Commission goal: 4.4% property tax cut

News editor

While setting dates to work on the budget, Marion County Commission set a goal of reducing property taxes by about three mills, or 4.4 percent.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke was the first to propose that goal. He said the county may have to cut some services to reach that figure, though.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he didn’t want to set a flat percent decrease each department would have to make, instead making a line-by-line review. He agreed with Dallke that a three-mill cut would be good.

The commission will meet June 3 for a preliminary budget discussion. Department heads will present their budget requests July 18. The budget will be published about Aug. 12, and a budget hearing will be held Aug. 26.

Peabody Senior Center tries to promote meals

Department on Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff recounted efforts by the Peabody Senior Center to attract more people to its meals. An average of 10 to 14 people eat at the center each day, and several meals are delivered to shut-ins.

More meals served means more secure funding for senior centers. Goessel’s AGAPE Senior Center closed in 2012 because it had too few patrons.

Ratzlaff was helping the center with a mailing to likely patrons. Commissioners suggested the center could promote its meals as a carry-out option.

Ratzlaff met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

Roxbury road deteriorating quickly

Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said 330th Road from K-15 west to the McPherson County line is falling apart just a year after a two-inch asphalt overlay was put on it. Heavy truck traffic is crushing the outer edges of the road and in some places leaving clear tracks.

Crawford said the road is getting worse on a daily basis. He said that kind of deterioration isn’t happening on other roads that were done last year, like 40th and 60th roads between Peabody and Burns.

Work chip-sealing Remington Road between Pilsen and 290th Road began Tuesday morning.

Crawford said the county may not be able to chip-seal as many miles of road as were planned because of increased prices for delivery of oil.

Zoning website will have contractor list

Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards is compiling a list of contractors, cabinetmakers, and other construction professionals in the area to post on her department’s website. She said she often gets inquiries for that kind of information.

The Environmental Health Department will sponsor a lawn care class at 6:30 p.m. June 20 at the county lake hall. Richards hopes to decrease the amount of lawn fertilizer that washes into the lake. Nitrogen and phosphorous, such as from fertilizer, increase the growth of dangerous blue-green algae, which forced the closure of the lake to swimming and other activities for much of last summer.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

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