Sales tax will be on April ballot

Tax would pay for new jail

Staff writer

Marion County Commission voted Monday to put a question whether to implement a 0.5 percent sales tax on the ballot for April 5 elections.

If approved, sales tax revenue would be used to pay bonds that would be issued to finance construction of a new jail, sheriff’s office, and 911 center.

The amount of bonds issued cannot exceed $3.51 million. Treanor Architects P.A. of Topeka estimates construction will cost about $3.5 million, but about $50,000 of that would be equipment that cannot be paid for with bonds. An additional $60,000 would be spent on the cost of issuing the bonds.

If approved, the tax would be implemented July 1, although that could be delayed to Oct. 1. The tax would expire when the bonds are fully paid, which would be a maximum of 20 years. Bond counsel David Arteberry said if sales tax revenues meet expectations, the bonds could be paid in about 10 years.

The commission plans to schedule several public meetings to explain the proposed project in more detail.

In other business:

  • Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Herzet recommended delaying replacement of a bridge on 240th Road near the Chase County line until 2012. The county’s share of the expected cost is $620,000, but the county only has $398,000 in a fund for bridge replacement.
  • Oil for road sealing will cost about $10,000 per mile to be done, Herzet said after getting a price quote that will be guaranteed through the end of the summer construction season. Rock will add another $7,200 per mile to those costs. The county is scheduled to seal 30 miles of roads this summer.
  • Herzet met with commissioners in closed session for five minutes to discuss personnel matters. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • A slow-start switch will be installed in the courthouse elevator for $2,400. The switch should reduce wear caused by sudden starts and stops.
  • Rose Vinduska of Pilsen was reappointed to the Eighth Judicial District Corrections Advisory Board.
  • Midway Motors has withdrawn its application for the county’s neighborhood revitalization program. Consequently, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office will not issue an opinion about how neighborhood revitalization programs interact with tax increment financing.
  • A woman tripped in a low spot in the brick sidewalk in front of the County Health Department building and hurt her wrist. Health Department Administrator Diedre Serene urged commissioners to look at the sidewalk and consider ways to level it.
  • Serene will attend strategic national stockpile training at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. The training is related to mass distribution of medication in emergencies.
  • Commissioners met in closed session for 25 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt will inspect a used semi tractor available for purchase before deciding to bid on it to replace an aging semi tractor at the transfer station.
  • A group in Florence is developing a strategic plan for economic development, Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman said.
  • Goessel has created a community foundation.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

 

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