Marion ready to nix stop light

The Marion City Council members were practically smiling Monday as they accepted an insurance dividend check for $4,173, and approved the first steps to rid their town of what apparently is the only traffic light in the county.

Council members greeted news from City Administrator David Mayfield that they might be able to substitute stop signs for the light on the hill at Main and Freeborn as though the light mostly is an annoyance.

The light was due to be covered Tuesday to allow the Kansas Department of Transportation to survey what the effect will be.

Insurance Agent Casey Case said EMC Insurance awarded the dividend check because Marion has a good safety record taking part in a municipal safety program.

Pam Varenhorst received permission as representative for the Path to Adventure Group to plant flowers in Liberty Park. She said the group, which helps children learn social skills, has $150 to spend for plants. City workers would locate, and dig the flower beds to prevent damage to the buried water system.

The council voted 4-0, with Mayor Martin Tice abstaining because he works for the school district, to approve a request from Superintendent Lee Leiker to close Thorp Street at the swimming pool. The street actually would be closed as part of the development of the new swimming pool/gymnasium complex to allow parking space for around 500 cars.

Leiker said traffic might be able to pass through that lot under normal restrictions when there are no activities.

In other matters, the council:

approved Ralph Kreutziger’s request for $200 for sponsorship for the American Cancer Society Relay of Life of Marion County.

approved seeking bids for museum heating and air conditioning.

accepted a bid from Gale, Grant, Center and Wilson townships for a 1970 Chevrolet fire truck for $3,500.

directed City Attorney Dan Baldwin to write a utility billing ordinance that probably will require a deposit or a written reference on the part of new residents to receive utilities. The ordinance would replace requirements that made landlords responsible for unpaid tenants’ utility bills which now is being eliminated under new state legislation.

approved a bid for the purchase of a rotary mower for $8,900 from Straub International over a bid of $8,998 from John Deere.

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