Construction value doubles in Marion during 2001

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The value of construction in Marion for 2001 was about double the same figure for each of the previous two years, the Marion City Commission learned Monday.

Kermit Dirksen, city building inspector who also takes care of building permits, said strong trends for remodeling jobs and manufactured homes led the surge to the $2,213,500 construction value for 2001.

The same figure for 2000 was $954,000, and for 1999 was $1,391,700, Dirksen said.

The lead item for 2001 was $868,000 for commercial remodels, Dirksen said. Projects included the new truck wash in the industrial park remodeled from a car dealership, and the library/depot project.

Another item was $503,000 for new commercial construction that included the new hardware store, Dirksen said.

He noted that manufactured homes were up to $254,000 compared to $135,000 in 2000 and $57,500 in 1999.

Other 2001 values were $394,000 for new residences compared to $384,000 in 2000 and $675,000 in 1999; $145,000 for residential remodels compared to $84,000 in 2000 and $101,000 in 1999; and $49,500 for garages compared to $51,000 in 2000 and $37,200 in 1999.

Dirksen said adequate subdivision housing sites remain in Marion with three of seven sites developed in Country Club Heights, two of four sites developed in Phillips Grandview Second Subdivision, one of seven sites developed in Phillips Grandview Third Subdivision, two of six sites developed in Victoria Heights Subdivision, and one of 10 sites developed in Fink Subdivision.

Dirksen said he is receiving public cooperation in cleaning up areas with trash, weeds or dilapidated structures, although city officials might like to see progress at a faster rate.

Michelle Hett, Margo Yates and Kevin Fruechting reported on the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce tourism committee to bring visitors to Marion last year.

Hett said a particular success was the Christmas Magic display in the former hardware store downtown that brought in many people from neighboring communities such as Hillsboro.

She said next year the historic homes tour that was horse-drawn this year with help from Clover Creek Ranch may be a trolley ride with the students who give the historic talks actually aboard to keep the tour moving. The event was held on Old Settlers Days, but next year may be moved or extended to Chingawassa Days, Hett said.

Hett said the Chamber has future goals of installing historic street lights and preserving historic buildings to help maintain the “quaintness” of Marion for visitors. She said the New Year’s Eve “Ball” will be a Chamber function in the future.

City Administrator Dennis Nichols said the city’s historic committee is looking at the idea of putting plaques on historic buildings.

Yates showed Marion promotions in such things as brochures with finer work by Baker Bros. Printing Co., the Kansas State Travel Guide and the Marion County Resource Guide produced by Print Source Direct of Hillsboro.

Development Director Susan Cooper said she coordinates with the Chamber to promote tourism for city development.

Cooper, Hett and Yates expected the depot and the park spring to be big future city attractions.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to approve $14,000 in change orders for the depot project to pay for additional materials and changes.

Nichols said the Kansas Department of Transportation may approve grant money to pay most of that perhaps leaving the city with only a $2,800 share.

Harvey Sanders, utilities superintendent, reported 108.57 tons of solid waste disposed of through KC Development transfer station in January.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot and Nichols commended city workers for the snow-and-ice removal job in the city the past week noting that many communities have large piles of ice remaining in the middle of streets while Marion’s has been removed.

Sanders said the snow and ice has been dumped at the water plant and east of the grain elevator with the former dumping area in the park no longer being used because of the spring development there.

The commissioners approved paying warrants for $82,168.69 which included $58,462.16 from bond funds for engineering services at the Batt Industrial Park.

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