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County treads tire issue


A tire disposal fee amnesty program was discussed at Monday evening's regular meeting of the Ellis County commissioners at the Ellis County Courthouse.

Ellis County Public Works Director Mike Graf informed commissioners what happened with the program the last time they did it in 2009.

"One of the struggles in '09 was we had people who charge fees for tire disposal when they sell them, and we got them at the gate," Graf said.

In 2009, approximately 4,700 tires were taken in for free disposal; it was estimated the average number of tires per vehicle was 37. Tire dealers potentially could benefit by collecting disposal fees and then not have to pay to dispose of the tires through the amnesty program.

The plan originated in 2009 in order to remove tires that had been accumulating for many years on properties throughout the county.

"I'm not saying let's not do it. I want you to be aware of the pitfalls," Graf said.

Ellis County takes in on average 900 to 950 tires per year for disposal, with at least 90 percent of them car and truck tires. The fee for disposing of tires ranges from $1.25 to $65.

Commissioner Glenn Diehl wanted to make certain those who used the tire amnesty program were from Ellis County, and he proposed putting a limit in place.

"What we have to do is limit the total number everybody can actually bring in," he said. "I don't want commercial businesses who charge to take advantage of the situation."

Graf said he didn't remember setting a limit in 2009. He wondered what should be the limit this time.

"One of the problems I would have is determining the proper limit," he said. "I don't know what the limit should be.

"Most of the people were just appreciative of the opportunity, (but) there were people who took advantage of the option."

"It's a situation where we want to accommodate those folks -- not commercial folks -- who have a legitimate need," said commissioner Swede Holmgren.

Graf will draft a policy for commissioners to consider at a later date.

In other business:

* Commissioners approved a resolution recognizing their intent to grant the former Ellis County Public Works shop in Ellis and 1.222 acres of property located 500 E. Ninth in Ellis to the Ellis Industrial Development Corp., pending an official final land survey. Commissioners set a comment opportunity during their regular meeting Monday.

* Commissioners discussed the road and bridge project prioritization. Commissioners will fill out forms to prioritize projects.

* Commissioners approved a road maintenance agreement with Fort Hays State University relating to equipment transportation and delivery and construction of the school's wind energy project.

*  Commissioners unanimously disapproved a KDOT proposal to turn over road miles to the county in Ellis and Victoria.

*  Commissioners approved a contract with Adams Brown Beran and Ball for audit services in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

* Commissioners approved a payroll adjustment to make the 2013 employee pay scale effective Dec. 23.

* Commissioners approved the proposed contract with Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture of Wichita for design services on the Commerce Bank building remodel project.

* Commissioners approved an amendment to the contract of county administrator Greg Sund that adds to the option to provide either a vehicle allowance or a vehicle.

* Sund presented the monthly financial report.

* Linda Beech presented the monthly County Extension Service report.