Marion council reviews land options for jails

The Marion City Council seemed prepared Monday to guarantee land for the construction of a county corrections center in Batt Industrial Park, but were hesitant at what they thought might be their final offer.

The Marion County Commission had asked the city to finalize conditions for land in preparation for a county-wide bond election in November for financing the new jail facilitiy.

City Administrator David Mayfield promised councilors he would come up with figures to as requested to County Clerk Carol Maggard Friday.

Mayfield said under price quotes for building lots already given to the county, the city would expect to build a street, sewer and water lines to the center.

But councilors led by Stacey Collett were questioning whether the city would be better off even if, in giving the land free, the county wanted to take responsibility for providing the infrastructure.

Mayfield said the county is better and more thoroughly equipped for doing parts of construction projects itself than the city is.

He said the entire project also would be contingent on the bond issue passing, although the county needs to have planning complete.

Mayfield said any neighbors within 200 feet of the proposed facility would have the right to speak at bond hearing for the jail.

In other matters, Collett and Mayor Mary Olson said they are receiving public wishes that the restrooms in Central Park stay open for public use.

Police Chief Josh Whitwell said that would be difficult because of the continuing cycle of vandalism in the park, especially the loss of toilet stools each summer that have to be replaced at costs of $200 to $300 each.

Councilor Gene Winkler noted that the park water fountain was gone when he went to use it.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said vandals broke it off, and it was replaced for $300 but was broken off again within two weeks.

Whitwell said barring paying for a police officer at the park all of the time, the council could purchase video surveillance cameras at $4,000 each.

Sanders said drainage of the alley north of Casey?s can be solved by digging out a water drainage.

Ralph Kreutziger of Hett Construction notified the council by letter that his company?s contractural requirements for construction of the Arlie?s Inc., body shop building at the industrial park, should be completed in the next two weeks with final $10,000 payment from the city due after inspection.

Kreutziger said any further work from subcontractors will be paid for by Arlie?s with insurance and other responsibilities also transferred to the owner at that time.

He thanked Arlie?s and the city for patience during weather delays.

The council agreed to allow the Marion Rec Commission use of the city building for kids? gymnastics classes over six weeks time for a $50 refundable key deposit. Margo Yates, in making a presentation, gave the councilors copies of agreements with the school district creating the commission with the city going back to 2001.

Olson said the city should cooperate in providing children as much as possible for their own welfare, and to keep them off the streets.

The city approved $1,000 bucks for building grants applications for Josh and Clark Whitwell at 811 S. Roosevelt, and Lee Dalrymple and Linda Skiles at 808 S. Roosevelt subject to fulfilling occupancy requirements.

Winkler disagreed with charging a $25 fee for a permit to tear down and clean up an old building as presented on a new ordinance.

Mayfield said he would rework the ordinance to reflect that. He said the main reason for a fee is to give the city control in making sure the cleanup is thorough.

Olson set Monday, June 23, at 4 p.m. for a council work session for an electrical emergency plan.

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