Commission meets behind closed doors

News editor

Marion County Commission had a short meeting Monday, but more than one-third of it was spent in closed session.

Commissioners spent 10 minutes in executive session with Sheriff Robert Craft, 15 minutes with Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman, and 10 minutes with only the commission present, all to discuss personnel issues, and none with any public action taken.

Also in personnel matters, the commission approved a raise for Larry Cushenberry, who is being promoted from jailer to jail sergeant, from $11.29 to $12.19 per hour, and for James Philpott from $15.50 to $15.92 per hour. The commission also signed a previously approved raise for Cynthia Reeh in her duties as a licensed practical nurse in the Health Department.

In other business:

  • Marion County 911 has received 67 percent of its 911 calls from cell phones this year. That is actually a decrease from 2011, when 70 percent of 911 calls were from cell phones.
  • Huffman said Kansas has approved 10 Rural Opportunity Zone applications for new Marion County residents to have their state income taxes refunded for five years. The state program give incentives for people to move to certain rural counties, Marion County among them.
  • Craft said the new communications tower was to be in place either Monday or Tuesday. Moving the Communications Department will probably be next week.
  • Craft told the commission that the Thanksgiving weekend was a relatively uneventful one, aside from deer kills. There are two or three a day right now, but he hopes the rutting season is almost completed.
  • Commissioners signed a one-year lease with Countryside Feed in Hillsboro for space to store trailers at 100 Industrial Road for $250 per month.
  • Commissioner Randy Dallke suggested considering building a small outbuilding at the new jail to house irrigation and well controls, if the county does install a well to water the grounds. Dallke also said Road and Bridge Department might have someone able to do rock work around the new jail.
  • The permanent abstract of the Nov. 6 general election was signed.
  • Dallke reviewed a letter from USD 398 Superintendent Ron Traxson thanking the county for work on roads between Peabody and Burns. Commissioner Roger Fleming suggested putting a “thank you” in all newspapers in the county, thanking residents for their patience while the county caught up with road repairs. The commission voted to publish a “thank you” letter.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Friday.

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