The Marion City Council at its meeting Feb. 15 decided to allow personnel from the electric department to participate in the Kansas Utility Task Force.
Roger Holter, city administrator, said approval means the city?s electric department will work with other members of the task force in times of emergency or disaster. The task force is not the same as the existing mutual aid agreement, he said.
?This is an added level of mutual assistance,? he said. ?It would only occur if the resources from municipal resources would be exhausted or unavailable through the Kansas Mutual Aid Program.?
This concept allows for electric staff and resources from different industry sectors to respond to the system involved in the disaster, according to Bradley Mears with KMU.
Once those resources are exhausted, Mears said, the mutual assistance agreement could be activated to bring additional help to the disaster response. While some utilities may not choose to participate, those that do could benefit in times of disaster. The agreement is voluntary, Holter said, and there is no cost to be a participant. The only cost would occur when a utility requests mutual aid from other participating utilities.
East Park modifications
Trinium Inc. of Manhattan received the bid for East Park improvements at a cost of $183,399. The bid includes mobilization, resurfacing courts, playground equipment, rubber mulch, playground safety area border, sidewalk, pavement and racquetball courts. One modification was for a chain-link fence and gate.
Other bidders included Vogts-Parga Construction for $204,686 and Hett Construction at $190,177. The engineer?s estimate for the project was $171,600.
Planned additions also include an ADA-accessible parking lot with connecting sidewalk to the area and water diversion structures are already installed. Holter said those were completed by the Marion City Public Works Department.
An outdoor racquetball court is planned to serve the public with not only racquetball, but also handball and solo tennis practice capabilities, he said.
The electrical sub-station on the northwest corner of the property was taken out of service and removed in 2015.
The park originally was established in 1957, Holter said, with playground equipment and the shelter house added in 1959. In 2013-14, he said, the shelter house was updated and roofing/structural repairs were completed.
Holter said the tennis courts were added in the 1970s with a painted surface. In the 1980s, the rubberized surface was installed.
The city is participating in the 2016 Hometown Showdown by submitting a photo of the mural at Liberty Park. According to contest rules, the first 64 cities to submit a photo will be eligible to participate.
?Each city photo will go head-to-head to see whose photo receives the most likes,? according to a representative with the League of Kansas Municipalities. Winners from each round will be chosen based on the number of likes their city?s photo receives on the LKM Facebook page.
?It?s all in fun,? Holter said, adding that the winner will have its photo placed on the cover of a future issue of the Kansas Government Journal.
In other business, the council:
— recommended that the Chingawassa Days committee pay the 2016 insurance premium of $2,576. An in depth review of the policy coverage and events determined the additional special event policy would not be required if the committee discontinued the anvil shooter and Rhino beer garden or vendor?s provided their own coverage, Holter said. The premium history is: $1,325 in 2010; $1,510 in 2011; $1,577 in 2012; $1,788 in 2013 and $2,279 in both 2014 and 2015.
— approved Kansas Power Pool operating agreement amendments.
— discussed the Central Business District one-way streets, but took no action.
— tabled drug testing discussion until the Feb. 29 meeting.