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  • Last modified 8 days ago (Aug. 9, 2018)

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Commission splits on transfer station

Staff writer

Thursday’s special county commission meeting had one item on the agenda, the Marion’s transfer station for recyclables.

The project passed 2-1, but commissioner Randy Dallke had major reservations, he said.

“You could take the exact same money and put it outside the city limits,” Dallke said.

Of the alternatives he named, none were as low as the estimated price tag to improve the current building.

The numbers presented at the meeting by Kaw Valley Engineering, the estimated cost would be $1.52 million to build a new shop, set up a new pit and all other changes.

Paying extra in the short term is worth it for a better situation, Dallke said.

In order to reach the costs of Dallke’s alternatives, project costs would have to increase by at least $1 million.

“I toured lots of facilities and a lot of other counties put it outside of their city limits, any city limits,” Dallke said.

Putting the station outside the city is important because the smell is more manageable, he said.

In the case of the current site in Marion, there are possible problems with water levels also, he said.

“Go down and look at how our trucks back into this pit,” Dallke said. “It’s down in a hole, you have water issues. This is one of the big things that we learned from going around to all of these others.”

At the station now, the pit is below ground level, he said, which means water fills the area when it rains.

“Right now McPherson County has a pit,” Dallke said. “They’ve got the Cadillac of all transfer stations, except they’ve got it in a pit. They put $10,000 a year for pumps.”

McPherson’s pumps are for removing the water from the station, he said, which drive up the transfer station’s cost in the long run.

Commision chair Dianne Novak and commissioner Kent Becker voted in favor of the repairs, bringing about a majority.

Novak then moved to accept the engineering agreement from Kaw, pending approval by the county counselor. Dallke seconded and it passed unanimously.

According to Dallke, voting in favor of the agreement was about cutting losses and working together.

“I realize that, O.K., what good does it do me to vote against it,” Dallke said. “These people, they seem to have a very good plan and stuff of what they want to do here. So why not get with the vote and see if we can’t get things accomplished?”

Last modified Aug. 9, 2018

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