Marion Commission approves CIS donation

Children in the community received a helping hand from the Marion City Commission at the Tuesday, Nov. 13, meeting with commissioners voting 3-0 to donate $1,000 next year to the Communities in Schools program.

Sherry Wheeler appeared with Gerry Henderson, Marion superintendent of schools, to ask for the help. She noted the program has been recognized for broadening children’s experiences and helping stop problems before they happen.

“It is research based to reduce risk factors related to problems,” she said.

Wheeler said that in two years, CIS has served 500 Marion County children weekly in after-school programs. Programs have operated at no cost to parents or children to encourage participation.

Wheeler said CIS was set up with grant funds, and has been able to operate with those funds with Linda Ogden serving as full-time executive director. The grant money is not available now. Ogden is working only half time, and the CIS board is seeking community support to keep going.

Wheeler said the city of Hillsboro also has donated $1,000. All of the school districts and the Special Education Cooperative have agreed to help, and donations are believed to be forthcoming from other towns in the county.

The commissioners agreed that even though this is a tight budget year for Marion, the CIS has been doing a worthy community effort, and Marion’s donation can come from the 2002 budget.

Wheeler said the share asked from each participant has been kept as small as possible to make it manageable.

Although City Administrator Dennis Nichols had prepared an ordinance to meet with a Nov. 15 deadline requested by the Marion County Commission for signing an interlocal agreement on solid waste disposal, the commissioners opted to follow his recommendation to do nothing now, pending further negotiation.

Nichols said that at a Nov. 7 closed meeting, the mayors of Marion County voted to ask the county commission that all mayors, along with the county commission, serve as a board over solid waste and for negotiating with KC Development.

He said the mayors asked that the city or company doing business as the pick-up unit be responsible for paying the county, thus making a city served by an outside company able to give the pick-up company responsibility for paying.

Nichols said the mayors want a new contract with KC, the operators of the transfer station, where trash would be charged by the ton rather than by household or business unit, thus enabling government-subsidized living units to be charged at a household rate, home-based businesses at a business rate, and to encourage recycling.

Nichols said excavation work specifications for the industrial park were to be published for bids the week of Nov. 12, bids to be opened Dec. 13, and the winning bid to be recommended Dec. 17. He anticipated that sewer and water installation bidding would begin in early December, with the winning bid awarded in January and street bidding to follow in March.

Nichols said the city has received bankruptcy notice for the operators of the city’s cable television system, Galaxy Telecom, LP, and Galaxy Telecom Capital Corp. He said cable service probably will continue under Chapter 11 with a reorganized company taking over assets. He said Galaxy owes the city franchise fees, and that City Attorney Dan Baldwin is reviewing the notice.

John Brose, representing the Park Advisory Board, told commissioners the board wants to see a better set of plans and visuals before coming up with any recommendations for building a stage into the Central Park embankment coming down from the high school, as requested by the Chingawassa Days committee.

Commissioner Bud Pierce said he thought the city should take no actions concerning the stage without a board recommendation.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said the proposed location of the stage north of the spring is better than he once thought because it does appear it would fit “the lay of the land” with minimal earth moving.

The city has received a letter of approval from the Kansas Department of Transportation on Sunflower’s low bid for the library/ depot renovation, and Librarian Janet Marler was planning a groundbreaking ceremony for Nov. 19.

Utilities Superintendent Harvey Sanders said Kansas Power and Light has completed work on a substation transformer that should step up voltage for the town.

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