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Jail reached capacity during weekend

Staff writer

Marion County Jail reached its maximum capacity of 16 inmates during the weekend, Sheriff Rob Craft told county commissioners Tuesday.

The Kansas State Fire Marshal ruled in 2010 that the upper floor of the jail may hold 20 people, including dispatchers and jailers, leaving room for 16 inmates.

Weekend court commitments, new arrests, and people who were arrested on warrants in other counties pushed the jail population up, Craft said. The jail ordinarily has a population of 8 to 13 inmates. By Tuesday, its population had returned to 13, he said.

Craft met with commissioners in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

Commission wants to gauge tourism, development interest

Commissioners instructed Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman to gauge the interest among county residents of volunteering in tourism and economic development.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said knowing what people are interested in is key to creating an effective organization to support those efforts. Marion County Economic Development Council disbanded in December.

Commissioners also agreed it would be wise to separate business development and recruitment from tourism. They considered the possibility that single-purpose committees might best hold the interest of volunteers passionate about those activities.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Huffman at (620) 382-8830.

Wind farm agreements approved

Commissioners approved infrastructure and public safety, payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, road use, and decommissioning agreements with Windborne Energy Inc.

Rex Savage of Windborne Energy and County Attorney Susan Robson had reached agreement on wording of the agreements, the terms of which commissioners had previously agreed on with Savage.

The agreements are part of Savage’s effort to find a developer to build a wind farm in an area between Marion, Florence, and Peabody.

In other business:

  • Fleming was elected commission chairman for 2011, and Dan Holub was elected vice chairman.
  • The Marion County Record was selected as the county’s official publisher of legal notices for 2011.
  • Commissioners approved permits for young and disabled hunters to hunt at the former county landfill site.
  • Wages for part-time employees and salaries for commissioners were kept at their current levels.
  • Deputy County Clerk Tina Spencer was allowed to roll over 5.75 hours of vacation to February that would have expired at the end of the current pay period.
  • Commissioners instructed Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet to find out the annual cost to pay back a possible $2 million loan from Kansas Department of Transportation. KDOT approved the loan for an asphalt overlay of 330th Road from K-15 to Tampa. When the commission makes its decision on what to do with the road, it needs to spell out the plan clearly to residents of Tampa to avoid confusion, Fleming said.
  • Herzet met with commissioners in closed session for 20 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Interim Communications Director Linda Klenda met with commissioners in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

The next commission meeting is Monday.

Last modified Jan. 19, 2011

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