County employees will receive cost of living raise

Staff reporter

All full-time Marion County employees will receive an across the board $75 per month pay increase beginning in the July pay period.

Marion County Commission approved the pay raise Monday.

The commission had budgeted for a pay increase of some sort, either based on merit or the cost of living.

A spreadsheet was reviewed by the commission regarding the median amount a three percent pay increase would give employees and determined that a set dollar amount would be the most fair.

The commission will address pay increases for permanent part-time employees at a later date.

In other business:

— Real property valuations have increased four percent since last year but the big news was the increase of oil and gas valuations. They increased 16 percent.

Marion County Clerk Carol Maggard shared the information after receiving the completed transfer from county appraiser Cindy Magill.

The reason for the incredible increase was because the cost of a gallon of oil had increased significantly since the last evaluation.

Maggard said she had until July 15 to certify the information to the state.

— A new jail roof was approved for $9,625. Ray Roofing Company had provided a cost estimate for the improvement and Maggard said she was trying to have it repaired under a storm claim but was unsuccessful.

The commission decided that regardless of the future use of the building, a new roof would be needed to protect computers and other equipment that could be damaged from leaks in the roof.

— County sanitarian and compliance officer Bobbi Strait reported that she met with a representative of Kansas Bureau of Solid Waste regarding illegal dumping of solid waste. She said she signed an agreement with the state agency that the county would provide in-kind services to help clean up dump sites. Grants are available but the county would have to provide 10 percent matching funds which could be equipment and manpower to clean up public areas such as waterways and ditches.

— Old barns can be burned within the county after Strait inspects and issues a permit.

Strait said she was informed that the barns have to meet stringent requirements such as no paint, no sheet metal, no asbestos or tar paper.

— Strait requested and received a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Rick Hayen was hired as an equipment operator I in the road and bridge department. His starting salary will be $1,779 per month with a $50 raise after six months and a $100 raise after one year.

— The commission was asked by Ty Wheeler of Kansas Legal Services to increase the amount of support given to the not-for-profit legal firm. Previously, the county had provided $3,000 per year to offset costs associated with provided legal services to low-income residents in Marion County. With rising costs of fuel, Wheeler asked for an increase to $4,000 in 2009.

— A 60-minute executive session was called so the commission could review department head job evaluations.

The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday in the courthouse.