Marion council authorizes action on nusiance properties

The Marion City Council authorized City Attorney Dan Baldwin at its July 12 meeting to start taking action on businesses and residences that have fallen into disrepair.

The council directed Baldwin to give these property owners one last chance to clean up those areas before taking the matter to court.

Baldwin said he plans on starting at the west end of town and working from there.

?There are two businesses and at least two properties on Santa Fe (that qualify as dilapidated),? he said.

Beginning this week, Baldwin said he will notify the property owners that they have one week to come up with an acceptable plan on how they plan to remedy the problem.

Those receiving notices will need to talk to the city and get an agreement in writing.

However, if a property owner does not respond to the complaint, Baldwin said, the process will move forward to include a date to appear in court.

In most cases, he said, the owners of these properties have been notified many times in the past one to two years with no results.

Councilor Steve Smith said he agreed with Baldwin on starting at one end of the city and working to the other side.

By the July 26 council meeting, Baldwin said he will have pictures of the properties and drafted complaints ready for the council to approve, along with any possible agreements received between now and then.

Other business

In other business, the council:

? decided to defer a decision regarding a Free Flight event because Mayor Mary Olson and Councilor Chris Meierhoff were absent from Monday?s meeting.

But Doug Kjellin, economic development director for Marion, said that would be cutting it too close to the event.

Based on Kjellin?s concern, the council decided to schedule a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 19, to discuss Free Flight?s use of the airport.

? agreed to table the tobacco-use policy at the city?s baseball complex unless it comes up at a later date. Smith said it would be difficult to enforce the ban. Councilor Bill Holdeman agreed.

? heard from Kjellin that efforts are continuing in identifying marketing points in the city. In addition, a work session for the community is planned with a strength/weakness analysis being completed at that time.

? heard from Harvey Sanders, public works director, on completed work orders by city crews.

Highlights from June 28 through July 9 included assisting in the demolition of the structure at 415 N. Fourth St.; repairing curb and gutter on the north side of St. Luke?s Hospital; installing light poles on Eisenhower; working on drainage at North Lincoln and repairing service on Walnut and Hudson streets.

? met in an executive session for attorney-client privilege Thursday, July 1, with the council, City Administrator David Mayfield, Kjellin and Baldwin included. No action was taken.

? heard Kjellin publicly thank all who shopped the fireworks booth at the Youth Center location. The proceeds will benefit the Marion High School Senior Class prom in 2011.