County gives lift to SAFE BASE



March 17, 2010 - 12:00 AM

After an admonition to watch expenses carefully in view of frozen wages for county employees, Chairman Gary McIntosh allowed Tuesday morning that some were well worth making.
He moved to make available $7,000 in a local match for a grant SAFE BASE is seeking to do dental screenings and other health-related programs for children throughout the county again this year. Rob Francis concurred to make it unanimous in the absence of the third commissioner, Dick Works.
“It’s not an easy decision,” McIntosh said, “but this is for the overwhelming good of children in the county.”
Angela Henry asked commissioners a week ago to participate, saying that the county’s financial support would be important in SAFE BASE efforts to win a $70,000 grant from REACH Healthcare Foundation. Two years ago Allen County contributed $12,500.
SAFE BASE started the dental screening and other health examinations as part of USD 257’s fall enrollment five years ago and the following year added students in USDs 256 and 258. Many of the dental screenings have led to follow-up treatment, with grant money and donations secured by SAFE BASE paying the bills.

COUNTY CLERK Sherrie Riebel told commissioners the Internal Revenue Service had lowered its allowance for mileage compensation to 50 cents a mile. The county’s has been 55 cents and at McIntosh’s behest was lowered to IRS standard, effective from March 1.
They agreed with Director of Public Works Bill King’s recommendation to buy a new Heil bed for an eight-ton, 10-wheel truck at the highest of three bids, $8,895. His rationale was that the Heil bed would fit the truck with no alterations while two others would require significant changes for them to fit snugly. Other bids were $7,765 and $7,025, plus freight; the Heil bed will be delivered from Kansas City, Mo., without freight charge.
“This should keep the truck — a 1997 Ford with 490,000 miles — in service for several more years,” King said. Its primary use is at the quarry and it also is dispatched to spread chat and salt on snow-packed and icy roadways. He said a new truck would cost about $125,000.
The county will pay $1.89 a gallon for asphalt oil for chip-seal road work, 25 cents a gallon more than a year ago. King said most years 200,000 gallons were consumed in treating 30 to 40 miles of roads.
“We’ll probably do less this year,” King said, because of budget concerns.
Cost of magnesium chloride, used as a dust suppressant on rock roads, will cost 82.8 cents a gallon this year, 1.2 cents less than in 2009, with whatever is spent recovered through contracts, available in King’s courthouse office.
Cost will be $1.23 a linear foot to have the material sprayed on roads near homes. Last year 70 residents signed on, about half as many as most years.

THE TWO county ambulances stationed on the east side of Iola will be moved to the Heartland Electric shop behind the Allen County Critical Response Center, 410 N. State St., sometime in June, predicted Jason Nelson, ambulance director.
He said construction of a new shop for Heartland in Gas had been slowed by weather and remodeling the new ambulance building likely wouldn’t start before mid-April. The ambulance bays will require little attention, but the remainder of the building will have to be refitted for living quarters, office and training area.

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