Karen Gilpin announced Tuesday morning she is a candidate for the vacancy on the Allen County commission created by Jim Talkington’s resignation on Feb. 20.
Talkington’s successor will be selected by Republican precinct members in District 3, which includes the First, Third and Fourth wards of Iola, Bassett and South Iola Township. They will meet at 6 p.m. March 8 in the courthouse basement.
Others have until the meeting of precinct people to make their candidacies known, and may do so by contacting Talkington, county Republican chairman, or Darolyn Maley, county treasurer and vice chairman.
Whoever is selected will serve until the end of the year. The successful applicant, and others, have until June 1 to file for election for the last two years of Talkington’s term, which will run through the end of 2020.
Gilpin, who lives in the Fourth Ward at 502 E. Madison Ave., has qualifications. She is imminently acquainted with Allen County Regional Hospital, and served six years on the Kansas Board of Nursing, including three years as its president.
The county owns the hospital, and also is responsible for countywide ambulance service, although Iola operates ambulances. Consequently, commissioners deal often with health and emergency medical issues.
She also is deeply involved with Iola Rotary’s recycling efforts, both the long-term effort to keep tons of newspapers out the county’s landfill by collecting and carting them to an insulation plant in Wellsville. Rotarians more recently have found a market for household waste — cardboard, glass and plastics — in Garnett, and take what they accumulate there once a month.
If she is selected, Gilpin said “iId look at all of the county not just Iola” in decisions made. “I’ve learned a lot about Allen County through Thrive” Allen County, including as a board members for several years.
IN A MEETING that lasted 14 minutes, perhaps a record for brevity, commissioners were told five companies forwarded bids for a new rock crusher for the county quarry.
Mitch Garner, director of Public Works, said the bids all were in the $1 million range, a bit better than anticipated. “When you told us they’d probably be $1 million to $1.2 million, I anticipated they’d be more than that,” said Commissioner Jerry Daniels.
Garner was instructed to examine specifics of each bid, as to the machine itself and service and warranty guarantees. He also will ask for assurances in regard to a lease-purchase agreement for amortization of a new machine’s cost.
“We looked at three of the crushers,” close enough for a few hours excursion, but the other two are too far away, Garner said.
Commissioners, on basis of Garner’s recommendation, will select a crush at Tuesday’s meeting upcoming.
County Counselor Alan Weber said Chairman Dick Works was exploring dates for the next Economic Development Committee meeting, expected sometime during the first two weeks in March. “No dates in February worked,” Weber said.
Then, committee members will decide the fate of five requests for portions of $300,000 of county funding available this year.
They are Moran cooperative market, $100,000; Mildred Store, $20,000; Regional Technical Center, $100,000; Bolling’s Meat Market and Deli, $190,000; Pregnancy Resource Center, $75,000.