Marion seeks federal money for roads

Marion city councilors and county commissioners agreed at separate meetings Monday to throw their name into the transportation stimulus hat and take their chances at being selected from a piece of that $4 million pie to resurface Cedar Street from Kellison Avenue to U.S. Highway 56.

Councilors approved their part of the application and agreed to pay $21,000 or 10 percent of the project cost of $210,000.

The city and county will know by next week whether or not the state will kick in the remaining $168,000 for the project, according to Joe Palic, area three engineer with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Palic said he will be one of the members of the committee deciding projects for the second district.

Headquartered in Marion, area three within the second district includes Marion, Morris, McPherson and Chase.

Should the city and county get approval, the stimulus money would help in fulfilling part of the overall goal on road improvements at Cedar and Eisenhower discussed at the Feb. 23 meeting.

The vote by the council and commissioners to each make $21,000 available as a match was prompted by news that Kansas was given an estimated $380 million, its share of transportation funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

?The state is keeping about $300 million for state highways, about $30 million for transit projects and the remaining $62 million divided among the six districts with Wichita and Kansas City getting $32 million of that,? he said.

Of the $30 million left, Palic said the second district will have $4 million to divide between 16 counties and all the smaller cities within those counties.

?Our district includes Jewell, Republic, Washington, Mitchell, Cloud, Clay, Lincoln, Ottawa, Ellsworth, Saline, Dickinson, Geary, McPherson, Marion, Morris and Chase counties,? he said.

Decisions on which projects will receive money, in part, will have to do with immediate safety concerns.

?There is only a limited pot of money,? Palic said.

Breaking down how much is available, Palic said, that if the $4 million was divided equally between the 16 counties, it would be about $260,000 each.

?With the mass e-mailing done from KDOT headquarters (asking for applications to apply for stimulus money),? he said, ?I expect to get a lot more applications than money available to fund projects.?

In other council business:

n David Mayfield, city administrator, said the city will be using PurpleWave again to auction off some equipment and vehicles.

?This is the second time we have used PurpleWave,? said Angela Lange, city clerk.

?The internet auction is scheduled to end April 1,? she said. The auction items were expected to go online Wednesday, March 11, and anyone can bid until the closing hour on April 1, which was unavailable.

The items are:

? Bomag sheepfoot,

? 1976 Ingram rubber tire roller

? 1978 one-ton International winch truck loadstar 1750;

? Small vibrating steel roller;

? Davis Skatback 430 Loader;

? 1985 Ford F150;

? 1997 Ford Crown Victoria; and

? 1998 Ford Crown Victoria.

PurpleWave was founded in October 2001 by Aaron McKee, Purple Wave Auction, Inc. It is a family-owned business located in Manhattan.

n Harvey Sanders, public works director, submitted a list of completed work orders from Feb. 23 through March 6 to include removal of dead trees from Highland Cemetery; cleaning up excavated areas from water main breaks; work on collapsed sewer line on Hudson Street for three days; work on city hall generator; reading meters from March 2-6 and other functions within public works.

Sanders and public works department employees are responsible for public streets, storm drainage, wastewater facilities, and building maintenance. For more information or help with any of these areas, Marion citizens can call the office at 620-382-3770 or shop, 620-382-2561.

n Doug Kjellin, Marion Economic Development director, attended the city planning commission regarding the conditional use permit on Spur Ridge and Hometown Competitiveness meeting in Herington about entrepreneurship and impact of new and expanding business on small communities.

He also reported meeting with Paul Thomas, a Marionite, who also has an interest in model aircraft. ?Paul will be assisting with the free flight event preparations.?

As economic development director, Kjellin is responsible for developing and maintaining economic development programs to attract and retain businesses in Marion. Kjellin also can help existing and start-up businesses by looking at local, regional, state and federal incentive programs. For more information or help, call 620-382-3703.

n The next Marion City Council meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 23.


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