No decision on emergency management

But commissioners seem to want full-time position

News editor

Marion County needs a full-time emergency manager, if only because of the need to apply for state and federal grants, county commissioners said Monday. The question is where the manager should fit on the county’s pay scale.

“If you get a half-time position, you’ll get a half-time attitude,” commissioner Dan Holub said.

Commissioner Roger Fleming said the job shouldn’t be at the top of the pay scale.

When Michele Abbott was emergency manager and 911 director, the starting wage was set at $21.09 an hour. Dan D’Albini, who resigned from the position earlier this year, was paid $20.29 an hour. The next step down the pay scale starts at $16.76 an hour, County Clerk Tina Spencer said.

Chairman Randy Dallke said he wanted someone with grant-writing experience or skills. He said the emergency manager could seek grants for other departments, as well.

Spencer said she would consult with other counties about pay rates and job descriptions.

EMS bid rejected

Ambulance director Steve Smith said a $25,874 bid approved June 17 to buy a new vehicle has been rejected because the price was available only for law enforcement.

The county instead approved a bid Monday from Hillsboro Ford for a new Ford Expedition for $27,878. Midway Motors of Hillsboro bid $35,614 for a Chevrolet Tahoe.

Jail fence will be 6 feet

The county will seek bids for a 6-foot-tall fence north and east of the jail. The commission had heard from someone who thought the fence should be taller.

Spencer said the City of Marion requires a special permit for fences taller than 6 feet.

Holub said he didn’t want to be pushed around by anyone when the county’s agreement requiring the fence didn’t specify a height.

“He can find a lawyer who will say you need a 12-foot fence, it all depends how much money you have,” Holub said.

Conservation budget

Marion County Conservation District requested $28,790, the same as last year, from the county to supplement its 2014 budget.

Dallke thanked the district for not increasing its request, as he seeks a goal of a 3-mill decrease in taxes this year.

Funds for dirt roads

Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said special funds from the state for bridge replacement are only available for bridges on dirt roads.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to put a new bridge on a dirt road,” he said.

Crawford said funds would be much better used on bridges on Sunflower or Indigo roads.

Holub suggested the commission tour old bridges on dirt roads and considering whether some should be closed.

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