Commissioner doesn’t want kitchen subsidizing businesses

News editor

In discussion with Marion County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman, County Commissioner Roger Fleming said he was concerned about plans to open a certified commercial kitchen in the county lake hall.

Fleming said he doesn’t want the project to subsidize businesses when other businesses in the county have invested in their own kitchens and equipment.

“I would like to see them invest in themselves,” Fleming said.

The proposed kitchen would meet health requirements for people to prepare food for sale. Start-up businesses would be able to rent the space by the hour, providing savings over spending the money required to equip a kitchen themselves.

Huffman said the kitchen would pay for its own operation with rental and cooking class fees, so the county shouldn’t have to subsidize it once it is built.

Fleming said he had heard from people on both sides of the issue — cooks who saw it as an opportunity to establish a business and people who don’t want the county to subsidize businesses which compete with others in the county.

Ag manufacturer to locate in Goessel

Huffman told the commission that the Ratzlaff drapery building in Goessel has been sold. It will be converted into an agricultural manufacturing business. She said the new owners have already purchased a home in Goessel.

Residents cooperating to resolve zoning, sanitation violations

Planning and Zoning and Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards said that owners of a property that had several violations are working with her to correct the problems.

An existing building has received a permit, and they are seeking a permit for a private airstrip. The airstrip permit will be on the April agenda for the county planning and zoning board, she said.

The owners also had an outhouse in conflict with state health codes. Richards said they have filled it in and are taking other steps to solve the issue.

Tax abatement given despite issues

The commission approved a neighborhood revitalization property tax abatement for William Vinduska despite the application being completed outside of the 60-day window after receiving a permit.

Richards said the project had been complicated by concerns the house might be in a floodplain. Commissioners Dan Holub and Randy Dallke said Vinduska had done a good job working with the county on earlier zoning issues.

Fleming voted against giving the tax break because an outbuilding had received a permit in 2011 without applying for the tax break but was included in the new abatement.

April 1 is deadline for appraisal appeals

The deadline for property owners to appeal their appraised values without having to pay under protest is April 1. After that deadline, people may still appeal their property values, but they will have to pay a portion of the tax bill before an appeal will be heard.

Closed sessions

County Clerk Tina Spencer met with the commission in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. On return to open session, the board voted to allow Spencer’s office staff to attend the regional county clerks’ meeting Thursday at the Historic Elgin Hotel in Marion, but to require they use vacation time to do so or take it as unpaid time off.

The commission met in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.

Huffman and Richards met with the commission in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss division of duties related to Marion Reservoir Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies. No action was taken on return to open session.

Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt met with the commission in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel. On return to open session, the commission instructed Schmidt to offer a vacant full-time job to a current part-time worker. If that worker accepts the job, Schmidt will advertise for a new part-time worker.

 

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