Marion signs loan agreement for water plant upgrade

The Marion City Commission Monday approved signing a loan agreement for $800,000 with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to complete upgrading of the water plant to bring it into compliance with KDHE requirements.

The commissioners also approved a quit-claim deed from the City of Marion to Merle Flaming for lots 43, 45 and 47 of the original town subject to an easement for utility purposes which, in earlier meetings, was discussed to allow Flaming to transfer the property for construction of a businesss building.

The real estate is part of the abandoned railroad property northwest of the senior center that some persons wanted to see developed as a rails-to-trails project.

City Administrator David Mayfield said, after a presentation by Michele Hett representing the Chamber of Commerce, that he and Public Works Director Harvey Sanders would work with the Chamber to establish a Saturday morning farmers’ market on the west side of Liberty Park.

Hett said growers of produce already are interested in the market, and Margo Yates of the Chamber added that baked goods and crafts had been discussed as things to add to the event.

Mayfield said the main city concern would be avoiding any damage to the installed city grass watering system through activities such as driving stakes to support shade awnings.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot suggested caution should also be used in allowing heavy loads on the grass.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said it is unlikely that any permits would be required for participants, and he saw no problems as long as Mayfield and Sanders consulted on it.Sanders said that the city may go to a Friday schedule of mowing the park to have it in top shape for the market.

Mayfield said he and Mayor Eloise Mueller will be meeting Friday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center with other leaders interested in future control of the algae problem at Marion Reservoir-such as KDHE, the Corps of Engineers, Marion County Health Department, the City of Hillsboro, and Kansas Wildlife and Parks.

Sanders expected to choose a water plant operator after interviewing two candidates Tuesday.

He said the city installed new underground electrical service to construction on South Freeborn and South Roosevelt last week.

The commissioners approved a resolution to increase the fee for underground electrical service from $350 to $750, which Sanders said covers increased material and excavation costs but not employee hours.

He said trees will need to be trimmed around the city again to keep them out of power lines, and also to allow enough height in alleys for passage of the trash truck.

The commissioners approved a
$40,000 transfer from the electric utility to the equipment reserve, and paying warrants for $14,011.10.

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