Marion leaders address brief agenda

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The Marion City Commission met Monday in possibly its shortest session in three years with the major item of business approving the change of a paragraph in the dog-control ordinance because of typographical error.

City Administrator David Mayfield, home after attending educational opportunities provided by the Kansas Peace Officers Association, reported he has been reappointed to a position on the Bern Grants Board that gives funds to organizations such as school districts and judicial systems.

Marty Fredrickson, street superintendent, said the city delivered 127.2 tons of solid waste to the county transfer station in May.

Fredrickson said the city crew is doing small routine jobs such as street patching, and applying herbicide at the sewage lagoons. The city has also been spraying for mosquitos, he said.

Susan Cooper, development director, said studies have begun by bond counsel on proposed bonds for the new assisted living facility, and also on the cost/benefits basis for tax abatement on the facility all paid for by the developer.

Mayor Eloise Mueller read a business appreciation month proclamation for Marion as part of the business recognition throughout Kansas through the Department of Commerce and Housing.

Janet Marler, librarian, reported Dorothy Youk and Gary Ewert have been named to the library board succeeding Margaret Pickering and Jim Bridges.

She said the library now has three computers for the use of children ages 2 to 12 with educational programs.

May 27 meeting

The Marion City Commission at the Tuesday, May 27 meeting, approved the zoning change and final plat for a new five-acre assisted living and independent living development between the school bus barns and the stadium water tower.

After hearing from Bob Brooks, developer of the facility with investors from Marion and elsewhere, commissioners gave approval for proceeding with putting together city industrial revenue bond assistance, but not without studying the commitment.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said he wanted to make sure that expected revenue genuinely would make bond payments without saddling the city and its citizens with another bill to pay.

Brooks would begin construction within 60 to 90 days depending on bond sales.

Brooks said he has been involved in building 10 other such facilities in nearby places like Newton, Hays and Wellington, but also in other states including Colorado, California and Utah.

The city commission followed the lead of the Marion Planning Commission, and also granted a conditional-use permit for storage units on the property for the residents.

The plan calls for construction of 18 assisted-living apartments with a possible addition in the future to 25 units depending on response. Brooks said there would be seven independent homes.

He described an entryway into the stone-front building past a double-sided fireplace going into kitchen, dining and shared living room areas with a big-screen television room and private dining area for residents with guests just off them.

Brooks said the facility will offer two sizes of apartments, one at 356 square feet with an initial cost of $2,000 per month and the other at 408 square feet with an initial cost of $2,500 a month.

The units will have refrigerators with freezers and microwaves, but not stoves, Brooks said. Air conditioning and heat will be controlled by individual thermostats, and all units will have windows for natural lighting.

He said, “There will be no stairs, ramps, obstacles or obstructions in the whole place.”

Brooks would like a manager who also is an licensed practical nurse to supervise assistance with medications, three meals a day, housekeeping including laundry, grooming and dressing, and access to such extras as whirlpool spas.

He expects the project to employ seven persons full-time and many part-time employees with an annual payroll over $250,000.

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