The Marion City Council heard from unhappy residents in the Jex Addition regarding Daryl Brewer?s truck-parking business and his request to route truck traffic through their neighborhood.
City Administrator Doug Kjellin said Brewer?s customers are forced to go by way of Whittier, Burbridge and South Grant, adding 15 blocks of driving from U.S. Highway 256. If the council approved routing the trucks on Grant Street in the Jex Addition, it would only be two blocks, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Jex Addition, Leah Schmidt asked the council to deny the request.
?Safety should be the major issue,? she stated in a letter to city council members. ?Adequate sidewalks are not available and there are many children that live in this neighborhood that ride bikes and walk/play in this vicinity.?
Semi trucks are large and have blind spots and the streets in the Jex Addition are narrow with difficult corners, she stated.
Citing an incident involving a semi driver under the influence of alcohol, Schmidt stated the semi was driving through Jex Addition and nearly hit vehicles and pedestrians on its way to Brewer?s parking lot.
?When we were forced to deal with this issue before,? the letter stated, ?there were more than 10 trucks parked in Mr. Brewer?s lot. They utilized our road at all hours of the night and also were left running greater than the allotted time mandated by city ordinance.?
Other concerns included parking problems caused by the trucks maneuvering on the streets and into the lot and damage to roads with the truck traffic.
?We request that you utilize the current truck route, directing semi-truck traffic to enter Jex Addition from the southeast corner,? the letter concluded.
Schmidt requested the full council be present for the vote. Councilors Steve Smith and Chris Meierhoff were both absent.
Responding to some of the concerns, Brewer said the initial start up for a semi is 30 minutes, which is a mandatory warm-up.
He also said it hasn?t been his experience that cattle trucks come to his property loaded.
Kjellin said this issue first came up when he was approached by Brewer concerning the removal of the truck restriction on Grant Street in the Jex Addition.
The only way to do this, Kjellin said, is to repeal Ordi?nance 1273, which stipulates no trucks over 24,000 pounds are allowed on Grant Street.
At the May 4 council meeting, council members were given two options to consider. The first was not to repeal the ordinance.
?By doing nothing,? Kjellin said, ?the city will be forcing all truck traffic to the Brewer property by way of Whittier, Burbridge and South Grant.?
In addition, Kjellin said the railroad crossing is problematic because of the approach grade and time needed to cross with a long, loaded truck.
?If nothing is done, the possibility of additional legal action on behalf of Mr. Brewer should be expected,? he said.
The second option would be to repeal the ordinance and allow trucks to turn from U.S. 256 Main Street and drive the two blocks to the parking area.
Brewer said he is looking at parking empty box van trailers, boats and recreational vehicles.
The council was asked to consider Ordinance 1327, designating routes for truck travel. The ordinance stated that all trucks passing through Marion would follow designated routes, except when loading or unloading merchandise.
The routes included Main Street/U.S. 256; Cedar from Kansas Highway 56 to Main; Third Street from south city limits to Main Street; Whittier from Third Street to Burbridge; Bur?bridge from Whittier to Grant and Grant Street from Burbridge to Main Street/U.S. 256.
After an executive session for attorney-client privilege regarding legal action on this issue, no action was taken.
In other business, the council:
? by concensus, approved renaming Marion Municipal Airport to Marion Municipal Airport-Baxter Field.
? received an insurance dividend check of $4,962 from EMC Insurance Co.
? approved an amendment to Ordinance 1326 regarding damaged structures.
? approved a contract for engineering services from Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates for a water treatment facilities evaluation between Marion and Hillsboro regarding the zebra mussel issue.
? approved a proposal by Hett Construction to add 22.5-feet by 235-feet by 7 inches of concrete pavement to the north half of the 100 block of South Roosevelt at a cost of $23,104.
? agreed to have the next council meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, because city offices will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.