County ‘steps into future’ with recycling

Staff writer

Saying it is time for Marion County to “take a step into the future,” county commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to purchase six recycling bins for smaller communities and a roll-off trailer.

For now, a truck from the Road and Bridges Department will take the bins to and from a transfer station in Marion.

Commissioners are waiting to find out the total cost and time for the project.

The county also will seek bids for remodeling, proposed by transfer station workers, that would allow simultaneous dumping of refuse and recycling.

Until any remodeling is completed, the station will close to refuse Thursday mornings, instead handling recyclables from the bins in, Marion, Hillsboro and Florence, should they choose to participate.

Chairman Randy Dallke said Hillsboro Mayor Delores Dalke expressed interest in participating, but Florence was unsure of the timing.

Eileen Sieger, a member of a task force that developed the idea, said Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin suggested Marion could replace one of two weekly residential pickups with a recycling pickup.

In an otherwise uneventful meeting, commissioners spent nearly an hour discussing raising money at events for the county fair next week in Hillsboro.

To raise money to bring back a carnival in 2014, commissioners will have a booth set up with donation jars. Whichever commissioner receives the most money in donations will kiss a pig before the fair’s demolition derby July 27. Donations will begin July 24.

After first rejecting the idea of a dunk tank because of rental costs, a toilet-inspired reverse dunk tank from the July Fourth Redneck in Ramona celebration was offered as a replacement.

Each throw attempted will cost $1, with six throws for $5.

Commissioner Roger Fleming will be in the tank from 7 to 7:45 p.m., Dan Holub from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m., and Dallke from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. July 24 on the fairgrounds.

Proceeds from the dunk tank will go toward the county’s section of a marble state map on the floor of a state visitor’s center in Topeka.

The commission also:

  • Approved spending for bulletproof vests for sheriff’s officers. Sheriff Rob Craft said a federal grant would cover roughly half the cost. Current vests have exceeded their five-year recommended lifespan.
  • Learned that Sedgwick County might send as many as six felons, mainly women, to fill unused beds at Marion County Jail. The county would receive $30 a day per inmate and have no responsibilities other than room and board. Craft joked that the jail would be “a bed and breakfast,” to which Holub retorted, “without the amenities.”
  • Heard budget information from Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene, who said constraints could result in the department reducing funds to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Families and Communities Together. Since 2001, the Health Department has paid Big Brothers Big Sisters $5,000 in quarterly payments. Serene said FACT had declined to help the department sponsor a community health survey.
  • Passed along words of thanks from a Fort Riley father to ambulance workers Steve Smith and Shawn Wunderlick. The workers helped look after the father’s children at St. Luke Hospital while he received medical help after a car accident July 6.
  • Scheduled a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, to discuss hiring an emergency management director. Craft and Smith proposed the position could be filled within each of their own departments.
  • Approved replacing a costly printer in the appraiser’s office by leasing one for $150 a month. The printer is used mostly to give property owners assessment maps and aerial views of their property.
  • Approved Fair Manager Kelli Savage’s request to spend only $1,000 instead of $2,500 in county money to underwrite Susie McEntire’s performance Sunday. The concert will cost $5,000. The county commission had been willing to pay for half, but the fair board found other sponsors to contribute $1,625.
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