Tax breaks offered to Marion businesses

Real estate owners within a block of Main Street in Marion could receive property-tax reimbursements for improvements under a Neighborhood Revitalization Program approved by ordinance of the Marion City Commission Monday.

Development Director Susan Cooper reviewed the program in public hearing before the regular commission meeting.

She said to qualify, residential owners must spend a minimum of $5,000 for improvements and commercial owners must spend a minimum of $15,000.

The program is for real estate along Main and one block north or one block south of Main from Straub Farm Equipment to The Big Scoop, and then from State Farm Insurance to Country Inn Motel, Cooper said.

If people aren’t certain their real estate is included, they can check at the city building.

Cooper said the main focus is on renovating the business district. To qualify, property must be of historical significance or be shown to be in a state of dilapidation or condition that requires attention.

Commissioner Larry McLain said that given the right conditions for approval, a person might even build on a vacant lot and receive reimbursement on property taxes based on the lot. without improvement for 10 years, under the county administered program.

The commission passed on the plan for approval as an interlocal agreement between other taxing entities within the city, including the school district, hospital district and Marion County.

Rick Branson of Eastmoor United Methodist Church introduced Johnny Cartwright of the Central Texas Conference of Youth in Missions.

Cartwright said about 60 Texas youth and 10 adult advisors staying at Eastmoor have begun on eight of 25 homes of persons with financial needs in Marion-picked out in advance by Branson for such work as trimming trees and vines, painting, and repairing roofs and porches. (See story, Page 11.)

The young people who have completed grades 8 through 12, pay to take the trip, and work for nothing, even providing a reimbursement to the host church for utilities, he said.

The Texas mission has kids and adults in Kansas this week staying at about 20 churches from Dodge City east.

The commissioners discussed the upcoming ribbon cutting for Batt Industrial Park at 10 a.m. June 18 with Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer presiding.

Harvey Sanders, utilities superintendnet, said electrical upgrading at Cooperative Grain & Supply is temporarily halted until after wheat harvest.

Jeff Cady, chairman of the Marion Recreation Commission, asked for a $5,000 increase in budget for personnel and baseball supplies when the city prepares its complete budget.

The commissioners approved the May financial statement and May investment and collateral report with City Administrator Dennis Nichols noting he is pleased with the city staying within budget prior to what are normally the three most expensive months of the year.

The commissioners approved paying warrants for $16,452.31.

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