McPherson County Commissioners met Tuesday to approve several requests from County department heads.

Kenny Cook, Planning and Zoning administrator, presented two cases from March’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting. The first was a special use request from Mid-Kansas Co-op (MKC) to build a grain handling facility at 25th Avenue and Highway 56 near Canton.

Cook explained that the request had some unanswered questions because the applicants had not yet involved contractors. MKC also included fertilizer storage and an extra rail loop that it does not expect to add for a “very long ways into the future, if it did happen,” Cook said.

The Planning Board and Cook recommended approval with eight conditions. Danny Posch, MKC CFO, told commissioners he believed MKC received a fair hearing.

Commissioner Ron Loomis asked Posch how far he was able to get with the railroad. Posch said the railroad would not guarantee anything this far in advance but that it had verbally told him it didn’t see a problem. Posch said MKC has contacted Rails to Trails and is “committed to working through any issues” with them.

Commissioners voted to adopt the recommendations of the Planning Board.

The second request from Cook was to rezone a tract of land near Arrowhead and Plum from an A-1 Agriculture District to R-1 Single Family Residential District. Cook said the tract is 18.376 acres and was split off in 2000 before the current regulations were in place, although he still views the property as under violation of the comprehensive plan, which, Cook said, highly discourages dwellings on less than 40 acres and encourages development close to cities.

The Zoning Board and Cook recommended denying the request.

Commissioners voted to adopt the recommendations of the Zoning Board.

In other meeting news:

•Commissioners signed an enhanced 911 grant from Darren Frazier, director of 911 Communications. Frazier said he was notified Friday that his department received the grant, valued at $185,848, to purchase new technology for the new E-911 system required by the state. The county will have to contribute $6,500 to install all the equipment and upgrade its current system.

Fazier said this equipment will bring the department up to date and take it well into the future of required 911 communications technology. The department is required to have the system installed by Dec. 31 but Frazier said installation should be done in the Fall.

•After discussion with county treasurer Brenda Becker, commissioners voted to send a letter to the Kansas Motor Carrier Services, stating that the board does not support hosting the IRP program due to concerns that McPherson County will not see any benefit from it.

•Tom Kramer, Public Works director, was approved to purchase a crack sealer from PMSI for $46,776. Commissioners decided it was an important part of long term maintenance on county roads. Kramer said the new sealer will save the department a lot of time and allow it to be more efficient.

•Personnel Change Notices (PCN) were approved for one Sheriff’s Department employee, two treasury department employees and one community corrections employee.

•Fern Hess, County Health Department director, was approved to write off uncollectible bad debt, totaling $2,899.52 for the third and fourth quarters of 2009. The bad debt is determined after individual client accounts reflect no payment activity for the previous 12 consecutive months.