Chingawassa beer garden proposal withdrawn

The Chingawassa Days committee Monday withdrew its request to the Marion City Commission to have a beer garden during a performance by the rock band, Three Dog Night, in the city park during Chingawassa Days this summer.

The Chingawassa committee, in a written release, said the beer garden had become controversial, and that the committee wanted to be a positive force moving ahead, and not contribute to hard feelings.

The committee called upon those involved in the discussion to buy more buttons to attend Chingawassa Days because the event lost money last year, and the beer garden was a proven type of money maker to attempt to use to keep the event going.

The commission voted 2-0 to refer an appeal by Doris Buckner to be allowed to operate a beauty shop from her new home under construction in Victoria Heights back to the Marion Planning Commission for a recommendation.

Mayor Max Hayen and Commissioner Larry Reiswig were present and Commissioner Jim Crofoot was absent.

The planning commission turned down an application by Buckner for a conditional-use permit for the salon Feb. 19 because she and her husband, Virgil, are building the home in a “low-density residential development,” where zoning

doesn’t allow home-occupation businesses.

Linda Buckner, Buckner’s daughter-in-law, told commissioners the shop has been operated at Marion County Lake for 13 years with no parking on streets, no complaints and minimal traffic.

She said maintenance of a shop location is necessary under state rules to allow Doris Buckner to serve clients at rest homes and September Apartments. She said the shop was so well run the state has been willing to waive a requirement that 51 percent of the business be done in the shop to allow Doris Buckner to do extensive service for the elderly.

The shop would operate on Fridays and a half-day Saturdays with a total of four to five customers, she said.

Although the commissioners were inclined to be sympathetic to the Buckners’ appeal, Reiswig said he was uncomfortable with merely overriding the planning commission’s decision since it had been appointed by the city commission to make such decisions.

Susan Cooper, development director, said the zoning had been done to give preference to businesses locating in the downtown area. She said beauty shops already in homes had been “grandfathered” under zoning, and that their operation won’t be continued when current owners cease operation.

It was discussed that if a conditional-use permit was allowed for the Buckners, it would also be temporary with only Doris Buckner’s term of operation.

Meanwhile, the commissioners voted 2-0 to budget $650 for advertising and brochures for public education on a sales tax proposal to fund industrial park development that will be on the April ballot.

City Administrator Dennis Nichols told commissioners a timetable has been outlined for completing a city library in a remodeled and renovated Marion Railroad Depot. Notice to construction bidders should go out in June with a contract awarded at the end of July, he said.

Nichols said the project should be completed a year from April.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said he is applying on behalf of the city to the Kansas Corporation Commission for a certificate of convenience to extend city electrical line operation to the Batt Industrial Park, which has been in Rural Electric Cooperative territory.

Baldwin said rural electric lines in the area are only feeder lines to the north. The city is not asking those lines to be moved, and the city’s move into the area probably will be seen as routine.

Toward the end of the meeting, Baldwin met in executive session with the commissioners to discuss lawsuits the city is involved in.

Several department heads reported delays in city activities due to the prolonged stormy, cold weather. Cooper said construction of Seacat Hardware at the industrial park is a month behind schedule.

Marty Fredrickson, street superintendent, said crews are waiting for warmer and dryer weather to repair streets and alleys “torn up” by the weather.

Harvey Sanders, utilities superintendent, said electrical crews will need drier ground to get to at least “a couple of poles that need replacing.”

Gary Klose reported for the Marion Police Department that grant money has been received for the purchase of new radar units.

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