Marion council votes 5-year commitment to MCCEDC

The Marion City Council voted to approve a five-year $44,500 commitment to the Marion County Community Economic Development Corp. at its meeting May 8.

Councilor Chris Costello said he thought the commitment should be year-to-year, and contingent on expectations and updates before funding the project for another year.

For the remainder of the 2017 year, the council agreed to give the corporation interim funding of $7,500 to get them started.

Chris Hernandez, speaking on behalf of the Marion County Community Economic Development Corp., talked about what the group is by stating facts and advantages.

During a slide presentation, he said there are more jobs in the U.S. than in any other time in history, but they are concentrated in urban areas.

In addition, Hernandez said technology has removed many geographic limitations and retail and marketing are entering the next phase of their evolution to remain relevant.

The millennial generation is now the largest consumer group in all of human history, he said, and is in the front side of the consumer purchase curve.

Advantages included:

• economy of scale,

• human and physical capital synergy,

• differentiated effort,

• geographic limitations,

• land bank,

• private vs public job growth,

• centralized resources and information repository,

• labor force development and training,

• community ombudsman,

• support of existing community foundations and economic development organizations, and

• clarity of responsibility for local government.

Anyone who would like more information about the economic development corporation can call Hernandez or any other member of the group.

In other business, the council:

• heard from Galen and Sharon Unruh of Galva, owners of the Auto House building.

They requested the city relinquish its deed restriction of having the first chance to buy the two back lots so that the Unruhs and the county could move ahead with the sale.

The council approved releasing its interest in the lots.

• approved an agreement with John Loomis to buy the railroad land south of Marion City Library for $760, said Roger Holter, city administrator.

In the agreement, he said, Loomis asked if he could make monthly payments until November. It was decided the monthly payment would be $131.56 for seven months with the last payment on Nov. 25.

• heard from Marty Fredrickson, building inspector, about a citizen petition to inspect 711 Weldon St.

Fredrickson said the inspection showed no immediate or obvious safety hazards on the outside of the house.

“Some shingles were missing on the west side of the roof indicating a roof leak,” he said.

In addition, Fredrickson said he sent a mowing letter to the owners, Keith and Sharon Schadel of Peabody.

The last time the utilities were on was September of 2012, so the integrity of the water, sewer and gas lines is unknown, he said.

• approved the payment request for EBH Engineering on Kansas Highway 256 improvements from Eisenhower to Locust of $7,000 and $15,731.

• approved payment to EBH Engineering for the Marion Main Street First to Fifth Streetscape of $2,299.

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