Marion council discusses future power options

The Marion City Council discussed the possibilities associated with distributive generations for the future, typically linked with renewable-energy technologies to include solar energy and wind power.

City Administrator Roger Holter said he’s had discussions with Clayton Garnicka, electrical supervisor, and Councilor and Acting Vice-Mayor John Wheeler about changes happening with cars on home-charging systems.

“Even with a 90 amp charger, that’s still an overnight charge,” Holter added.

“There is going to be the need for those traveling in electric vehicles to have public charging stations,” he said.

While the Kansas Power Pool, which purchases city’s energy, is not defining a policy at this time, Holter said he thinks it is something that the city should at least look at—particularly in rural areas.

It could be a private/public partnership to develop quick charging stations where travelers could pull into the downtown area, shop, and while doing that, their vehicle would be recharged.

“Or do we put a quick charging station in the industrial park or business park for highway visibility?” he asked.

“But as I see it, the likelihood of getting a Tesla, which specializes in electric vehicles, energy storage, and solar panel manufacturing, isn’t going to happen.”

Holter said that coming out of a big box industry, all of the big box vendors are making space available for Tesla and GM to put public charging stations on their parking lots on the perimeter edge as a way to get them to shop at their store.

Wheeler said he was comfortable with continuing to look into quick charging stations.

In other business, the council:

◼ appointed Susan Robson as its city attorney; Tiffany Jeffrey, city clerk; Rebecca Makovec, city treasurer; Michael Regnier, fire chief; Randal Pankratz, municipal judge; Roger Holter, city administrator.

◼ approved Mayor Todd Heitschmidt’s appointment of Shari Padgham and Grant Thierolf to the Marion City Library board.

◼ approved giving Ashlee Gann, director of Families and Communities Together, also known as FACT, $1,000 for this budget year, and will consider her full request of $2,000 when the council reviews the 2019 budget, Holter said.

◼ elected Wheeler as the acting vice-mayor at the April 9 meeting.

Holter said: “We had an interesting start because we didn’t have a mayor and we didn’t have a vice-mayor, and our code of procedure allows the council to elect an acting vice-mayor, and they nominated John.”

◼ listened as Robson asked for final definition on competition or Derby vehicles, but it died for the lack of motion.

“This ordiance would regulate derby cars when to work on them and would require registration. By taking no action, the ordinance wasn’t adopted.”

Police chief Tyler Mermis will use existing codes.

◼ needed a name to go on the subdivision for the final platting of Coble Street Housing Addition. They elected to go with Coble Street as name of the addition.

◼ learned Holter attended the Federal Reserve Economic Outlook meeting in Wichita to “see what’s on the horizon.”

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