Marion to pursue street funding

The Marion City Council Monday approved an agreement with Ranson Financial presented by the company?s representative, Rose Mary Saunders, to seek more than $500,000 in grant and loan to finance reconstruction of Cedar and Eisenhower streets.

The amount sought could vary according to engineering desired, and whether replacement of things such as a water line in the way could be financed. Councilor Stacey Collett urged that a water line on Eisenhower be included if possible.

Saunders said it could be possible to include curb and guttering on Eisenhower.

The money would come from a Community Development Block Grant and loan funds up to a 30-year term from the Kansas Department of Transportation that this week are at 3.64 percent interest, she said.

Saunders said she would assist the city in a door-to-door survey to see if Marion meets grant qualifications to have more than half its people at low to moderate incomes.

The grant would be awarded by the end of January, she said. Application would be completed by Nov. 1.

City Manager David Mayfield said he worked with Economic Director Jamie Williams in putting a discussion together with Saunders to seek the funds and urged the council to take the opportunity ?so we can move forward.?

Mayfield said KDOT probably would find Cedar and Eisenhower acceptable projects because they are major entryways into town, but that other streets probably wouldn?t gain funding.

Mayfield said regular annual KDOT funding to the city for through routes might be used for local share, and for such things as change orders that would be incurred at local cost.

Councilor Jerry Kline questioned whether KDOT would actually have the funding since he knows the department is cutting money for road projects, but Saunders assured him the money comes from other sources that KDOT could assure.

With that, Collett added, ?I don?t know what we?re waiting on.? The council voted 5-0.

Dale Geis accepted the city?s 2007 outstanding business award for Flaming?s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. from Mayor Mary Olson.

Williams said the business was selected by a process of public nominations and final selection by the Marion Economic Advisory Board. Other finalists were Carlson?s Grocery, St. Luke Hospital, Western Associates and Zimmerman?s.

Kevin Fruechting and Roger Hannaford appeared to tell the council that curb and guttering street construction estimates they had petitioned for with four other families at Country Club Heights were too high for what the families felt they could afford as assessments.

The council agreed to help by allowing them to withdraw their first petition without further petition, and also to offer further help by having the city?s engineering firm of Kirkham and Michael make an estimate for hard surfacing only.

The council approved a contract setting compensation amounts for City Attorney Dan Baldwin.

The council approved fireworks sales by the liquor store in the industrial park and in the vacant lot downtown between Suffield?s and Duckwall.

They also approved a request by Shawna Hett to shoot off fireworks July 7 near the Emmanuel Baptist Church for her wedding.

Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson said an internal examination of the large water tower by divers has shown that both the inside and the outside are due for painting again.

He said the city is having problems with its mowing tractor because too large of a mower was purchased to run with it.

Williams announced that a National Geographic exhibit featuring photography by Jim Richardson of Lindsborg will be at the library from Monday, June 25, to Sunday, July 1.

The council voted 4-1, Olson against, to replace keys to the city building, and require a $25 deposit to insure their return in the future. Mayfield said several keys are missing.

The council approved the May utility billing tie out, the May investment and collateral report, and the May financial statement presented by Clerk Angela Lange.

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