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Marion Reservoir could run dry in a few years

Commissioner wants county to propose legislation for funds to counteract silt

Staff writer

According to Marion County Commission Dan Holub, the Kansas Water Office has shuffled funds around to help water systems with mediation programs but Marion Reservoir wasn’t one of them.

Holub told the commission that he was advised to propose legislation to pursue funds for water quality at the reservoir.

Silt issues and the possibility of the reservoir actually drying up by 2012 has made county officials concerned about taking actions to slow down the process.

County sanitarian and zoning administrator Bobbi Strait suggested the county involve the board of directors of the Neosho River Basin of which two Marion County residents are members — Peggy Blackman of Marion and Morgan Marler of Hillsboro.

Strait said if the Neosho River Basin was involved the county could have access to their legal counsel. She also noted that Marion County was unique in that it had a water surface quality board that was organized just for the purpose of overseeing water quality.

Holub said he was concerned about what would happen when waterways begin to dry up. He said he was not in favor of increasing property taxes to pay for a project but more in favor of user fees — recreational and drinking.

“We’re fine now but what’s going to happen in 2012 when the water runs out?” Holub asked.

Commissioner Randy Dallke asked how funds would be spent. Strait said money could be used for wetlands areas to hold silt when it floods. The silt then could be more easily removed than from the reservoir.

The commission agreed and will move forward with the project.

Last modified Sept. 24, 2008

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