Safety record pays dividend for Marion


Mayor Mary Olson presents a plaque to Dean Keyes naming Cardie Oil, Tire & Service Center as Marion?s business of the year.

The City of Marion has received an unexpected insurance dividend of $19,749 because of its safety programs and safety history.

City Administrator David Mayfield announced the dividend that came through city insurer Case & Son from EMC Insurance during Monday?s regular Marion City Council meeting.

Mayfield also announced that a third candidate for city economic development director was interviewed last week by the selection committee.

Current Economic Director Jamie Williams received approval from the council for her last day of work to be June 12 instead of June 13.

The council approved donating $1,000 to Communities in Schools after a discussion with CIS administrator Linda Ogden. Ogden said the city probably gets more back than the donation just from the families her agency assists with paying city utility bills.

The council agreed with Ogden that CIS functions well in helping save families in distress and preventing juvenile problems and substance abuse.

Mayor Mary Olson invited a dialogue between the city and Ogden about whether there are candidates served by CIS that could use summer swimming passes.

Ogden said CIS can help families that are referred through units such as the schools or the city.

Councilor Steve Smith said the recreation commission also has referred kids.

The council gave 5-0 final approval for the city?s meeting time to be changed from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. as of the next meeting, June 16.

Olson presented a plaque to Dean Keyes of Cardie Oil, Tire and Service Center as business of the year for business recognition week.

Other final candidates for the award, Williams said, were Auto Tek, St. Luke Physician Clinic, and Seacat Hardware.

Councilor Bill Holdeman said city residents are complaining to him that when the Casey?s Convenience Store was built along Main Street that the business laid concrete across the alley to the west blocking its drainage.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said the alley?s drainage has been a problem since ?way before? the convenience store opened. He advised that he and Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson should shoot elevations along the alley to report on what can be done.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said it is the city?s responsibility to maintain and control the alley.

Olson suggested adding dirt to yards for a couple of homes along the alley to raise elevation on the sides rather than doing any ditch excavation.

Sanders said utility lines will have to be checked, especially telephone lines that are usually very shallow.

The council approved Mayfield seeking a Kansas Department of Transportation 75 percent sharing grant for resurfacing of Main Street. He said the grants run up to $200,000, but he estimated at today?s costs that the resurfacing could be done for $100,000 with funding for 2011.

Olson asked for a special June work session to discuss emergency procedures and tornado shelters in particular.

Williams said KDOT representatives will come to the city June 25 to explain procedures on the safe routes to school grant awarded Marion.

City resident Margaret Wilson showed the councilors the remains of a large fireworks munition that landed at her 95-year-old mother?s home last year.

Wilson asked that the council put more time limits and restrictions on fireworks shooting next year to guard the safety and potential disturbance to elderly persons, pets and wildlife.

?If you choose to be surrounded by gunpowder and smoke,? she said, ?move to Baghdad.?

Holdeman said he agreed with a shorter period to ignite fireworks for a different reason. Having an extended period, he said, is about fireworks stands making more money, and the children lose sight of the Fourth of July designated as a day of independence and freedom.

Police Chief Josh Whitwell said his police officers will enforce fireworks codes when they see violations or complaints are called in, ?but I would need a million men to catch them all.?

The latest fireworks ordinance was approved 4-1, Holde?man against.

Action on a new schedule of building permit fees written by Baldwin was delayed to give council time to study it.

The councilors did approve a new schedule for cemetery fees. The fee to open a grave during business hours is $200, and after business hours it is $300. A grave lot will sell for $100, and stone replacement is $25.

The council approved a $250 donation for the Relay for Life presented by Ralph Kreutziger, which is enough to have the city?s name placed on relay T-shirts.

Councilors approved permission for Davey Hett to shoot public display fireworks at Central Park during Chingawassa Days under his own insurance.

They approved paying $28,403 for payroll and $122,669 for warrants. The warrants included a payment to Walters Morgan of $45,275 for work completed at the water plant.

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