Marion Council addresses drainage issues, finds compromise on lighting water tower

Drainage problems for city of Marion residents prompted the council to set a special meeting to talk about the issues at 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 22, in council chambers of City Hall, 208 E. Santa Fe.

Jean Case on North Lincoln and Bob Jirak on North Cedar were two of many homeowners who came to the councilors for help with flooding.

?I feel the design on Cedar Street is not going to help us much,? Jirak said. ?I had 15 inches of rain in my garage (from recent rainfall).?

He was asking the city to consider more work being done on drainage ditches or bigger pipes to handle greater flow of water.

?Without seeing what we are talking about, people might not have a clue what?s happening,? said Case.

?It?s not something critical, but we would like to talk with the council about it or maybe have a special committee appointed to review the flooding,? she said.

She also talked about flooding on Elm and Lawrence streets

Case said her front and back yard was completely flooded.

Marty Fredrickson, street director, said the problem could be foundations not being built high enough or the culverts engineered years ago are no longer effective.

Some of the inlets might be too small and gutters not deep enough to handle the rainfall amounts either.

?We have seen some of the highest totals in recent years,? he said.

The drainage systems are also trying to handle massive amounts of rain, Fredrickson said. He cited six inches of rain in four hours or two inches in an hour from recent storms.

?Some of these inlets were built 50 years ago,? Fredrickson said, ?and not designed to take that much (water).?

One resident also pointed to one area of South Cedar where a water hole is forming (from curb and guttering) and the probability of damaging the pavement.

?It could even ruin the base if not corrected,? he said.

Residents asked the councilors to ?go look at Lawrence and Cedar Streets? too (regarding drainage).

After hearing flooding issues in public forum, Mayor Mary Olson requested the council consider a special meeting to address the problem.

Councilors Stacey Collett, Steve Smith and Bill Holdeman voted in favor. Gene Winkler was absent.

?Whatever it takes to correct it (the flooding problem),? Holdeman told the taxpayers in attendance.

In other council business:

n Marion City Councilors came up with a compromise on whether to continue lighting the water tower on the east end of town.

After researching the issue, polling other cities in the area as to whether their water towers are lit, it was discovered that only Goessel and Eudora have some lighting.

?Angela Lange (city clerk) sent out requests for information,? said David Mayfield, city administrator, ?and we are unique?most (water towers in towns surveyed) have no lights.?

Goessel has a small blinking light and Eudora has one of its three towers lit, he said.

?If we were to continue lighting the tower, it would need maintenance to look decent,? he said.

?I still like seeing the tower lit up,? Olson said. ?Couldn?t we just reduce the amount of time the tower is lit up??

Councilor Stacey Collett said the total cost of lighting the water tower last year was $1,191.

As a way to make concessions on both sides of the issue, Collett offered a suggestion.

?What about one light on the north?? he queried. ?It could still be seen from the highway, then.?

The council voted unanimously to make the change.

n Jan Nolde, representing Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd, LLC., McPherson, went over the auditor?s report with the council. In her remarks, Nolde cited no accounting or financial statute violations or irregularities.

n Three bids were received by companies who deal in emergency sirens. Federal Signal Corp. officials said it would take two sirens to cover the town at a cost of $23,550 each, plus buying a radio to activate the system at a cost of $641.60

Century Signal Corp. bid three sirens at $12,950 each, plus radio and four Optima U batteries at a cost of $150 each. They need to be replaced every two years.

American Signal Corp. bid one siren to cover the city at a cost of $16,835 and included battery.

Mayfield said American Signal officials were willing to give a demonstration at a later date. No decision was made on any of the three until further review.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Property owner seeks action regarding problems caused during lagoon project
The Hillsboro City Council listened to the concerns of a rural neighbor...
Read More