County kitchen proposal dropped

News editor

County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman told county commissioners that she felt like the time wasn’t right for her idea of the county opening a certified commercial kitchen for business incubation and cooking classes. Her decision came after a meeting where some county residents raised questions about how the kitchen would be operated.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke told her not to let the idea die completely. He said he is OK with the county investing some money in a project like that to see if it takes off. Commissioner Dan Holub also said he liked the concept.

Annual fishing contest planned

Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson proposed an annual fishing derby that would run year-round from June 1 to May 31. Every year in late May, four tagged fish would be released in the lake — one each of crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, and bluegill.

Anglers could buy entry into the fishing derby, and if they caught one of the tagged fish would receive prize money. The prize money would be 70 percent of the entry fees paid for that species. The other 30 percent of entry fees would be set aside for lake enhancements. Any unawarded prize money would be carried over for one year.

Researcher working on ways to fight blue-green algae

Peggy Blackman and Kansas State University researcher Philip Barnes discussed the commission’s decision to not fund Barnes’ water quality monitoring at Marion Reservoir.

Blackman said she understands budgets are tight, but water quality data is very important to her work to preserve the reservoir. Without data, she can’t be sure if erosion control projects in the reservoir’s drainage basin are accomplishing what they’re supposed to.

Barnes is also studying ways to reduce the release of phosphorous from sediments already in the reservoir. Phosphorous is the primary contributor to dangerous blue-green algae blooms in the reservoir, as well as the county lake and farm ponds. More than 100 cattle died from blue-green algae poisoning last year, Barnes said.

Commission calls for balanced-budget amendment

The commission approved a resolution calling on the state to seek a federal constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. At Holub’s request, the resolution was revised to also call for presidential and congressional pay to be withheld whenever there isn’t a budget in place.

Personnel discussions held behind closed doors

The commission met in closed session three times for a combined 35 minutes to discuss personnel matters. For 10 minutes the commission met with Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene. The remaining 25 minutes were with the commission alone. No action was taken after any of the closed sessions.

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