Algae incident prompts Marion to look at Luta Creek

Phil Lacey told the Marion City Commission Monday that its responsibility probably ended with approval of a resolution to authorize him to proceed with industrial revenue bonds for the new assisted living facility.

Lacey, attorney for doing the work on the bonds, said he is paid by the developer, Bob Brooks, and his company, and all bond payments will be made out of rentals from the facility. It is not allowed to be paid by taxation or the city from other means.

“You probably won’t hear from me until the bonds are paid off unless there is a default.”

He explained that the city is recognized as the client in this case only to allow the company to finance bonds through exemptions on property and sales taxes.

David Mayfield, city administrator, told commissioners that Marion avoided the water-hauling problems Hillsboro has had during the toxic algae bloom deterioration at Marion Reservoir by having its clear well and water towers full in advance.

However, he said, the crisis has prompted the city to look at pumping water from Luta (Mud) Creek in an emergency, and at reviewing its leases on wells it has near Antelope that could pump more water into the creek if needed.

Rocky Hett, attending the meeting as an observer, asked if the city wouldn’t need to look at possible pollution from the old dump north of town before pumping from the creek when it is common knowledge that opponents of a regional landfill on his land alleged that it would pollute all the water in Mud Creek Valley.

Harvey Sanders, public works director, said water would be pumped from an area not affected by being below the dump.

Mayfield said if any problems were ever noted, the city has the option of trucking water from rural water districts. “We are not going to put polluted water in our plant,” he said.

Police Chief Michel Soyez discussed with commissioners an incident during Chingawassa Days at the Saturday night concert when a family member of one of the band performers asked police to come to the stage to eject an intruder who probably was under the influence of alcohol.

Commissioners said they would be discussing with the Chingawassa Days Committee better security and elimination of alcohol in keeping with the event’s identity as a family outing.

Other than the one incident, the commissioners pronounced the event “a great success.”

Soyez said Officer Dean Keyes will receive a $600 scholarship to attend a federal investigation class through a crime department lab that serves the Wichita Police.

Janet Marler, librarian, said Richard Miller from the Manhattan Library is helping her with computer issues, and to write a technology plan to qualify for E-rate.

She said 64 new books were added at the library in May with a total circulation of 3,125 items which includes videos and DVDs.

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