Marion council reviews debt-service situation during budget discussion

The Marion City Council reviewed debt service as part of its budget discussion at the June 5 meeting.

City Administrator Roger Holter said the debt carried for 2017 was about $550,000; of that, obligation bonds accounted for $450,000 and the rest was Kansas Power Pool debt, which should be retired in 2024.

The final debt service payment on obligation bonds would be $57,200 in 2040.

The council approved an ordinance authorizing Mayor Todd Heitschmidt to sign a lease-purchase agreement between the city and Marion National Bank for the 800 MHz radios for the police department.

City Clerk Tiffany Jeffrey said moving library personnel services from the library fund to the general fund was approved in the 2016 budget.

“I administer the library payroll, and then the library reimburses the city back for each payroll,” she said. “When the payroll was moved to the general fund last year, I missed going into the library fund instead of the general fund.”

The result was a large cash balance in the library fund, Jeffrey said. The library fund is budgeted only for ad valorem taxes revenue and appropriation to library board expenditures.

Jeffrey recommended the council transfer $60,000 from the library fund to the general fund for the month ending in May.

“This would leave a cash balance of $3,799 in the library fund,” she said. The council approved Jeffrey’s recommendation.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• received a refund of $6,285 from the Kansas Municipal Insurance Trust. The overpayment happened during the 2016 payroll audit process. The 2016 audited premium was $25,102 and the city paid $31,387.

• heard a request from Kansas Public Telecommunications Service for public television in the area. Victor A. Hogstrom, president and CEO, stated the licensee, which is KPTS, is owned and supported by the community.

“We have to raise 64 percent of our operating locally,” he said.

Hogstrom asked the council for an annual grant to help support the group.

“KPTS is your public media station,” he said.

• heard from Marty Fredrickson, director of streets and building inspections, about the time required to complete repeti­tious daily work orders.

Tasks included trash truck pre-inspection, completing utility work orders, inspecting sewer lifts, janitorial duties, park turf management, maintenance of baseball complex, trimming trees and more.

• reviewed the 2017 vision and the four inter-related elements: identifying and recruiting entities; emphasizing advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, aerospace, agriculture, health care, oil and gas, transportation and logistics.

Additional emphases are filling vacant store fronts on Main Street with retail shops and boutiques, continuing to assess housing needs and providing leadership and support for loyal legacy businesses.

• received a report from Randy Collett, economic development director, stating the city hosted the dean of the school of business at Emporia State University, Ed Bashaw.

• heard from Collett that a local business start-up application for a JumpStart Kansas grant through ESU is still pending, and that the housing assessment in 2016 identified additional needs for larger family homes.

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