Marion city prepared to switch water source, if necessary

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
It may be harder water that will leaves a residue on dishes, but the City of Marion is prepared to switch to drawing water from Mud Creek if the algae bloom discovered last week at Marion Reservoir threatens water toxicity like it did last year.

City Administrator David Mayfield told the City Commission Monday that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has taken samples, and the Army Corps of Engineers microbiologists are identifying types of algae and cell counts.

“They will inform us when they make these determinations,” he said “As a precaution, we have begun the process of adding additional powdered activated carbon as recommended by KDHE last year. It does not appear to be a threat at this time.”

Pat Findeiss and Margo Yates, representing the Chamber of Commerce, asked commissioners about establishing a Saturday morning farmer’s market on the west side of Stone City Cafe under the mural painting.

Findeiss questioned about liability concerns and set-up requirements.

Yates asked whether an ordinance had ever been written that would restrict farmers from selling produce from parking stalls along Main Street.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said he thought the chamber and the city would be “hard-pressed” to ask a farmer to unload a truck instead of merely parking, and putting produce where directed.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said no ordinance has ever been written, and there has never been any discussion of any traffic or parking problems because of produce sales.

The idea was tabled, following a suggestion from Mayfield that the city “research to the benefit of everybody”-farmers should discuss how they want to sell produce in Marion.

Baldwin said he would have a new fireworks ordinance completed Wednesday or Thursday.

Mayfield said he and Hillsboro City Administrator Steve Garrett have agreed to select an outside engineer, instead of using either city’s engineer, to conduct a study concerning having a shared water plant to supply both towns.

Mayfield said computers at the library are working under a temporary fix until all damage can be assessed from the lightning strike there last week.

The commissioners approved paying $20 each, or $420, for 21 city employees to have buttons to concerts and events at Chingawassa Days. The benefit does not include buttons for five police officers who will be working at the event anyway, Mayfield said.

Jan Nolde, representing Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd, presented the city 2003 audit, which was approved by commissioners 3-0.

The commissioners approved paying warrants for $107,094.55.

Mayfield said the warrants included annual payment of insurance for $96,178, which could be reduced by $3,529 in reimbursement if the commissioners decide to drop umbrella coverage.

The commissioners approved a cereal malt beverage license for Casey’s Retail Company made necessary by name change under company restructuring.

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