Marion team continues talks with Waste Connections

A three-man team appointed by the City of Marion to negotiate with Waste Connections on a potential regional landfill in the Martin Marietta quarry northeast of town will meet this week to discuss initial proposals, the Marion City Commission was told Monday at its regular meeting.

Dennis Nichols, city administrator, who is on the team with Commissioner Larry Reiswig and local attorney Keith Collett, said the team met with Jim Little, vice president of Waste Connections, on Nov. 15.

He said: “Several key areas were discussed and proposals by Mr. Little were presented. The negotiating team continues to be in an information-gathering process.

“Once the team believes that it has gathered sufficient information, a presentation will be made to the commission for its consideration. No decision relative to the landfill will be made without it being brought before the commission and the public in a public meeting.”

Nichols said a draft agreement would “supply funds to meet pressing infrastructure, economic development and community service needs of Marion.”

It would, he said, “make whole as much as possible stakeholders, including KC Development, surrounding property owners, the county and the City of Marion.”

He said it would “include appropriate and adequate contractual provisions to safeguard the environment.”

Ive Eddy, student from Marion High School, presented the commissioners a petition signed by 117 students and faculty against establishment of a landfill. Eddy said the students oppose the landfill because of its potential high visibility from US-56 and Pizza Hut, the potential high increase in truck traffic, the possibility of water pollution, and the likelihood of rock punctures of its plastic liner.

She was accompanied by fellow students Becky Taylor and Merideth Moore, her parents, Martin and Sue Eddy, and Margie Bennet.

Mayor Max Hayen thanked them for their responsiveness in presenting the petition.

Nichols said a structural engineer contracted by the city has attested to the soundness of the wall on the west side of the Stone City Cafe following the demolition of the building at 201-203 Main. He said the wall will be cleared of boards and rubble, corrections made by a stone mason, and then sprayed with a concrete compound that will look like a gray stucco.

He said the city will make it a “number one objective” to sell the newly vacant lot as a business building site.

The $34,000 paid to G&G Dozer for the demolition was among $151,771.26 in warrants approved by the city. Nichols noted that this was $2,000 less than the original contract for demolition because trade in dirt and rocks was negotiated with G&G.

The warrants also included $88,088 to Walters-Morgan as a progress payment on the new clear well and water line pigging projects. Utilities Superintendent Harvey Sanders said the company had done an excellent job cleaning up the water plant area as the project comes to completion this week.

Nichols said an additional $14,000 is expected to be billed from Walters-Morgan in mid-December.

The commissioners approved 3-0 an ordinance setting a meeting time for the city planning commission at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month. Susan Cooper, development director, said persons who wanted to appear before the commission would be required to get on the agenda two weeks before meetings, and meetings would be cancelled if nobody was on the agenda.

Nichols said Galaxy Cablevision has notified the city that its basic service rates will increase from $30.95 to $32.20 effective Jan. 1.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said, “I have heard lots of complaints about Galaxy’s quality of service.”

Reiswig asked, “What have they done to improve quality, if anything, to take an increase?”

Nichols said Galaxy says it is paying rate increases of 20 percent to its suppliers such as ESPN. He promised to bring the criticism to their attention.

Upon Sanders’ recommendation, Bob Raleigh of the electrical department was named “employee of the quarter.” Sanders said Raleigh is able to operate the water plant, takes electrical calls on weekends, and is excellent at operating heavy equipment.

The commissioners approved 3-0 cereal malt beverages for Rural America, Inc., doing business as Pizza Hut, and Casey’s General Store.

The commissioners, acting in public hearing, formally approved budget amendments that had been published to add $25,000 to the general fund and nearly $83,000 to the special highway fund to include carry-over funds.

The commissioners approved payroll of $19,583.75.

They rescheduled next week’s meeting to Tuesday, Dec. 12, because Hayen couldn’t be there Monday.

Cooper said a public meeting will be held the same day with representatives of Southwestern Bell to establish comprehensive planning for faster Internet service in Marion. She said the planning will likely make service more affordable for Marion businesses.

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