Marion public hearing addresses property complaints

Prior to its regular meeting, the Marion City Council had a public hearing regarding the property at 714 Sherman, owned by Deliliah Belshe of Marion.

The owner was present at the hearing.

Marty Fredrickson, public works and code enforcement, said he took photos of the structure on Friday nothing had changed on the house since February.

Belshe said on Saturday or Sunday, but she couldn’t remember which day, she had the entire outside of the house spray painted the weekend before the public hearing.

She said she still intended to fix it back up and renting it again.

The public hearing closed, and during the regular council meeting, Belshe said she would get the repairs done in 90 days.

Fredrickson said there are 19 items that need to be completed by that time.

Councilor Chris Costello asked if the city could just buy the property or if the city could take it over.

The fact is they have gone from February through April 9 without doing anything to the structure, and what would be the liklihood they would move ahead now, he said.

City Administrator Roger Holter said he and city attorney Susan Robson recommended the council that they needed to seek legal advise from the League of Kansas Municipalities.

“In essence what the council is proposing is that we would be imminent domain for the city to directly take over property,” Holter said.

In addition, the city hasn’t budgeted anything to buy properties, he said.

The council agreed to give Holter and Robson time to research with LKM and go through state statutes before doing anything on the issue.

It is possible this is not necessarily encouraged, but Holter said he would bring it back to the council in the near future.

The council voted to give Belshe until July 19 to complete repairs or the home will be demised, he said.

The property is valued at $10,000 on the tax roles.

Clerical services

Holter said he asked the council if it could create a contracted clerical services for advisory boards.

“(City Clerk Tiffany Jeffrey) volunteers her own time, but she is going to be on maternity leave very quickly, and we still have zoning and planning that needs somebody,

“Recreation commission does have someone to take (its minutes) and the museum board indicated they may be losing their secretary,”

After discussion, the council agreed to put it on the website a request for proposal where individuals could apply to provide this clerical service.

Any meeting that is three hours or less in length they would receive a contracted amount of $30 to include meeting time and producing the minutes.

“If the meeting is over three hours, the payment would be $50,” Holter said.

“Ideally if we get two people, they could focus on one specific group so they would learn the content, discussion, materials going on around them. It would help with solid minutes instead of sanitized versions.”

The committees only meet once a month, and citing an example using planning and zoning, Holter said the total outlay would be $360 a year.

“It would also allow everybody on specific boards to participate fully instead of someone taking minutes. It also creates job opportunities,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to create the contracted clerical positions.

RICE upgrades

Holter said that back in 2011, the Kansas Power Pool and member cities with generators were notified by EPA that they needed to install a type of catalytic converter, -to go on any diesel or coal-fired plants.

“Those upgrades were going to cost the cities that owned the plant a considerable amount, and they would be upgrading to EPA and the rest of us in the pool would not be impacted,” he said. “It was decided (by KPP) that everyone would pay a portion of those upgrade costs based on the percentage of power each city bought from the pool.”

Marion’s portion of those upgrades is $70,012.

The council approved paying the $70,012 in the third quarter rather than defer to 2018.

In other business, the council:

• paid an invoice to EBH Engineering on the First to Fifth street project in the amount of $7,100 for design work.