MAC solicits support letters for city-auditorium project

The Marion Advancement Campaign reminded Marion City Council members at its May 3 meeting to consider committing to the city auditorium renovation project.

Doug Kjellin, executive director for economic development and a MAC member, said the deadline for letters was May 7.

?We need to really show some community support for this concept,? he said.

Kjellin suggested two ways to support the project. One would be for residents, business people or local newspapers to write a letter to the Kansas Department of Commerce stating that the project would reclaim usage of the auditorium for community events.

Another way to help would be to write personal pledge letters.

?A few well-written letters with weight behind them from businesses and individuals (would go a long way),? Kjellin said.

The goal is to have the project approved through the Kansas Income Tax Credits program, which allows businesses and individuals to make contributions to the project that would offset what they owe in state income taxes, with additional benefits for federal taxes.

The program could provide an individual or business substantial tax savings, or could even be profitable, depending on the financial situation of the person or business, Kjellin said.

The support letter wouldn?t have to include a specific amount, although Kjellin said it would be helpful.

Following last week?s meeting, Kjellin said, 17 letters of support were included in the overall packet requesting the Kansas Department of Commerce award the project $225,000 in tax credits.

The state will be making its decision about what projects will be awarded tax credits in July, he said.

MAC is a local community foundation formed by people interested in seeing Marion prosper and meet the changing needs of its residents, while retaining the small-town flavor that makes life pleasant.

In addition to helping with the auditorium project either by letters of support or pledges, Kjellin said residents or businesses can also make tax-deductible donations directly to the foundation.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? discussed a $5,000 overage in concrete for 97 feet of additional sidewalk in Central Park.

? heard from Marty Fredrick?son, the city?s streets director, about the tentative schedule for street work. Work began May 5 on Main Street, from Coble to Locust streets, and milling Cedar Street.

The plan was to complete the overlay on Main Street by Thursday and by Friday the overlay on Cedar Street, weather permitting.

? approved an amendment regarding conditional-use permits that would allow potential property buyers to apply for a variance before actually purchasing the building.

The ordinance originally required purchasers to buy the property first and then make application, which caused problems if the variance wasn?t approved.

? heard from Fredrickson that two more dugout roofs are needed at the baseball fields. The city has enough materials to build one roof, but will need to order more for the second one.

? considered Mayor Mary Olson?s request to have the recreation department?s five-year recommendation plan on the next council agenda. She said the council needs to consider any possible budgeting issues.

? approved a special council meeting for 5 p.m. Wednesday to discuss applications for the city-clerk position and a full-time secretary. The council is expected to take action on the secretarial position with a salary range of $10 to $12 an hour, but not regarding the city-clerk job.

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