Marion County Commission Chairman Roger Fleming wove the theme of cooperation throughout his remarks to attendees of the bimonthly Marion County Interagency Team lunch meeting Friday in Hillsboro.
“Residents, officers, businesses – we’ve got to work together to maintain what we have,” Fleming stressed.
Fleming highlighted recent arts, sports, and economic development activities across county communities as activities that strengthen the efforts to bring new people and new economic opportunities to the county.
“All communities in this county are important,” he emphasized.
The audience of 30 education, social services, and health agency representatives listened as Fleming gave status updates on county roads, the new jail, and development of a new strategic plan for the county.
Responding to a question about strategic planning, Fleming said one goal in formulating the new plan is to make it more focused than the current one.
“What we want to do with the new plan is to narrow down to three things we want to accomplish,” he said, noting county roads would undoubtedly be one of the priorities.
“If your roads are in bad condition, it reflects on everything else,” Fleming concluded.
The county commission has set aside $3,000 for a Kansas Department of Commerce student loan repayment program designed to encourage college graduates to move to the county, but Fleming said Marion County has not yet signed on to the program.
“We’ve not signed a resolution to participate at this time,” Fleming said, indicating the commission is waiting for more information about the program from the state before moving ahead.
Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft provided the group with information about how two rooms planned for the new jail can provide limited opportunity for increased contact between inmates, family members, and service professionals, as needs warrant.
Fleming invited agency representatives to participate in county commission meetings to increase the commission’s awareness of services in Marion County.
“Put yourself on the agenda and tell the commission what you do,” he said.