Marion hears review of 2010 audit report

Bill Glazner with Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, the city of Marion?s auditors, reviewed the 2010 audit report with city council members at their meeting Aug. 22.

Overall, he said, the city audit had no major deficiencies, but he did point out some areas that needed improvement.

One of those areas involved proper segregation of accounting duties in establishing good internal controls.

?The size of the city and related budget constraints preclude management from hiring additional personnel to achieve good internal accounting controls,? Glazner said.

Pride survey

Pam Bowers and Margaret Wilson spoke at the Marion City Council meeting Aug. 22 about results of the recent PRIDE Committee Survey.

Bowers provided a summary of the survey?s findings and opinions regarding city parks and recreation, including the ball diamonds and athletic areas, entrances to the city, property improvement for both business and residential and downtown revitalization.

General results about parks and recreation, she said, were overwhelmingly positive for Marion?s parks, recreational opportunities, ball diamonds and athletic areas.

?Parks were described as wonderful and the sports? complex was listed as awesome,? she stated.

Some suggestions listed included refurbishing the tennis and basketball courts, improving bike trails, adding more flowers, repainting foundation basins in the park, painting light poles, and fixing water fountains at the sports complex.

Other improvements stated from the survey were providing more shade and painting the picnic tables.

?The most frequent area cited for improvement was Brooker Park?s bathroom facilities,? survey results stated.

Bowers and Wilson noted that many of the suggestions could be completed without a large amount of money, but rather involvement by concerned citizens.

?It was suggested on one survey that a volunteer group, ?The Soil Brothers and Sisters? form to assist the city in keeping public areas better maintained.

Entrances to Marion

According to survey responses, the council learned that a majority of answers about entrances to Marion were described as ?a disaster, terrible, awful, junk, ugly or all bad.?

Complaints outweighed the compliments about the pride of ownership to include shady streets, well-kept yards and pleasant homes, the committee?s list stated.

Another response, brought to the council?s attention was: ?Remember the old bridge which spanned the Cottonwood coming in from the west-can the arch be recreated??

Bowers said that many others state they felt the need for more bold signage directing visitors into Marion, especially entering on North Cedar.

Downtown

Survey results also indicated that many recognized the charm of the 1870s Main Street.

?It was described as ?historic? again and again,? the committee noted in the report.

Other words and phrases used to describe the downtown area included ?cute, quaint, accessible, friendly merchants and our library is awesome.?

The committee will continue compiling responses from about 100 surveys received, Bowers told the council.

Other business

In other business, the council also:

? approved entering into a power purchase contract with the Kansas Power Pool for the purchase of electricity pending approval of a similar long-term contract with a majority of the members of KPP, representing more than 50 percent of the KPP?s total load.

? heard from Marion Police Chief Josh Whitwell who said with schools back in session they were patrolling those school zones more. He also said he would be attending child sexual abuse training.

? learned the ?Bucks for Buckles? program would be happening in the near future. Whitwell said Marion County provides their office with $1 bills for people wearing seatbelts in the area of the elementary and high school.

? heard from Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier who gave a fire department report. We have had 90 runs as of Aug. 1. According to Regnier, the drier weather has caused a lot more grass and structure fires.

? approved continuing its membership with Kansas Mutual Aid, which is an agreement to share resources during times of emergencies with other member cities.

The next council meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

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