Marion City Council delays action on semi-truck traffic

The Marion City Council Monday delayed taking any action concerning semi-truck traffic going through the residential area of the Jex Addition to rental parking provided by Daryl Brewer despite resident protests.

The trucks were diverted because of a closed railroad crossing. Councilor Stacey Collett pointed out that the closing was a railroad decision for safety reasons because of an increase in rail traffic to 30 trains a day at higher speeds.

Mayor Mary Olson said any decision would be delayed ?until we negotiate with the person who caused this, the railroad.?

Council members indicated they expected some help from the railroad.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin advised the Council that public discussion and decision should be limited because of the possibility that ?this could ultimately be decided in front of a judge.?

Leidi Schmidt, who said she has lived in Jex Addition for nearly 20 years, protested that councilors know they are endangering children who play in the residential area with the truck traffic. She said residents should not have to change parking there to make room for truck passage.

The council spent 15 minutes in executive session on the issue.

The council approved advancing $10,000 from park funds to the Central Park Improvement Group to combine with $57,473.28 they already have raised from activities for purchase of new playground equipment. The funds would be used for the first shipment of mulch next week, said Clerk Becky Macovec, and repaid either from expected grant money or from more fundraisers.

Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson said the old playground equipment was rejected for use by the Marion County Commission for use at the County Lake because it is too deteriorated. Fredrickson will retain swing ropes and other parts for maintenance.

Charles Heerey reported for the Marion Housing Authority that of 28 units available at Hilltop Manor, all are occupied with a waiting list of eight for vacancies. Heerey said the units receive federal funding to provide for residents of low or very low income according to federal standards.

The council approved adoption of the 2008 national electric code for electricians in the city.

Collett asked Jim Davis, electrician, about the code, and Davis said he hadn?t received a copy of it yet.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said the city has a copy of it, and until they get theirs, Davis or any other electrician is welcome to come look at it.

Council members tabled any decision with developing a new snow removal ordinance with Olson saying some downtown merchants are unhappy with the current one.

Baldwin advised allowing wide discretionary judgment for Fredrickson in changing any such ordinance.

Councilor Gene Winkler was appointed to join an approved committee for selection of an economic development director to succeed Jami Williams.

Winkler moved that the council meeting time of 5:30 p.m. be changed back to 4 p.m. The council passed the change by a vote of 3 to 2, Olson and Collett against. It will take a month for the change to take effect.

Winkler also requested that department head reports be moved to the first part of meeting agendas so the heads could leave rather than sit through entire meetings.

The council approved a proposal from Hett Construction to build a 20-by-24-foot shelter house in Central Park for $19,820.

City Administrator David Mayfield said memorial funds to the city will be adequate to cover the shelter cost.

Council members approved an engineering agreement for more than $200,000 with the firm of Kirkham, Michael and Associates for street reconstruction consisting of grading, cur and gutter, and bituminous paving on Eisenhower Street and North Cedar Street under a state community block development grant.

They also approved the agreement with the Kansas Depart?ment of Transportation for the safe routes to school grant.

The council approved moving forward with restroom construction by Brad Seacat using volunteer labor at the baseball diamonds after it was learned that donation of a metal building from Marion Manufacturing might occur too late for the start of baseball season.

Upon recommendations from Mayfield, the council approved installations at the new swimming pool development of a slide for $38,421, a baby pool at $15,000, and up to $40,000 in spray attractions to be selected with a committee comprised of mothers.

Mayfield said the improvements will be done for now under school financing with the city to compensate the school later.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
HHS girls sweep Nickerson
A five-run sixth inning not only turned the tables in Game 1,...
Read More