Marion rec commission says it’s getting by with ‘appropriation’

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Rodney Richmond of the Marion Recreation Commission was assured by the Marion City Commission Monday that his organization will probably continue receiving a $17,000 city appropriation as part of its $42,000 budget.

Mayor Martin Tice said taking the rec commission out of the city budget, and making it an appropriation, was done after auditors told the city that putting it in the budget was an inappropriate method of funding.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said if an additional mill levy ever was required for the rec commission, it could take 18 months for funding from it to become available.

In the meantime, Richmond and Margo Yates reported the rec commission is doing fine with the appropriation and fees from sources such as baseball participants.

Yates said there is a continuing effort to keep fees down to encourage participation.

Richmond said the baseball and softball program is the rec commission’s largest expense at $10,000.

The commissioners approved soliciting bids for curbing, guttering and paving the 900, 1000 and 1100 blocks of Lawrence Street.

City Manager David Mayfield said the three blocks are in a state of disrepair, and were targeted in the five-year capital plan.

Based on a similar project on Washington Street, Mayfield estimated the Lawrence expense at $83,233. He said it could be covered from $120,003 now in the special city highway fund.

Tice and Commissioner Jim Crofoot voted in the absence of Commissioner Larry McLain to purchase a generator for $12,866 from Central Detroit Diesel-Allison of Wichita to be permanently mounted at the sewer plant.

Mayfield said the old generator at that location is trailer mounted, and it could be moved to use for emergency services to the City Building and sewer lift stations during a power outage. It could be moved for special events.

Mayfield said estimate of a permanent generator at the City Building was $30,000.

He said funding for the generator would come from the capital improvement fund which has a balance of $105,749.

Fire Chief Thad Meierhoff said he wants to get a plaque honoring estate contributions from Jack Richmond and Jess Richmond.

He reported 56 fire department runs in 2004 including nine structure fires, 16 vehicle fires, 13 vegetation fires, two hazardous condition/materials calls, nine service calls, two false alarms, and five other calls.

Township fire runs included 14 to Centre, six to Gale, four to Grant, six to Wilson, 20 to Marion and five mutual aid.

The city’s utility payment drop box behind Valley United Methodist Church has been replaced with a new drop box outside the front entrance to city hall. Mayfield said the old box no longer was weather-proof, and the new box provides better security.

The commissioners approved the February utility billing tie out presented by Clerk Becky Makovec. Makovec said the report included increased payments on delinquent bills.

The commissioners approved cancelling five outstanding checks totalling $346.76 that were more than two years old. They also appointed Mayfield as the contact person for auditors in regard to budget questions, a position known as the designee to oversee nonattest services.

The commissioners approved transfers of $9,872 from the sewer utility fund to the bond and interest fund, and of $73,781 from the water utility fund to the bond and interest fund. They approved paying warrants for $81,465.65 which included $58,489.65 to Westar for electricity and $14,050 for a police department pickup.

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