• Last modified 1709 days ago (Dec. 17, 2014)


No discount: County pays appraised rate for clinic

Staff writer

Commissioners asked for a hometown discount, did not receive one, and settled for the going rate on a deal with St. Luke Hospital to use clinic space for the relocation of the county Health Department.

Offering a $15,000 a year lease, which equates to $6.35 per square foot for the space desired, commissioners were told by St. Luke CEO Jeremy Ensey on Monday that the proposal was too far under the appraised rate of $8 per square foot to be profitable — especially given that the deal included utilities, insurance, and maintenance paid by the hospital.

After being rebuffed, the commission agreed to the appraised rate, as calculated by Martin’s Appraisal of Wichita, and the hospital board voted Tuesday to accept the county’s offer.

Initially Commissioner Randy Dallke said leasing the building was an unnecessary expense, given the commission’s plans to build another building in courthouse square. He was then reminded of a generator the county needs to purchase to ensure the safety of $37,000 worth of medicine and vaccines in the event of a power outage. At the current facility, the wiring required would cost upward of $10,000. The same generator can be hooked up for less than $500 at the new facility. Upon hearing this, Dallke relented in his opposition.

Dallke wary of outside help

A deal in the works between Morris County and Marion County has Dallke suspicious.

“I begrudgingly second,” was how Dallke passed a motion to allow Morris County crews to chip and seal a mile of US-77 near 340th road. The mile is part of a project that covers mostly Morris County and a small segment of Marion. The work in Marion County would be done at Marion County’s expense.

“It sort of bugs me that another county’s got time to do our county’s work,” he said. “Two and two don’t add up, to me.”

The commission will still have a chance to turn down the project once Morris County produces a bid for the labor required, a fact which contributed to Dallke’s eventual approval.

Johnston’s mess, revisited

The property of Wayne Johnston, 20 Prairie Lane at the Marion County Lake, was brought up again in a discussion with Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards.

In early October, the county imposed a deadline of Oct. 31 as the day by which the mess on Johnston’s property had to be cleaned. Richards showed commissioners pictures of his property taken a few days prior. The property still had heaps of materials in the backyard.

“I cannot believe he considers that taking care of the problem,” Holub said.

Commissioners told Richards to talk to Johnston about building a privacy fence, a potential solution that was broached in the October meeting. In that meeting, Johnston said he did not want to build a fence.

In other business:

  • The county purchased a year of Employee Assistance Counseling services for its full-time employees and part-time employees in emergency positions. The critical incident stress management counseling will cost $2.01 per employee. Clerk Tina Spencer said the total would approach $5,000.
  • Commissioners talked with EMS Director Brandy McCarty about keeping dispatchers better informed of which units are available for ambulance calls. Commissioners called the current setup “disgusting” because the dispatcher has to call different departments until it can find a responder, which commissioners said could be avoided.
  • Spencer has ordered carpet to replace that currently on the stairs of the courthouse. She said in light of painting the basement walls, the tile floor looks like it needs replacement. She insisted on putting off further action on the basement floor until 2015.
  • A road tour with Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford was postponed due to poor conditions of the roads Crawford wanted to show commissioners.
  • Commissioners concluded their meeting by visiting a property at 410 Main St., next to Holdeman’s Barber Shop. Commissioners did not take any action, but said they wanted to look at it in case they wanted to use space in the future. Chairman Roger Fleming said no action would be taken “until months down the line.”

Last modified Dec. 17, 2014