County Fire Departments Report Safe Celebrations

Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh told Saline County Commissioners that “Mother Nature’s” weekend rains helped reduce fire dangers over the holiday weekend.  Stambaugh had heard of no fire department related calls; she had not spoken to law enforcement.

Four firework stands were located in the County; the county’s licensing fee was $1,000.  In the city, the licensing fee was $5,000.  Local fire chiefs are responsible for inspecting the stands to insure adequate safety provisions are in place, prior to issuing the license.

Sales taxes collected in June was $358,959; it is slightly less than the $375,543 collected in June 2015.  Year-to-date total sales collected in 2016 is $2,324,411, which is 1.23% less than 2015’s comparable of $2,353,266.

Commissioners continue to consider the possibility of leasing the oil rights on property once owned by Oliver Hagg.  J. Fred Hambright is seeking a three year lease on 480 acres and will pay $10/acre/year; if oil is drilled, the County would receive 12.5% of what comes out of the ground.  Norman Mannell suggested getting a commitment to drill and suggested that other leases were paying $100/acre.  The County would first have to provide public notice of their intention to consider lease options.  Ray Hruska suggested letting any successful bidder pay for the advertisements.

County Engineer sought Commissioners approval to submit designs for a three-span, fracture critical bridge near Mentor for consideration of State funding.  If selected, the State would pay 80% of the bridge’s estimated $500,000 cost.

Cable brought to the Commission’s attention that an individual had placed two pillars and a significant mailbox in the right-of-way on Country Club Road.  Given the County had received $1.5 million in additional highway funding to reduce road hazards on this stretch of the road, the Commissioners were unanimous in directing Cable to send the owner a letter to remove the pillars and put up a “break-away” style mailbox.

Commissioners also studied the annual Emergency Preparedness Grant, which is used to largely fund the Deputy Emergency Management position.

The study session lasted an hour; the Open Forum lasted seven minutes.  Commissioners Luci Larson and Dave Smith were absent.