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Replacing old road graders would cost $70K more per year

Staff writer

Purchasing three road graders with expiring leases and replacing three older road graders would increase Marion County Road and Bridge department payments for road graders by about $70,000 per year for five years, Marion County Commission learned Monday.

Foley Tractor representative Garrett Clay met with the commission and Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet. The three graders coming off lease each have between 6,500 and 7,100 hours of use and are five years old. They could reasonably be expected to work well for another 10 years or more, Herzet said.

The three graders the county is considering replacing all have about 20,000 hours of use. Commissioner Randy Dallke said those graders can’t be relied on any longer. However, he said he wanted to examine the department’s equipment budget before making a decision, and whether the county could reduce the size of its road grader fleet.

Commission wants attorney’s opinion on golf carts at lake

Disabled Marion County Lake resident Jim Newkirk asked again about the possibility of using a golf cart to get around at the lake.

State statute prohibits use of golf carts on public roads, but Commissioner Dan Holub said he would be willing to seek a waiver for disabled residents at the lake. Commission Chairman Roger Fleming agreed, saying he would rather see golf carts on the streets than electric scooters.

Dallke said he didn’t think the state would grant a waiver, and that the county should establish its own rules.

The commission decided to seek County Attorney Susan Robson’s input on the legality of such rules.

Paddleboat rentals may be in lake’s future

Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson told the commission that a man had offered to donate a paddleboat to the lake for rentals. Hudson had checked with the county’s insurer, and adding liability insurance for a paddleboat would cost $50 per year.

Hudson said he would like to try offering rentals. The commission instructed him to prepare a plan including age limits, rental hours, and fees.

In other business:

  • County Clerk Carol Maggard met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. She later met with the commission in closed session for another five minutes. On return to open session, the commission announced that the county’s information technology consultant will examine the computer of a former county employee for any irregularities.
  • The commission announced Department on Aging secretary and transportation coordinator Lanell Hett will now split her time between the Department on Aging and another department to be named later. The decision was announced after a 30-minute closed session with Department on Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff.
  • Cooperative Grain and Supply of Hillsboro will provide 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline to Road and Bridge Department for $26,807. Cardie Oil Company of Tampa bid $26,887.
  • Navrat’s of Emporia will sell a seven-drawer filing cabinet to the Register of Deeds office for $1,020. Online retailer Business Solutions bid $1,150, and online retailer Quill bid $1,220. The cabinet will be used to hold microfilm cards. The current cabinet was leaving metal shavings on the microfilm.
  • Architect Andy Pitts of Treanor Architects P.A., Topeka, presented updated drawings of the planned jail. The plans would closely match the appearance of the jail with the appearance of the courthouse but less ornately, he said.
  • The commission told Bruce Boettcher of BG Consultants of Emporia that the county may seek proposals for how the current jail can be used after a new jail is built.

The commission approved the following new hires:

  • Custodian Gretchen Unruh, $1,603 per month.
  • Seasonal park and lake groundskeeper James E. Egts, $8 per hour.
  • Transfer station truck driver Norman Dirks, $11 per hour.
  • Seasonal road and bridge worker Jay Klassen, $10 per hour.
  • Seasonal road and bridge worker Don Keazer, $10 per hour.
  • The commission also approved the following raises:
  • Custodian Evan Stout, from $1,895 to $1,927 per month.
  • Communications worker Sandra Scheele, from $15.30 to $15.71 per hour.
  • Road and bridge worker James Druse, from $2,634 to $2,669 per month.
  • Appraiser’s office employee Barbara Edmonds, from $1,991 to $2,091 per month.
  • Corrections officer Braden Suffield, from $10.94 to $11.30 per hour.

The commission approved the following hires:

  • Custodian Gretchen Unruh, $1,603 per month.
  • Seasonal park and lake groundskeeper James E. Egts, $8 per hour.
  • Transfer station truck driver Norman Dirks, $11 per hour.
  • Seasonal road and bridge worker Jay Klassen, $10 per hour.
  • Seasonal road and bridge worker Don Keazer, $10 per hour.

The commission also approved the following raises:

  • Custodian Evan Stout, from $1,895 to $1,927 per month.
  • Communications worker Sandra Scheele, from $15.30 to $15.71 per hour.
  • Road and bridge worker James Druse, from $2,634 to $2,669 per month.
  • Appraiser’s office employee Barbara Edmonds, from $1,991 to $2,091 per month.
  • Corrections officer Braden Suffield, from $10.94 to $11.30 per hour.

Last modified May 12, 2011

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