Marion city receives $30,000 from Pearl Baxter Estate

Margaret Cook and Willard Hett, trustees of the Pearl Baxter Estate, presented the Marion City Council with two checks totaling $30,000 at its Monday meeting.

The estate bequeathed $5,000 to the Marion City Library and $25,000 to the Marion City Museum. Baxter had made a previous anonymous donation of $10,000 to the library, but asked that she not be named until after her death, Cook said.

The only stipulation for use of the library money was that a plaque be placed in the facility in memory of Rebecca?Shreve, early Marion County pioneer schoolteacher and grandmother of George Baxter.

The money for the museum is in addition to the items she gave and loaned.

?In discussion as trustees, we decided to make the loaned items a gift,? Cook said.

?(Pearl Baxter) was thinking at the time she made this donation that new air conditioning and heating were needed.?

City administrator David Mayfield said the museum has a new system.

Based on this information, Cook said the money could then go toward maintenance, repairs or whatever else the city and museum board agree on.

Baxter remembered many groups, Cook said, to include her church, the city?s airport, library, museum, hospital and more.

?She was an outstanding giver,? Cook said.

The Christian Church will also be recognizing Baxter during the 10:45 a.m. service.

Cook invited Mayor Mary Olson and the other council members to attend that day.

?She would be proud (if you could be there),? Cook said.

Sale of business lot

Doug Kjellin, economic development director for the city, discussed a proposal pending with Mark Evans, who is known as the ?Airstream Guy.?

Currently, Evans and his wife live in a residential area, Kjellin said, and he has addressed liability concerns about his business being at his home.

For that reason and others, Kjellin said, Evans would like to purchase a lot in the business park on U.S. Highway 56, build a building and create a display area for sales and tourism.

?This business sells on several levels,? Kjellin said, ?to include being a new investment in the community, solidifying a new business, creating more interest in the business park and attracting U.S. and international customers to Marion.?

The city?s investment in acquiring and making improvements to the lots in the business park is $6,000 and with processing fees totals about $7,500.

Kjellin is requesting the city waive the tap fee for water and sewer, which would be about $700 (on paper only) and provide access with a culvert of $800.

Evans is offering $4,000, (shovel ready) for the lot, Kjellin said.

Electricity is outside the city limits, meaning Evans would need to contact Flint Hills Rural Electric for hookups on that utility, he said.

Evans also spoke with the council about Airstreams and how the recreational vehicle is popular in England, France, Poland and Germany, as well as in the United States.

?It?s fascinating how this is a nationally and internationally based business,? Kjellin said.

Olson inquired about how someone from a foreign country takes delivery on these RVs.

Evans said he makes about three to four trips a month to Galveston, Texas, where the RVs are shipped abroad.

Council members unanimously approved the $4,000 sale of one of the back lots to Evans.

In other business, the council:

? approved Alan Meisinger as the new city clerk, replacing Angela Lange, by a vote of 4-1 with Councilor Chris?Meierhoff casting a dissenting vote.

? did not receive any feedback from the public regarding a dangerous and unsafe structure at 415 N. Fourth St. No other action was taken.

? tabled a proposal from Dan Baldwin, city attorney, regarding other poorly kept properties within the city. Council members agreed this issue might require a special meeting based on the amount of information presented.

? heard a report from the Marion Cemetery Board presented by Bud Hannaford, chairman, regarding upkeep, repair and maintaining records. At the April meeting, he said, the board also discussed preparations for the Memorial Day weekend.

? was invited to attend the next park board meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, May 24, regarding recent improvements and other business.

? Police Chief Josh Whitwell will be consulted regarding suspension of an ordinance that makes it illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits. The reason for the temporary suspension is so that a historical film crew can conduct a ?supposed murder? near the Elgin Hotel. The crew is expected in Marion the week of May 31 to June 3.

? was reminded by Todd Heitschmidt that donations for Ryan Newell?s new home are still be accepted at any of the Central National Bank locations. Newell?s house is part of the Homes for Troops program, which puts injured soldiers into handicap accessible homes.

? Mayfield said a total of $375 was collected for fire hydrant markers. The city has about 160 hydrants and each marker is expected to cost $6. Council members suggested using the amount collected to buy as many markers as possible and prioritize their placement. If the markers hold up and benefit firefighters in locating hydrants easier, the council will consider future options for buying more.

? held a 30-minute executive session to discuss trade secrets. No action was taken.

? approved the next council meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 1.

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