Collett appointed to replace Baldwin as Marion city attorney

After more than 16 years as attorney for the city of Marion, Dan Baldwin was not reappointed for another year following action at the April 18 Marion City Council meeting.

During the appointment of various administrative positions, Baldwin?s name did not come up for city attorney. Instead Mayor Mary Olson asked for a motion to approve Keith Collett of Brookens & Collett Law Firm in Marion.

The appointment of Collett failed the first time for lack of a motion. Olson then called a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters.

When the council returned to open session, Olson again asked for a motion to appoint Collett, which Councilor Jerry Kline offered and Councilor Chris Meierhoff seconded.

The vote to approve Collett 3-2 with councilors Bill Holdeman and Steve Smith casting ?no? votes.

Baldwin was first appointed as the city attorney Oct. 24, 1994.

All other appointments received unanimous approval: Mike Regnier, fire chief; Bryson Mills, municipal judge; Josh Whitwell, police chief; Rebecca Makovec, assistant city clerk and treasurer; Angela Lange, city clerk and Doug Kjellin, city administrator.

Olson also requested Dustin Hett be appointed to the planning commission to fill the unexpired two-year term, ending Dec. 31, of Bill Smithheart to replace Gary Ewert, and Dorothy Youk to replace Janet Blue on the Marion City Library board.

New police camera

Whitwell showed council members one of the four new video cameras the department will be using.

?These cameras will help us collect more evidence and police ourselves,? he said.

Whitwell said the department looked at in-car cameras, but went with the smaller camera because of cost. The price for each of the cameras was $120.

Secondary burn site

Kjellin said he received approval from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to open a second burn site for tree limbs.

The initial burn pit is full, he said, and when KDHE was asked to allow the city to use that site, it was denied.

Although the city cannot do any unnecessary burning in April, KDHE officials did say they would allow a secondary dump site east of the city cemetery and south of the entrance road of Eisenhower.

?There is already a big pile of sticks there, but this site is only for tree limbs and tree disposal,? Kjellin said. ?If we find any sort of conventional lumber, plywood or shingles, we will prosecute to the highest extent possible.

?KDHE is trying to work with us, so we are not wanting to abuse this secondary site.?

Beginning May 1, Kjellin said the city can look at the pile and KDHE has given a two-month window for burning purposes.

Trash, meter questions

A lot of people have had questions about meter replacement and one-day trash pickup, the council was told.

Because of these questions, Kjellin said, an insert will be put in residential and commercial city bills in the hope of providing answers.

?I am trying to keep people up to date with current things going on, so I have a city administrator?s blog that I will try to post once a week to show the inner workings of the city,? he said.

Lease purchase

Kjellin said the city has the information needed for an ordinance allowing Marion to enter into a lease-purchase agreement and installment-purchase agreement for aquiring property primarily for electric meter replacement.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance.

With the ordinance in place, the council discussed the three bids received from Marion National Bank, Central National Bank and Tampa State Bank.

MNB and CNB were both close enough in their bids that the council could choose either one.

?In the first two years of the loan with CNB we would save $101.04, so in 24 months, their payment would be $101.04 less than MNB,? Kjellin said.

?The fees are $150 more with CNB, so somewhere in late year three, the proposals are truly a deadlock. The real question is if we expect to pay off early at any point, at this low interest rate we may want to keep our cash flow and carry this to term,? he said.

Holdeman said the city has its bank account with CNB and maybe the council should favor MNB on this one since there is not much difference in bids.

?Every three to four years, we will send it out for proposal to the local banks,? Lange said.

Holdeman made a motion to go with MNB?s proposal, but it failed for lack of a second.

A second motion was made to approve CNB?s proposal by Kline and the council approved it 4-1 with Holdeman voting against.

Public forum

Harry Bennett of Marion spoke during the public forum about a project he has been involved with for a long time.

The Marion City Bike Trail had some promotion four years ago, with a volunteer committee chaired by Casey Case. The city followed up with applications to the Central Kansas Conservancy.

?I think Mr. Baldwin did a little bit of work and found that Marion had retained the right-of-way rights between the library and by the transfer station.?

As an update, Bennett left a copy of Kansas Trail News over?view of where trail development is happening.

Other business

In other business, the council:

— agreed to give Lange permission to work on the payment plan for the annual insurance premium of $102,067 with Case & Son Insurance.

— approved the by-laws for the Marion Historical Museum. Kjellin said the board adopted articles and he saw no material problems with it.

— heard from Lange that auditors will be in the office April 21-22.

— learned that someone is willing to mow the majority of city property to include the business and industrial park, flood control levy and small area of grass on South Third Street. Only one bid was submitted, Kjellin said, and this person will pay the city $50 for the rights of hay for one cutting to bale.

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