Marion park bid comes in under estimate

The low bid for moving dirt at Marion’s new Batt Industrial Park came in below the engineer’s estimate of $133,770.

The City Commission Monday was able to approve 3-0 a bid for $96,018 by Pearson Excavating to build the park’s drainage detention basin, open channel work and roadbed.

Joe Surmeier of Professional Engineering Consultants strongly recommended Pearson to the commission. Surmeier said a pre-construction conference will be held by PEC and Pearson Jan. 10 with work to begin soon after.

David Shupe of Chapman Securities, Wichita, came to advise the commission as it approved 3-0 a $262,000 bond issuance resolution for the replacement of sewer and water lines that was given the go-ahead

Dec. 5. Shupe said the bonds will be sold Jan. 14-30.

The commission approved 3-0 authorizing a $4,000 fee for a consultant to do an independent feasibility study on whether the community and area can support a proposed assisted-living facility.

Development Director Susan Cooper said the study would be necessary for Bob Brooks of Brooks Development to continue the development process, and to assure local residents and business owners who would invest in the living facility.

Cooper said Brooks has proposed plans for an assisted living facility to residents and health-care professionals, most recently to the St. Luke Hospital Board.

She said Brooks has developed 11 such facilities in Kansas and other states, most recently in North Newton. Cooper recommended Larry Richardson of Senior Market Research Associates, Cleveland, Tenn., who did the survey for North Newton, to do the Marion survey.

“If the study proves that the community and area can support this type of facility, the next step will be to form an investor’s group to raise funds for the community’s matching portion of the investment,” Cooper said. “If the study proves that this isn’t feasible, then the city and the community will explore other options.”

Commissioner Bud Pierce said “a lot of interest” in the project has been indicated by Marion residents, including some that it might come too late for.

The commissioners approved City Administrator Dennis Nichols’ recommendation to renegotiate a contract to keep Hillsboro’s Morgan Marshall as the contract operator in charge of Marion’s water plant.

Nichols explained the Kansas Department of Health and Environment required retention of a certified level II water plant operator such as Marshall.

Water plant operators John Maxfield and Ryan Walker will be eligible to sit for the level II examination next year, and can do the day-to-day plant operation under the supervision of Harvey Sanders, utility superintendent, with Marshall consulting by telephone, Nichols said.

Nichols outlined a new plan for operating the city’s tree and brush burn site to avoid KDHE violations such as burning of unauthorized materials.

He said the site would be closed annually Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 with users during this time required to check out a key form the city office, and pay $2 per day for use.

Nichols said on March 1, the city would have hired personnel to keep the site open from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a $2 fee to users collected. Attendants would be able to see front and back from a monitoring shed to assure no non-complying materials are dumped, he said.

Violators would be fined $300.

Nichols said professional tree, landscaping and lawn services will be able to buy an annual permit for $100 and have a key for access anytime.

Marty Fredrickson, street superintendent, reported Marion has 150 fire hydrants with five slated for replacement annually at an average cost of $1,000 each.

The commission approved electric licenses for Harvey Sanders, Sanders Electric, Marion; Clyde Secrest Jr.; Kaye Electric, Newton; Lindley Slifer, LinCo, Inc., Marion; Robert McDowell, McDowell Electric, Halstead; Harvey Ray, Hillsboro; John Britain, MC Radio, Marion; Jim Davis, Jim Davis A/C, Marion; and Fredrick David, Elcon Services Inc., Hillsboro.

They approved plumbing licenses for Merle Flaming, Flaming’s Inc., Marion; DuWayne Suffield, Suffield Htg., Cooling & Plmbg., Marion; James R. Carr, James R. Carr Construction, Hillsboro; Tony Schafer, Tony’s Plumbing, Marion; Jeff Inlow, Inlow Plumbing Services, Florence; Matthew Hiebert, Jost Plumbing, Htg., & A/C, Hillsboro; and John Graber, Graber’s Plg. & Htg., Newton.

They approved cereal malt beverage licenses for Casey’s General Store and Pizza Hut.

They approved a vendor’s license for Schwan’s Sales, Marshall, Minn.

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