Commission not so sure about expanded fund-raiser

Staff reporter

A fund-raising event for county firefighters may have outgrown the original intent.

Marion County Commission were told Monday that the annual fund-raiser, which will be Aug. 30 at Marion County Lake, will include a performer which will require $1 million liability insurance policy, probably at the county's expense.

The commission discussed the original intent of the event which was to raise funds for county firefighters. Children's games, barbecue, and fireworks typically are planned each year for the Labor Day weekend with proceeds benefiting county fire departments.

This year organizers have hired an entertainer which requires the additional insurance.

Marion County Clerk Carol Maggard said she was told by Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee, who contacted her about the liability insurance, that the group also was planning a bungee jump-type of game. Maggard said she wasn't sure if the county's insurance will cover some of those events, including the $1 million policy for the entertainer.

The commission agreed that when the group obtained permission from the county to host the event on the county property, it was approved as long as it didn't infringe on the Florence Labor Day celebration.

Previously the fire departments planned around the Florence events and vice versa but this year's event would directly conflict with the performance of Michael Martin Murphey, also on that Sunday evening during the Labor Day weekend.

The commission instructed Maggard to contact the county's insurance carrier. Maggard said she also will get a list of events from the firefighters.

In other business:

— Acting public works director John Summerville suggested to the commission to sell the two-year-old asphalt lay-down machine and purchase a tractor mower or some other more useful equipment. The county road and bridge department doesn't use the lay-down machine very often and there has been interest from Greenwood County in purchasing the machine.

A new tractor mower was to be purchased in this year's budget, Summerville said, but the budget is about "shot" because of inflated fuel prices.

Summerville was instructed to research the value of the machine and pursue the sale.

— Sheriff Lee Becker advised the commission that a large unplanned expense will be paid in the coming weeks because a county jail inmate is requiring back surgery at a Wichita hospital. A sheriff's deputy will transport the inmate and then stay with him while the inmate is in the hospital.

When the inmate is discharged, the deputy will transport the inmate back to Marion. It is not known where the inmate will convalesce since the jail does not have an elevator and the inmate probably won't be able to climb stairs.