County plans algae relief project

Staff writer

Marion County Commission approved a plan to build a water tank for a rancher who lives next to Marion County Park and Lake.

The water tank would be used as a fresh water source for cattle. Water would be pumped from a nearby stream. The goal of the project is to keep cattle from using the creek as a water source to cut down on nutrients flowing into Marion County Lake that feed blue green algae, Kansas State Research and Extension Agent Rickey Roberts said.

A tank and pumping system would be paid for using an environmental health grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Marion County Environmental Health Director Tonya Richards said the total amount the county received in the grant is $10,000. A significant portion of that sum would go toward the tank and pump project, but part of the money has already been used for filter strips and other projects to prevent nutrients from entering Marion County Lake.

Seventy-five percent of the project is funded by this grant and another grant totaling $2,100. The other 25 percent would be the responsibility of the land owner, including digging and piping for the pump. It would also be the responsibility of the land owner to fix the system were it to break down.

“It’s just a simple matter of watching where cows drink,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

Raise

The commission approved a raise for Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford, increasing his salary from $53,000 to $60,000.

Commissioners cited Crawford’s work on six different road projects this year. Commissioner Roger Fleming said the production was more than what was expected in one year.

Commissioners also said Crawford has received positive reviews from county residents who have worked with the superintendent.

In other business:

  • The commission approved a bid from D&L Enterprises of $18,000 for the fencing project at Marion County Park and Lake. D&L will use new piping for the fence to divide the southwestern section of the Marion County property from surrounding land owners. D&L owner Daryl Brewer said he could begin working on the project as soon as next week. The commission set a deadline of Dec. 19 with a $50 per day fee on any work past that date.
  • Commissioners met with Dickinson County Commission on Thursday and Herington City Council
    on Tuesday to discuss an agreement for emergency services across the county border. Dickinson County officials were in agreement that cooperation was necessary. Emergency services from Herington would be ideal on calls in northeastern Marion County and Tampa ambulance would be closer to calls in southwestern Dickinson County. Currently calls in that part of Dickinson County are taken by EMS in Abilene, 19 miles away.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Monday morning.

 

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