Marion leaders seek grant to cover water crisis

The Marion City Commission Monday passed a resolution to seek an urgent need community development block grant to cover extra expenses incurred because of the recent water crisis.

Those expenses, which included such things as extra pumps to develop an alternative water source during the toxic algae bloom at Marion Reservoir, would be covered at 80 percent by the grant through the Kansas Interagency Council, and 20 percent through the city.

Passage of the resolution followed a public hearing to discuss it, and a public hearing on the 2004 proposed budget, which also was approved.

Susan Cooper, development director, said the grant application is being increased to a total $31,022.27, with $24,799.85 from the state and $6,222.42 from the city instead of the formerly total $28,022.27 sought because the city discovered it could pay administrative costs through the grant.

Only one question was asked during the hearing. Merle Bruner, city resident, wanted to know what the total police department budget was.

Mayor Eloise Mueller said the police department totaled $273,671, with $233,616 going to personnel service and $40,055 to materials.

Police Chief Michel Soyez said Marion police and Hillsboro police have cooperated in the arrest of a man in his 60s who is alleged to have damaged books checked out from both libraries.

Soyez said total damage at the Marion Public Library now stands at around $640 done to 30 books. He said the case will be turned over to the county attorney for prosecution.

Harvey Sanders, public works director, said the city crew has been working on water leaks caused by ground shifts in the dry weather.

Mueller suggested a commission planning session to set goals and objectives with Aug. 25 after the regular meeting decided to be the best time.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said the gathering would be a public meeting even if it was not during regular session.

Cooper said she is continuing to work through the state to secure a tax abatement for Marion Die & Fixture.

The commissioners approved paying warrants for $164,764.25 and payroll for $29,196.82.

City Administrator David Mayfield said the warrants included $103,989.49 to Westar for electricity and a $27,735 bond payment to the state treasurer.

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