Five banks in Marion County bought $1 million in temporary bonds to finance jail construction until bidding is completed and long-term bonds are issued, bond counsel David Arteberry of George K. Baum & Co. told Marion County Commission on Monday.
Banks actually requested triple the amount of bonds that were for sale, he said.
“I didn’t think we would get that good of a response,” Arteberry said.
Citizens’ State Bank, Hillsboro State Bank, Marion National Bank, Peabody State Bank, and Tampa State Bank each bought between $100,000 and $300,000 of bonds.
The interest rate was set at 1.25 percent. Arteberry originally expected the rate to be about 1.5 percent, but demand was high enough to lower the rate.
Commissioners previously said they wanted to sell as many of the bonds, including long-term bonds, locally as possible.
Road and Bridge Department has a vacant road grader operator position, and Interim Superintendent John Summerville asked the commission what to do about the region covered by that position.
They instructed him to have a couple of grader operators from other portions of the county maintain those roads until the commission can make a decision whether to fill the position.
Summerville and the commission saw a draft plan to re-draw road grader regions and eliminate the vacant position. The revision would also do a better job equalizing areas covered by employees, he said, but there are some areas that still need to be checked.
Eliminating the position would leave the county with 13 grader operators.
Commissioner Dan Holub, speaking via phone, said he had checked road widths in the Tampa area after the commission instructed an engineer July 11 to plan for a 22-foot wide road surface on 330th between K-15 and Tampa.
He said 290th Road between Lincolnville and Durham is 22 feet wide, and it is too narrow for the amount of heavy truck traffic 330th has.
A narrow road like that would force more traffic to the edges and shoulders of the road, possibly resulting in accelerated degradation of the road.
He requested the engineer estimate the cost for a 24-foot road surface with excavating the top 3 inches of gravel off the current road to solve some of the issues with ditch width and steepness.
Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said for the amount of money the county expects to spend on the road, they should make sure to do it right.
Holub also raised the possibility of double chip-sealing 330th Road east of Tampa, which is currently gravel. In a meeting two years ago in Tampa, the commission assured residents that the road would be chip-sealed in 2011, Holub said.
He said the big issue was how to pay for the project, and that he was willing to dip into capital improvement funds for it.
Summerville said the road isn’t in good enough shape yet to be double chip-sealed. Holub said that was the first he had heard of that issue.
In other business:
- The commission voted to allow golf carts to be driven on roads at Marion County Park and Lake, with the requirement that drivers show a driver’s license and a handicap parking permit to receive a permit. Commissioner Randy Dallke said he thought limiting it to handicapped drivers was too exclusionary, but he voted for the measure after Holub and Fleming said they were open to reviewing the rules in the future.
- A conditional use permit to build recreational rental cabins at the lake was approved. The county would still need to approve a contract with a developer to build cabins. Siblings Chris, Heather, Molly, and Tamra Holub have proposed building the cabins.
- A two-year contract renewal for IBM equipment and software maintenance cost $13,506. A one-year renewal would have cost $6,889, and a three-year renewal would have cost $19,512.
- The county has to have more than 400 radios converted to narrow-band frequencies before Jan. 1, 2013, to meet a federal mandate, Interim Communications Director Linda Klenda said. If they aren’t converted before then, the county could be fined $1,000 per day, per radio. The county plans to convert the radios in April. The expected cost is between $18,000 and $20,000.
- Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards received a complaint about a carport at Eastshore Development at Marion Reservoir that is too close to the side property line. The county requires a 6-foot side setback. The carport is about 6 inches from the property line. The carport was built with an agreement between the previous owners of both properties. The current owner has agreed to move it, but requested more time than the usual 30 days. The commission voted to allow until Jan. 1 to move it.
- The commission met in closed session for five minutes to discuss the road and bridge superintendent position at Dallke’s request. No action was taken on return to open session.
The next scheduled commission meeting will be Monday.