Marion, Hillsboro closeto agreement for grant

The cities of Marion and Hillsboro are close to finalizing an interlocal agreement that will enable them to seek state grant money to study feasibility of a joint water district that might ease future required water plant upgrades, said Marion City Administrator David Mayfield Monday at the City Commission meeting.

Bud Pierce, president of the Marion Housing Authority, which administers Hilltop Manor in Marion, reported to commissioners that MHA is planning a handicapped accessible storm shelter at Hilltop for an estimated $36,545 cost.

He said that Ralph Kreutziger, a fellow MHA board member, is working with an architect to plan the shelter and is studying the possibility of making the shelter a little bigger so that people other than Hilltop residents might be able to get into it in an emergency.

Pierce said that under current conditions, if a tornado was to strike, Hilltop residents would have to go to Eastmoor United Methodist Church for shelter.

Pierce said MHA also is considering adding two more two-bedroom apartments to the Hilltop complex built in 1971, which now includes 26 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments. Only one one-bedroom is vacant, and there is a waiting list of seven for apartments, he said.

MHA has been recarpeting apartments, and recently purchased new refrigerators and cooking ranges for all 28 units, Pierce said.

MHA is replacing doors and windows in Hilltop units.

Pierce guessed that MHA might need another $10,000 to complete the storm shelter and said city help would be appreciated. He explained that MHA receives federal money through the Federal Housing Act for most of its needs to provide low-income housing for the elderly.

Mayfield invited Pierce to bring Kreutziger in to discuss finances.

Other MHA board members are Charles Heerey, Harold Conyers and Jean Case. Shirley Carlson is executive director.

A representative for Tri-County Telephone, who was on the Commission meeting agenda to discuss the company’s Internet service in Marion, failed to appear. Mayfield said the company has canceled appearing at two previous meetings.

Janet Marler, librarian, said Internet service at the library lately has been more consistent, but even as she spoke, a library user at the meeting reported the system down.

Mayfield reminded commissioners he will be gone part of the week for grant writing school in Emporia, and City Clerk Linda Holub will be gone part of the week for training in Wichita.

He said city offices will be closed Friday for remodeling, although telephone service will be operated for the public.

Utility Clerk Becky Makovec gave the January utility billing tie out report with no comment from commissioners.

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