Marion commission OKs guaranty for housing facility

The Marion City Commission Monday approved a $25,000 city guaranty on the assisted-living facility to be built south of the football stadium, and gave away a small lot to Marion Die and Fixture for possible expansion.

Mayor Eloise Mueller asked if the guaranty would extend for the entire time frame that the living facility is paying off $925,000 in debt secured by the guaranty.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin replied that it would because the terms had been left open to time limit. But, he added, the only time of real risk to the city is during the time the facility begins paying the debt until it has some equity in it.

Commissioner Larry McLain said that during negotiation of terms the city had agreed to the guaranty in lieu of actually putting up $25,000.

Marty Fredrickson, street superintendent, said the property given away is 25 feet by 130 feet located to the east of Marion Die and Fixture’s building, and is of no value to the city, especially considering that utility easements would be maintained.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said the property would be better given to the manufacturer for the small amount of taxes and the maintenance on it, and that any possible expansion of the company is in the city’s interest.

Fredrickson and Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said the company does have tentative plans for adding to the current building.

Mueller said she understood the company may be awaiting a reply on obtaining other land from the railroad. Sanders said he had no idea how the city had first acquired the small piece of land that is too small for any use.

Fredrickson said the tree dump has been reopened for the remainder of January and all of February part-time from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. It will open full-time March 1, and may follow a schedule of part-time during the months of January and February, and full-time the rest of the year into the future.

Fredrickson said he had not anticipated the demand to dispose of Christmas trees, and the warm weather leading to greater dumping activity.

Police Chief Michel Soyez the city’s latest patrol car was picked up by officers last week from the Kansas Highway Patrol. A light color was selected to aid in keeping it looking clean, he said.

Sanders said the city crew has been working on cutting trees on the dike, maintaining fire trucks, and finishing work on the street sweeper, now back in service.

Baldwin said he and city employees are weary of negotiating with the Internet provider for adjustments in down time and better service.

Soyez said even at the police station, where service has been better than out at the library, he has had to go home to send necessary e-mails when service is down.

The commissioners approved three-year reappointments of Phyllis Kreutziger and Bud Pierce to the cemetery board as recommended by its president, Roger Hannaford.

Librarian Janet Marler reported that library circulation for 2003 was 41,474 items compared to 33,509 in 2002.

She said total holdings in the library are at 21,389 items including additions in 2003 of 1,083 books, 281 videos, 34 DVDs and 104 audio tapes. Also, 340 new families were added to library membership.

The commissioners approved the quarterly financial statement, the December investment and collateral report and the December financial statement presented by City Clerk Linda Holub.

Holub said the city finished 2003 at 63.3 percent of budget not considering desired carryover, and at 90 percent considering the carryover.

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