Marion council OKs $1.487 million bond issue for water plant

The Marion City Council Monday approved two resolutions, both by 5-0 votes, that will result in a $1.437 million bond issue for 40 years for a major water-plant upgrade.

Bond counsel Sarah Steele of Wichita confirmed City Administrator David Mayfield’s estimate that at a 3.5 percent rate, the city will save $400,000 over the term compared to the 4.25 percent rate it would have paid just three weeks ago.

Councilor Stacey Collett was approved by fellow members to represent Marion in a mediated Kansas Water Board meeting requested by the City of Hillsboro to discuss the future of Marion Reservoir.

The council directed Mayfield to find out if the mediator would cost Marion money before agreement is made to participate.

A bid of $76,359 from Ditch Diggers of Salina was approved over higher bids of $77,400 from Middlecreek Corp. of Peabody and $117,500 from Miese Construction for water line replacement on Santa Fe Street.

Mayfield said there was $58,000 in the budget to fund the project, but the remainder could be drawn from $201,500 intended for sewer-line improvements.

Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson confirmed the city has no known sewer line in need of immediate repairs.

Councilor Gene Winkler said, “Well, if it has to be done,” he would make the motion for it, which was confirmed 5-0.

Margo Yates outlined improvements needed this winter for the Marion Recreation Commission at the ball fields, such as dirt work to even out a field and upgrading restrooms.

She noted that Fredrickson said the city crew might haul in dirt to cut some of the cost on the ball field, and she asked if the city might consider the restroom upgrade since it owns the park.

Mayor Martin Tice and Winkler both said they might find it hard to support a city contribution since MRC has $27,000 in its bank account, and the city already contributes $17,000 annually to it.

Mayfield said the timing is wrong for the MRC to ask for something it should have gotten in to him before the June budget deadline.

Tice suggested MRC come up with a five-year plan like the city has to. Further discussion was tabled until MRC comes up with a plan on what it might finance.

Jami Williams, development director, asked councilors to extend the “Bucks for Building Program,” which gives new homeowners that qualify $1,000 for closing costs at least to the end of this year or 2007.

Collett made a motion to extend the program to the end of the year.

Councilor Jerry Kline said, “I think if the program is good enough we ought to just extend it to the end of next year instead.”

Tice said he would be “thrilled” if the program resulted in 20 new homes.

Collett’s motion was defeated by a 3-2 vote with him and Winkler voting for it and Tice, Kline and Bill Holdeman against it. A second motion to extend it to the end of 2007 was approved with Collett, Tice and Kline for it, and Holdeman and Winkler against.

The council decided to delay decisions on what could amount to a $1.442 million street construction and repair bond issue. Mayfield will schedule public workshops for consideration of the projects.

The discussion could involve such decisions as whether to curb and gutter Eisenhower Street or just put a chip and seal overlay on it.

Tice read a proclamation naming Saturday, Old Settlers Day, as “Molly Holub Day” in honor of “her selfless service and bravery” in sustaining wounds from a roadside bomb while on duty in Iraq.

Holub is home in Marion, and recovering from the loss of an eye and other facial injuries.

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