Citizens to get chance
to sound off on code

Staff writer

Marion’s proposed new city code — complete with a ban on livestock, new provisions for business licenses, and maybe limits on parking in residential yards — will face a public airing July 21 and possible adoption Aug. 4.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt told the City Council on Monday that he wanted to allow time for residents to comment on what the code would and would not do at the next council meeting, then move to adopt a final version two weeks later.

Administrator Roger Holter said a proposed ban on keeping chickens as anything other than pets and new business licensing procedures had drawn the most public comment to date.

He said he also had been hearing from residents interested in adding a ban, as Hillsboro recently did, on parking vehicles on lawns in residential areas.

Currently, he said, zoning rules require three improved parking spaces per residence, and nuisance rules prohibit parking of inoperable vehicles. However, parking on grass in residential areas isn’t specifically forbidden.

He said the latest version of the proposed code — several hundred pages in all — could be read online at http://www.marionks.citycode.net/.

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Reduced by $2,939.44 its semiannual principal and interest payment on the Jex Addition sewer project by opting to borrow $346,481.92 instead of $433,625 from the state to pay for the city’s local share of the project. Heitschmidt termed the savings on the project “a very positive thing to have had happen.”
  • Approved waiving its hiring freeze to hire a part-time worker, mainly to help with mowing over the next 12 to 14 weeks, to replace a full-time streets and alleys worker who resigned. The city will delay recruiting for the full-time position until spring. Meanwhile, it has saved $5,500 a year by ending a contract with an outside vendor to mow at the municipal airport.
  • Agreed to let employees accumulate 40 more hours of compensatory time off in lieu of overtime. Most workers will now be able to accumulate 80 hours off. Police officers will be able to accumulate 120.
  • Reminded residents of trash pickup schedules varying in holiday weeks, such as last week. Heitschmidt said many apparently did not retain schedules supplied to them by mail at the start of the year. The city did not otherwise advertise its schedule change last week.
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