Marion commission considering fireworks sales and use

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Allowing sales and discharge of fireworks for the Fourth of July came under consideration Monday by the Marion City Commission at the request of Darvin Markley, local businessman.

Action on the matter was tabled because Markley was called away on a wrecker service call, and also to give time for public reaction, but most commentary on allowing fireworks seemed favorable.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin, who also holds the same position in Hillsboro, said the first year of experience after Hillsboro allowed the basically 21/2 days of fireworks sales worked out favorably. Baldwin said one private individual and the Boy Scouts had been allowed to sell from primarily civic properties with no negative effect.

State regulations prohibit allowing fireworks sales near such things as gas pumps and natural gas outlets, Baldwin said. Regulations usually prohibit selling from downtown sidewalks or from existing business buildings, he added.

Fire Chief Thad Meierhoff said he saw no problem if bottle rockets and state-prohibited hazardous fireworks aren’t sold.

Commissioner Larry McLain suggested fireworks sales be allowed in the industrial park, but Baldwin said the high attraction to children riding bicycles should be considered-which would mean to not include higher-traffic areas.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot suggested sales west of the stadium on cemetery property.

Baldwin suggested that because Markley requested the consideration, he may be is considering selling from his property on the west end of town.

City Administrator David Mayfield said his counterpart in Hillsboro, Steve Garrett, had called just before the meeting to report Kansas Department of Health and Environment approval of a 50-50 grant to study a joint water plant for the two cities. Each city would pay 25 percent of the feasibility study cost, or half of the local share.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said water filling of the swimming pool should take place Wednesday if the weather cooperates for completing painting and welding of the metal pool.

Margo Yates for the recreation commission joined discussion concerning replacing the swimming pool with a concrete structure in another five years.

Mayfield said studies are showing a new pool could cost $1.5 to $2 million, but the city needs to start on grants and funding now for it to become a reality.

Mayfield reported for Ty Zeiner with the Marion Airport Authority that new overlays on taxi-ways at the airport are good with final overlay of tie-down areas to be complete next week.

Mayfield said he had done a preliminary submission for grant funds for museum upgrade from the Union Pacific Railroad on-line with response back in minutes indicating probable favorable approval on approximately $29,000 with application due this summer and announcement in December for funding in 2005.

The funding would be used for city museum heating, air conditioning, storm windows, insulation and and electrical upgrade, Mayfield said.

Mayfield reported for Police Chief Michel Soyez that the U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground administering the technology transfer program on behalf of the Office of National Drug Control Policy has approved transfer of a Stedi-Eye high-powered, gyro-stabilized binocular for standard or night vision use without vibration.

The federal program will pay for transportation and training of a Marion officer July 22-23 in Washington, D.C.

Sanders said construction on Cedar Street is done with a couple of problem drainage spots still needing repair.

He said street sweeping on Fridays beginning at 3 a.m. every week has proved to be a successful schedule for the city.

The commissioners approved the April utility billing tie out, and paying warrants for $81,718.23.

The meeting concluded in 15-minute executive session with Baldwin to discuss a lawsuit.

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