Public Hearing: Cedar/Eisenhower Streets near completion

by Patty Decker

The Free Press

Prior to the Marion City Council meeting Monday, public hearings were held for the North Cedar and Eisenhower street projects and for the city?s 2009-10 budget.

Rose Mary Saunders with Ranson Financial of Wichita, who also serves as the city?s grant administrator for the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant), provided an overall view of the project during the public hearing.

Before the project is entirely completed, Saunders said, a public hearing gives residents a chance to express any concerns.

The total cost for the North Cedar and Eisenhower Street project was about $1.2 million, which included Ranson Financial and Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers.

Saunders said the block grant process started in October 2007.

?By January 2008, the city received a grant award of $400,000,? she said.

Smoky Hill LLC Heavy Contractors of Salina and sub-contractor Hett Construction of Marion were awarded the street work with a bid of $842,707,

The $400,000 grant, managed by the federal government?s Housing and Urban Development, lowered the overall cost to $442,707.

When adding back in $335,500, Kirkham Michael?s cost to the city of Marion for the engineering and consulting portion and Ranson?s $19,000 for administrating the grant, the city?s bottom line for the work was estimated at $797,207. In late July, Saunders said a final monitoring visit on the CDBG was scheduled and met requirements so that the project performance hearing could talk place in August.

The second public hearing held Monday involved the 2009-10 budget. No citizens spoke at either hearing.

In other council business:

n Bill Rosiere, owner of Marion Dry Cleaning and Laundry, said he has had complaints regarding the change from parallel to diagonal parking on South Second Street.

?By changing from parallel to diagonal, it took away four spaces,? he said. ?My business depends on customers being able to utilize the laundromat.?

One solution could be to add more parking spots further south on Second Street.

n Virgil Buckner of Marion spoke to the council about cats.

?A lot of people are dumping cats on me,? he said.

Buckner said he would like to see the city of Marion do something to help people who are willing to keep cats ? particularly the strays.

?(The city of) Hillsboro helps people trying to help cats and Newton has a program for neutering or spaying animals.?

By concensus, councilors agreed to look into the problem.

n Bill Darrow was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Marty Fredrickson on the museum board.

n Doug Kjellin, city of Marion economic development director, spoke to the council about mYac (Marion Youth Advancement Committeee) regarding progress on a city youth center.

Kjellin, who was speaking for his wife, Amy, who could not attend the meeting, said the group has already raised enough money to buy a place, but would like the city to consider purchasing the facility from mYac.

Should the city agree to accept the deed, the organization would still want autonomy.

The group is currently looking at buying a building in the 300 block of East Main Street.

More details about the center, cats, and parking lot proposal near the Elgin will appear in Monday?s edition.


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