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WJBD - Local News - Nearly Half Of Marion County Board Attend Their Final Meeting

Nearly Half Of Marion County Board Attend Their Final Meeting

By Bruce Kropp

Seven of the 15 members of the Marion County Board attended their final meeting Tuesday night. Many thanked the public for the opportunity to serve and for their working relationship with fellow board members.

Pam Hawkins highlighted the county's greatly improved financial condition in the ten years she's been on the board. She notes they have gone from having to cut employee health insurance and having only $39,000 in the general fund to a balance now of nearly two million dollars. "I think we have come along way in ten years. I think it is due to and I always want to thank, and I know they probably hearing us say it, but the elected officials stepped up to the plate whenever they were asked to do their part. They each in every way that they could, they did their part. They cut their budget, they cut their staff, they did many many things to help us out and make us look better," said Hawkins. "We certainly could not as a group of 15 people have done that in ten years without everyone in the county helping."   Hawkins is also pleased of efforts to restore county health insurance coverage, even though employees have elected to take a stipend instead of group coverage.

Hawkins along with Vice-Chair Richard Sinclair, Dick Hanks and Bruce Parrish served their final meeting after being defeated in the November elections. Four other members did not seek re-election. They are Delores Wanzo, Greg Schwartz, Danny Stover and Ty Bates. The board will hold its reorganizational meeting on Monday night, December third.

One of the last acts of the board was to approve the budget for the fiscal year beginning December first. It was passed without any changes and without any opposition. The budget anticipates revenues of $6,852,712 and expenses of $7,191,260. However, the expenses include $200,000 in contingencies. The board hopes the shortfall can be eliminated over the coming budget year.

The board approved a $136,000 contract for DePew and Owen Builders to replace a bridge on Farthing Road over Deer Creek. The board also approved a $102,000 contract with Sidwell for completing a new GIS Flyover of the county and digitizing the 1991 Mylar Flights. A resolution was approved allowing the use of the courthouse lawn by the city of Salem for their Christmas decorations and the use of the first floor of the courthouse by the Marion County Court Services Department for Memorial Poinsettias in memory of Marion County residents killed by drunk drivers.  

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