Marion commission accepts Scouts’ offer to maintain park

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
After Girl Scouts leader Kathy Meierhoff and members of Junior Troop 58 led those attending Monday’s Marion City Commission in the Pledge of Allegiance, commissioners listened to their proposal to adopt Ann’s Park as a community service project.

The troop offered their services to “keep it a nature park, improve the parks looks” with the addition of benches, picnic tables, bird houses, a bridge, flowers and a sand box under the supervision of qualified builders.

Commissioners accepted their offer with gratitude.

The commission also heard reports from Todd Anderson and Chad Lawson, representing Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, the engineering company working on upgrades at the city’s water-treatment plant. They said plans are “96 to 98 percent complete.”

“We have two major rules or regulations we have to address, some of those mandate certain things and others compel us to meet certain regulations,” Anderson said. “The two primary rules are the Stage 1 Disinfection By-products Rule and then a Longterm Enhanced Water Treatment Rule.”

Lawson said those regulations are designed to eliminate or reduce bacteria viruses and chriptosporidium.

“One improvement we’re looking at or are going to be adding is the addition of Ozone,” he said. “Ozone is by far our most effective disinfectant we have to date.”

This process will also aid in TOC removal and eliminate disinfectant by-products that are formed when using chlorine, he said.

“Ozone will be the primary disinfectant when it’s up and running,” Anderson added. “Other improvements include new media to replace those that are 23 years old and have seen their better days. We’ll scrape and regrout the walls and make it look as good as it can.

“Regulations mandate we continuously monitor the turbidity from the filters before it goes into the distribution system.”

Other pending improvements include replacing chemical feed equipment that was original factory equipment from when the plant was constructed in 1963.

Anderson said other possible improvements include add-alternates of basin covers to reduce the sunlight’s effects and reduce algae formation due to that light as well as a standby generator to run and operate the plant in the event of a power outage.

Linda Johnson introduced Housing Director Les Littlejohn, who represented Mid-Kansas Community Action Program Inc., which represents 13 Kansas counties.

“We write grants to build homes for low to moderate income folks,” Littlejohn said. “We traditionally build three bedroom homes.”

Littlejohn said his non-profit asks participating cities to provide 25 percent of the cost of the housing with that match coming in the form of land, curb and guttering, labor or other materials that provide value to their match.

The council advised Littlejohn to revisit them in August, depending on other counties’ participation, or August 2007.

Littlejohn said housing is treated like a rental by his company.

“The win-win is we try to use local contractors,” he said.

Rental on housing units would be about $400 per month.

The commission agreed to hear more from Littlejohn in the future, including the possibility of using labor from a building trades class at Marion High School as part of the city’s funding obligation to the project.

In other business, commissioners:

heard a cemetery report from Bud Hannaford that detailed the members and outlined the duties of that board.

 heard Fire Chief Mike Regnier report on the new fire truck that was to be brought back to Marion on Tuesday, March 14.

City Manager David Mayfield asked about the possibility of selling the old fire truck to local fire districts in an amount “that’s more than we were offered for it in a trade in.”

addressed the concerns of Arlene Stika concerning her utility bill.

 heard Harvey Sanders, director of public utilities report he ordered extra transformers for the city.

heard Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson say the city street sweeper is operating well since recent repairs and reported on hydrant flushing and mower repairs.

was told by Police Chief Michel Soyez that his department conducted a random drug search at the high school that resulted “in no incidence.”

Soyez said the city will participate in statewide tornado drill at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday.

heard Jami Williams, economic development director who say she’s been busy with micro loans, word on meetings with Rep. Jerry Moran and possible recycling programs.

heard assistant city clerk Angela Lange report on her recent attendance at city clerk conference.

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