Marion commissioners vote 2-1 to annex Baxter property

The Marion City Commission voted 2-1 Oct. 17 to annex 10 acres owned by Pearl Baxter, and they received a petition for annexation of 400 acres owned by Geraldine I. Williams, John Rockne “Rocky” Hett and Shirley Jo Hett.

Annexation of the two pieces of land adjacent to the east and north of Pizza Hut in the industrial park is considered part of an effort to establish a regional landfill.

Mayor Max Hayen and Commissioner Larry Reiswig voted for annexation of the Baxter property. Commissioner Jim Crofoot voted against it.

In other action, the commission reviewed a report by Kermit Dirksen, Marion’s building and health officer, on conditions which resulted in his ordering evacuation of residents at 201 and 203 E. Main.

Dirksen said he and Fire Chief Thad Meierhoff inspected the vacated property Oct. 16.

He said they found a small wood burning stove in use on the first floor connected to a flue originally installed for a gas furnace and with inadequate heat shields by combustible walls. They found piled combustible material and containers of ashes, he said. On the second floor they found a barrel wood stove with single wall piping into a masonry chimney, he said.

He added, “It was found that a portion of the rear of the east wall had collapsed. The interior width of the stone wall collapsed into the building exposing the ends of a part of the second-floor joist.”

Attorney Keith Collett, speaking for the city in the absence of City Attorney Dan Baldwin, said the city, Dirksen and others acting for the city are protected from liability in this case by statutory authority.

Reiswig asked who might be responsible for repairs or demolition in this case. City Administrator Dennis Nichols replied it is his understanding a case such as this should proceed one step at a time.

In the meantime, he said, the city is doing what it can to assist the vacated residents.

They also heard concerns from Jim and Violet Richmond, owners of Marion Lumber, about rumors the city might put up a building for Marion Hardware in addition to selling the business lots in the industrial park for establishment of a regional lumber and hardware outlet.

The three commissioners told the Richmonds they had never discussed anything but sale of lots in this case. Reiswig said rumors could be the result of earlier discussions when commissioners had discussed putting up shell buildings to offer to prospective buyers, but added nothing had come of that.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve paving, curbing and guttering portions of Sherman and Coble Streets under agreement with the majority of homeowners who will be assessed either in full within 30 days or over 10 years at 7 percent interest.

Commissioners Crofoot and Hayen approved, with Reiswig abstaining because he is a Central National Bank officer.

A lease-purchase agreement exists between the city and Central National Bank operating with Marion National Bank that finances a five-year extension approved last week to a lease-purchase agreement between the city and Straub International.

The commission unanimously approved extension of a solid waste agreement with KC Development which was due to expire Aug. 21, 2001, to Jan. 1, 2002, to give Marion County time to negotiate new agreements with the transfer company on behalf of county cities. The new agreement would run from Jan. 1, 2002, to Dec. 31, 2006.

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