Marion council moves toward sewer upgrade

The Marion City Council is moving forward on sanitary sewer system improvements for the Jex, Billings and Beebe additions, according to information presented at the July 11 meeting.

Doug Kjellin, city administrator, said there are 27 people living inside the city limits that are still on septic tank systems.

?These systems were grandfathered until they need to be replaced, at which time, they will be brought onto the city system,? he said.

In the preliminary engineering report, done in June 2011, there are about 816 residential and 150 commercial active waste-water connections.

The systems in the three additions were installed in the 1950s and are well beyond their life expectancy.

In the Jex Addition, the sewer system collects 25 residential properties. The Billings Addi?tion wastewater collection system collects five residential properties and in the Beebe Addition, collection is from five residential and three commercial properties.

Also in the Beebe Addition, three residential properties are not on the city system, but they will come onto it upon completion of this project, the report stated.

The problem is that sewer gas deteriorates concrete, which means the lines can no longer function adequately to convey the waste water to the treatment facility in a safe manner, Kjellin reported.

?Another advantage of this project is adding sewer lines along Vine Street, so as septic systems give out on the far west end of town, they will have a place to take the sewage,? Kjellin said. ?Right now they don?t.?

As part of the process, the council approved filing an application with the Kansas Depart?ment of Health and Environ?ment for a loan under the Kansas Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund.

Depending on which option the council agrees to, the cost of the project could range from $613,625 to $687,500.

The first of two public hearings regarding the Community Development Block Grant is set for July 25. The second hearing is Aug. 8.

Fireworks discussion

Councilor Jerry Kline said a lot of people had approached him about how some people were abusing fireworks by going past the designated times.

?I want to put it out there and see if anyone else heard complaints,? Kline said. ?I think we are selling fireworks too many days and that creates temptation (to abuse them).?

Marion Police Chief Josh Whitwell said he received less than 10 complaints.

?I think we should cut selling fireworks to only July 1 through July 4,? he said. ?They are shooting fireworks sooner because of the temptation or they can shoot outside city limits.

Even if Marion restricts the sale of fireworks, Hillsboro and Peabody sell early and Marion citizens would have access to them, Whitwell said.

Another issue involved confusion about the time fireworks could be set off. Whitwell said he heard from citizens that the newspaper listed 11 p.m. each night.

?Not a big deal,? Whitwell said about the wrong time, but a select few complained. ?To me with 1,900 people in Marion and even if 50 were complaining, it?s still not that many.?

Whitwell and Kline agreed that Marion citizens shoot fireworks too early and the city needs to limit sales to July 1 through July 4.

Storm reimbursement

Kjellin said city officials met recently with the Kansas Depart?ment of Emergency Manage?ment. He said the state was optimistic that the city would be reimbursed for a portion of the electrical restoration and clean-up costs incurred from the wind storms between June 17 and June 22.

After learning about Hills?boro?s issues with the main raw water line to their water plant, Kjellin said he was thankful they haven?t experienced any decrease in raw water supply.

?The city of Marion currently has no effect from this and has no problem meeting current water supply,? he said.

Even though the city seems unaffected by what is happening with the raw water supply between the reservoir and Hillsboro, he said he plans to continue monitoring the situation in case it becomes an issue.

KDHE listed the city?s water meter replacement project on the ?2010 Green Project Priority List? at No. 38, he said.

Rose Mary Saunders, who is employed by Ranson Financial of Wichita and serves as the city?s grant administrator for the Community Development Block Grant, explained to Kjellin that this makes the city a ?very high probability for funding.?

Don Gibbons with the Environmental Protection Agency, told Kjellin the freeze on the appropriated funds for the sewer de-sludging project was now lifted.

?Our engineer, Chad Lawson, will work up a new schedule and we hope to have this done before winter,? he said.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Heinrichs united with Cunningham
Samantha Heinrichs of Wichita, and formerly of Hillsboro, and Cord Cun?ning?ham of...
Read More