Marion council to repeal truck parking prohibition

By unanimous vote, the Marion City Council agreed at its June 13 meeting to repeal Ordinance 1327, which previously prohibited trucks weighing more than 24,000 pounds from having access to Grant Street.

The council also approved amending Ordinance 1273, which designates routes for truck travel.

The new route for trucks in the city includes Main Street/Kansas Highway 256; Cedar Street from U.S. Highway 56 to Main, Third Street from the south city limits to Main, Whittier from Third to Burbridge Street, Burbridge from Whitter to Grant, and Grant from Burbridge to Main/Highway 256.

Marion Police Chief Josh Whitwell was instructed by the council to enforce ?no parking? signs on one side of Grant Street and post 20 mph speed limits.

For several months, council members have discussed truck traffic involving Daryl Brewer?s truck-parking business and residents in the Jex Addition, who have expressed discontent with allowing truck traffic to resume in their neighborhood.

In a prior meeting, city administrator Doug Kjellin said the council had two options.

The first would be not to repeal Ordinance 1273. The second would be to do nothing, forcing all truck traffic to the Brewer property by way of Whittier, Burbridge and South Grant.

By doing nothing, trucks would have been forced to drive 15 blocks from Highway 256, or Main Street, to access Brewer?s parking lot.

Prior to the June 13 vote, the council went into a 10-minute executive session for attorney-client privilege.

During the public forum, Leah Schmidt, a spokeswoman for Jex Addition residents, said she and neighbors continue to be concerned about their children?s safety with semi trucks being allowed to drive on Grant Street.

She spoke of an 8-year-old girl who recently was killed by a semi in Halstead, a town of about 2,000 people.

?What are you (council members) going to do to deter this from happening here?? she asked. ?Is this all because of a (threatened) lawsuit??

At a previous meeting, Kjellin said Brewer was looking at parking empty box van trailers, boats and recreational vehicles in the lot.

?Over time, however,? Kjellin said, ?road repairs along those two blocks of Grant will need to be addressed.?

EMS concerns

Kim Ross, an emergency medical technician with Marion County for 25 years, planned to talk during the public forum, but instead presented a written statement to the council and media representatives.

The letter stated that EMS crews in Marion and the county feel under-appreciated.

?I do a job for this city and the county of Marion for $2 an hour?a job most people wouldn?t do no matter what they are paid,? the letter stated.

Ross stated she puts in between 350 to 400 hours a month, which is more than most city and county employees do.

?I am never guaranteed a lunch break and (receive) no overtime pay. It?s almost a given that a birthday party, special dinner or family time will get interrupted at least one day a week.?

She stated her frustration with knowing whether she is a county or city employee.

?The county pays us,? she stated, ?but we are not considered part of the county. We are based out of the city of Marion, but we are not considered part of the city either.?

Ross stated the city needs to think about what it plans to do when it loses EMS services because of a lack of personnel.

?It is happening now, countywide,? she said. ?I don?t need this job. I do it because it needs to be done and I like helping others, but I for one, feel totally under-appreciated by both county and city.?

She stated she believes she isn?t the only one who feels this way.

?Please think about ways you can include us as part of the city of Marion and Marion County. At least make us feel we are part of where we work and live.?

Other business

In other business, the council:

? approved a month-to-month lease between the city of Marion and Marion County to rent 1,000 square feet at the city?s spec building, 1003 Batt, Marion. The rental fee is $0.232 per square foot and can be adjusted, Kjellin said, but cannot exceed a total of 2,500 square feet. The county indicated it will use the building for storing equipment, Kjellin said.

? unanimously approved paying APAC-Kansas Inc. of Hutch?in?son $15,741, representing 10 percent of completed work on the original contract of $217,703. The work was for water improvements in the city.

? approved paying Lochner of Salina $727 for professional water-line improvement services.

? approved paying Ranson Financial Consultants of Wichita $3,800, the final payment on the Community Development Block Grant involving the water project.

? heard from Teresa Huff?man, Marion County economic development director, about marketing efforts.

? reviewed and approved an airport hangar rental policy for aviation use only and one for storage.

? heard Harvey Sanders, public works director, report that mosquito spraying in the city is under way.

? will hold its next regular meeting at 4:30 p.m. June 27 at Marion City Hall.

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