaseholders are honest, there are reports of renters taking advantage of the county by having unapproved electrical appliances in their mobile homes, Holub said.

“They’re stealing from us,” he said. “Why have a contract if you’re not going to hold people to it.”

Fleming said issues other than rent can be addressed before the end of the year, but he said he wanted to delay further discussion about rent until 2012. The commission voted, 2-1, to delay any rent increase. Holub opposed the motion.

$35,718 approved for rescue equipment

The commission approved spending $35,718 to purchase electrical rescue equipment for two of the four rescue trucks in the county.

Both units will be equipped with an electrical cutter and spreader. They will continue to use a hydraulic ram if needed. The electrical equipment will be quicker and easier to use in extracting accident victims trapped in vehicles compared with the hydraulic cutters and spreaders the trucks currently have.

Unless unexpected expenses are incurred, the county will probably outfit the other two rescue trucks with electrical equipment in 2012.

In other business:

  • The 2012 budget was approved with a total mill levy of 65.924 mills.
  • Penalties and interest of $5,254 for back property tax on the Holiday Motel at Florence were waived. South Central Kansas Economic Development District is trying to find a buyer for the motel.
  • Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro will supply 8,000 gallons of diesel and unleaded gasoline to Road and Bridge Department for $25,955. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa bid $27,093.
  • Atmos Energy will hire a contractor to rebuild a dirt road north of Marion where one of the company’s gas mains had been uncovered by rain and road grading.
  • Blade patching on Main Street in Goessel went well, Road and Bridge Interim Superintendent John Summerville said. It should be in good condition to be chip sealed as part of a series of projects in the area next spring and summer.
  • The county will receive a refund of approximately $12,000 on its insurance premiums, because the members of an insurance pool the county belongs to had less in claims than premiums in the past year, Richard Nickel of the Insurance Center told the commission.
  • Bonds providing protection against employee malfeasance were updated. The county now has protection up to $35,000 per employee on all employees. Previously, protection was $10,000 per employee, except $35,000 per treasurer’s department employee.
  • The commission met in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss road and bridge superintendent applicants. The commission planned to schedule interviews with applicants, but did not set a time or date.
  • Resolution 11-18 was approved, correcting the legal description of a conditional use permit for recreational cabins at Marion County Park and Lake.
  • Holub requested Planning and Zoning and Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards work with Kansas Department of Health and Environment to test for blue-green algae at the lake before Labor Day weekend.

The next scheduled commission meeting will be Aug. 31.

Last modified Aug. 25, 2011

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