Marion approves Williams’ eco advisers

It isn’t very often that a volunteer steps forward at a government meeting, but the Marion City Commission welcomed such a move Monday.

The commissioners were listening to Economic Development Director Jami Williams name her latest nominees for an economic advisory committee when a newer city resident, Stan Reed, stepped forward to volunteer himself as well.

Mayor Martin Tice replied that the city always is glad to have willing volunteers. The Commission approved Reed, Margaret Wilson and Anita Seacat to the advisory board.

Reed explained that he is a retired army major who has lived in Marion five years, and wanted to offer his experience to his “adopted community.”

He said he has experience in finding small businesses to cooperate in post-military programs and has been a Small Business Administration volunteer as well as an government official in Argonia, Sumner County and Ford County.

Williams said, “I’d be thrilled to have him,” when the commissioners asked if she wanted a volunteer with that kind of background.

The commissioners approved Doug Lind’s plans to build a 30′ by 30′ pole building on four acres at 541 Washington which would be divided into half storage shed and half greenhouse.

Lind said the greenhouse portion would be covered with polycarbon material, stronger than fiberglass, that would be white on top for heat control.

The Commission decision allowed Lind to raise plants for his own gardening project, but not for retail. He assured them that trees already removed won’t be allowed to grow back, and that grass will be planted.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said the commissioners should make note that the locality, type of structure, timing, and fact that it is replacing an old chicken shed of poor value are all key parts of the decision to avoid setting precedent for a similar project being located at any time in an area zoned residential. He said conditions for locating such a structure could vary widely.

The commissioners approved purchase of a John Deere utility vehicle for $4,402.58 over a competitive bid of $4,650.00 for a Husqavana from Seacat Hardware. The vehicle will be used to drag baseball fields, and to do light hauling at the fields.

Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson noted differences in the two vehicles, including hauling capacity and turning radius, but said he couldn’t recommend one above the other.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot finally moved to let price be the guideline.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said in addition to other jobs, his crew set two more poles for the new 12-5 electric line around town last week. He and the commissioners had decided it was best to allow city workers to pursue the project in between other jobs to allow the city a savings over what an outside contractor would charge.

Fredrickson said a house at 501 Roosevelt has been removed as agreed upon with the owner, but a garage still remains on the property.

Baldwin said the agreement, which expires February 15, reads “structures” in the plural, which implies that the garage must be removed too. He will talk to the owner about it.

Williams said she has been participating in meetings and investigating television advertising for Marion. At the end of the meeting, the commissioners went into a 20-minute executive session with her with no announced decision.

The commissioners approved spending $100 to sponsor a Bowl for Kids Sake team under the Big Brother, Big Sister program.

They approved a transfer for $72,289.00 from the water fund to the capital improvement fund for water plant improvements.

They approved the 2005 fourth quarter financial statement, the December investment and collateral report and the December financial statement as presented by Clerk Linda Holub.

They approved paying warrants for $113,745.46.

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