Early figures indicate Chingawassa Days a success

A resolution authorizing the sale of $1.274 million in general obligation sales tax bonds to be repaid by a 0.75 percent sales tax was passed unanimously Monday by the Marion City Commission.

Dennis Nichols, city administrator, said the funds will be used, as authorized by voters in the April election, for roads, drainage, water and sewer for the city’s two industrial parks.

An attached preliminary official statement prepared by the city’s bond counsel, Gilmore & Bell, and by the city’s financial advisor, George K. Baum & Co., will be used to determine investors’ decisions in the June 25 bond sale, Nichols said.

He expected the funds to be delivered to the city’s Central National Bank account July 11. Prior to that, all three local banks, including CNB, Marion National Bank and Tampa State Bank, will be solicited by letter July 2 to bid for deposit in certificate and money market accounts of the funds.

Nichols said the bank bids will be due at 10 a.m. July 9 with selected banks notified July 10 and proceeds invested July 11.

Projected use of the funds outlined by Nichols would see $15,000 spent on bond issue fees and $70,000 spent to complete water and sewer in Harris Park in July, $100,000 spent on a street for Harris in September, $215,000 spent for the turn lane and $114,000 for drainage work in October, $600,000 spent for water and sewer in Batt in December, and $160,000 spent for a street in Batt next April.

In other business, the commissioners celebrated early indications that last weekend’s Chingawassa Days event appeared to have been more successful than any earlier year’s event.

Susan Cooper, development director, said Chingawassa button sales that included the Three Dog Night concert have been estimated at 1,600 or more with eyeball estimates of crowd size ranging from 1,700 to 2,200.

She said button sales that included all events but the concert are estimated at 1,300.

She credited better organization, higher volunteer turnout, and a good effort by the city crew as factors in the Chingawassa success.

Cooper introduced Jenny Maggard as an intern working with her for the city into July,

Other city projects moving forward after some delay include the depot/library project and the Brooker Spring development in the downtown park.

Nichols said he and Janet Marler, city librarian, had met with depot architects, and as a result have developed a renovation timetable, subject to approval by the Kansas department of Transportation, grantor of funds for the project.

He said bid specifications will be let June 20, a pre-bid conference July 17, public bid opening Aug. 2, Commission awarding of bid Aug. 6, and construction work beginning Sept. 1.

Nichols was expected to meet with Mark Moore, landscape designer for Brooker Spring, on Tuesday to receive the spring design for presentation to the Commission next week.

Nichols said that as a result of Kansas Department of Health and Environment actions against the city of Marion for its water plant operations, a new reporting procedure has been developed. The resulting compliance has KDHE complimenting the city for its actions, he said.

In brief, he said, the procedure directs the staff to report water practices in more timely, accurate and complete ways to assure water quality and for KDHE.

Harvey Sanders, utility superintendent, said he has spoken to Kansas Power and Light Co. about the city’s power outage Sunday lasting an unnecessarily long time after lighting knocked out an insulator at Florence Junction seven miles south on Third Street, and one mile east.

He said the incident shows the desirability of developing a double-feed of power into the city.

His crew is working this week on extending the 7,200-volt line to Marion Tool and Die.

Marty Fredrickson, Marion street superintendent, said the tree dump no longer will be open on Sundays because of low usage, but will continue to be open Saturday afternoons.

He said the city disposed of 135.5 tons of trash last month.

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