Contractor for Kearney Co. jail provides information

Marion County Clerk Carol Maggard told Marion County Commission Monday that a representative of Hutton Construction, Mike King, had shown an interest in the county's new jail project.

Information was given to Maggard and shared with the commission regarding the work the construction company had provided to Kearney County in the development and construction of a 24-bed jail for $6 million. The one-story pod has a sally port, booking area, and sheriff's department in one area, communications in a second area, and fire and city police departments in a third.

King told Maggard that the reason the police department was in the same building as the jail was to share duties between the police department and jail.

The plans do not include laundry or kitchen facilities.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he had talked with architect Tony Rangle of Law Kingdon about rehabilitating the current jail. The improvements would have to make the facility ADA compliant, include an elevator, and relocate the communications office in a different part of the building because of safety issues.

"There's a price to build a new facility and there's a price if we say 'no'," Holub said.

The commission also agreed that if the jail were to remain at the same location, a separate, independent generator had to be purchased and installed.

Maggard commented that there were "a lot of things to tie down before the November election if the bond issue (for a new jail) is going to be on the ballot."

In other business:

— The Kansas Fire Marshal's office has OK'd the improvements made at the sheriff's office. An inspector from the state office inspected the jail facility April 16, and all deficiencies were corrected.

— A comprehensive transportation plan, as requested by the state, will focus on the U.S.-50 corridor. Commissioner Randy Dallke said the highway is the "biggest transportation problem in the county" and the highest traveled road.

He suggested cooperation between the county and the cities of Peabody and Florence with the plan. Dallke said he would contact the mayors of the two cities for input.

— The commission will review the county's fireworks policy after more information is obtained from Butler County. Dallke, who owns and operates a fireworks stand at Peabody, said Butler County is selling fireworks from June 27 through July 5 but wasn't sure about the discharge dates. It wasn't clear why the county was concerned about Butler County's schedule.

Maggard was instructed to contact Butler County for the dates discharging of the fireworks will be allowed.

— Gayla Ratzlaff, county department for elderly coordinator, was welcomed her first day on the job.

— Budget preparation with department heads and the county's financial adviser, Scot Loyd, will be at 8 a.m. July 17.

— County attorney Susan Robson asked for and received a 10-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel with county human resources clerk Tina Spencer in attendance. The session was extended an additional five minutes.

When the meeting reconvened, the commission approved a salary increase of 50 cents per hour for Suzanne Robinson, the county attorney's secretary, to be retroactive beginning Jan. 1.

— The commission approved a salary increase and promotion of Marion County Sheriff Deputy Larry Starkey to sergeant with a pay increase from $2,395 to $2,664 per month.

— Commissioner Dan Holub requested and received a five-minute executive session for acquisition of property. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.