County agrees to work for stimulus money for Marion street project

The Marion County Commission Monday agreed with Marion city officials to seek federal stimulus money for resurfacing Cedar Street in the city.

Their plan would pledge 20 percent local money?half from the county and half from the city?in obtaining 80 percent federal cost-sharing administered through the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Todd Heitschmidt, president of the Marion Economic Development Inc. executive board, said he had been advised by KDOT that planning might have to be done quickly to finish the project within a few months under the stimulus.

David Mayfield, Marion city administrator, said engineers estimate the project could cost $200,000, although it could finish at as little as $150,000.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said it is rumored that Marion, McPherson and Morris counties together might benefit by $3 million in stimulus funding.

Commissioner Bob Hein said the county and the city need to move as quickly as possible to make sure Marion gets in on the money.

All parties noted that Cedar Street has been in ?rough shape,? especially from heavy truck traffic. They discussed filling potholes with concrete and gravel prior to the resurfacing.

Mayfield said the city?s portion from the Catholic church to Main Street will be a 4-inch overlay.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub wondered if more money might be obtained to make the overlay asphalt instead of chip and seal.

City Economic Director Doug Kjellin said although this project is for Cedar, because it is a farm-to-city route the county is required to be involved.

Kjellin said the city would like to develop Eisenhower Street as its ?premium entry way.?

He said many persons involved with the city consider Eisenhower?going past the athletic stadium up to Main, and then west on Main?to be the most attractive route into town, showing off most of the assets the city offers.

Heitschmidt apologized for publishing a proclamation in the newspaper for the county to join in the project as its responsibility, saying he had felt pressure to move on the planning while funds are still available.

The commissioners extended the county-wide burn ban one more week, to March 9.

Payday meeting

At a payday meeting Feb. 27, County Clerk Carol Maggard announced receipt of $52,701 in sales tax from the state. The money was generated in December and collected in January.

She said the treasurer?s office reported $11,366,637 cash on hand with $3,218,837 in the general fund and $2,072,556 in road and bridge.

She said the treasurer reported $1,977 in county-use expenditures from vehicle taxes with a balance in the vehicle fund of $104,111.

Maggard said she had received notification from the State Historical Society that the Florence water tower has been placed on the registry of historical sites.

County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman was to be on a panel discussing innovations in tax collection this week in Washington, D.C., she said.

The commissioners approved an area fuel bid of $8,776.95 for 6,660 gallons of diesel from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa over a competitive bid of $8,848.25 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

They approved a bid of $1,259.80 for 20 chaps and $825 for 20 safety helmets with goggles?all for road-and-bridge workers using chain saws?from G&R Implement of Durham. The competitive bids from Prairieland Partners of Marion were $1,367.80 and $899.80 respectively.

Commissioners approved spending $21,000 to be divided among road and bridge, communications, health and appraisal offices for aerial mapping of the county.

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