Marion council hears compromise on truck issues

A compromise for residents and truck drivers was offered Monday by the Marion City Council while it attempts to negotiate with Union Pacific Railroad for reopening the Jex Addition crossing.

The truck drivers have been going down Grant Street to the protest of residents, particularly with small children in the residential area, to private parking offered by Daryl Brewer.

Councilor Gene Winkler made the announcement after 45 minutes of executive session with City Attorney Dan Baldwin.

Winkler said the city would point out to Union Pacific that it closed the crossing previously used by the trucks without any notification to the city.

He said the city would pay losses of truck parking fees to Brewer for 90 days with further review every 90 days until the situation is settled.

He said the city is asking that the truckers in the meantime, ?drop their trailers? along Washington Street north of the VFW until the city sufficiently gravels its pole yard on Washington.

Brewer can still drive his own truck down Grant for parking because his lot is his own property, Winkler said.

This will relieve the problem for the residents, he said.

Winkler asked for everyone to be patient and understanding.

Baldwin interrupted an attempt by Mayor Mary Olson to make a motion on the matter by saying, ?Slow down here. We are appealing to the good graces of you guys driving the trucks here. We?re not ticketing anyone.?

In other actions, the council approved a $20,535.46 bid by Brad Seacat to build new baseball complex restrooms. A decision to replace an old concrete pad was offset by the city doing $500 worth of electrical work for the building itself.

Winkler will meet with the committee narrowing down candidates for economic development director March 26-27 to interview eight finalists of an original 14.

The council approved appointments of Janice Case for four years, Pam Bowers and Dave Hett for three years and Bonnie Vinduska and Dale Johnson for two years to the Marion Parks Board.

Property tax exemptions for Marion Die and Fixture and Mid-America Countertops were both approved for continuance under guidelines for adding new equipment and employment.

The final ordinance changing the time of council meetings from 5:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. was approved.

Ralph Kreutziger of Hett Construction reported that the concrete floor for the Arlie?s Inc. building at the industrial park is done with the only concrete left for drive approaches. The metal building there is being erected, he said.

The council approved paying Hett Construction $24,940 on the building.

Kreutziger also said his company has completed pouring sidewalks for the park gazebo.

City Administrator David Mayfield was appointed No. 2 man behind Public Works Director Harvey Sanders as Marion representative to the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency. Mayfield said Marion may want to consider purchasing electricity from the KMEA power pool after its contract with Westar expires.

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