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City council OKs $10.1 million budget

Capital improvement funds rise to $4.29M because of water line replacement project

Staff writer

After a public hearing during which only one member of the audience spoke, Marion city council members approved a $10.1 million 2020 budget Monday.

The budget has a substantial increase for capital improvements, from $468,383 in 2019 to $4.29 million for 2020.

The estimated tax rate for the 2020 budget does not increase over the 2019 tax rate.

Former city administrator David Mayfield, running for mayor, asked if the increase is because of a water line replacement project.

City administrator Roger Holter told Mayfield that is the purpose of the increase.

Most of the city will be included in the scope of project’s work, but the biggest concentration of work will be on the south hill.

The city earlier sought a grant to help cover the costs, but did not qualify. It continues to seek a grant or loan program to defray the amount that would need to be spent by taxpayers.

If the city ends up having to fund the entire project itself, rates for basic water service will go up $12.84 a month if the project costs the estimated amount. The base rate for water service is now $30 per month.

The rate increase will go into effect at the completion of the project.

Council members adopted annual changes to traffic and public offense codes to make them comply with state statutes.

City economic development director Randy Collett introduced his hiring choices for a survey of Marion’s historic downtown area to establish a historic district. Council members approved starting contract negotiations for Christy Davis and Kristy Johnson to perform the survey.

During public comment, city council candidate Ruth Herbel asked council member to review a gravel parking lot at the corner of Melvin and Roosevelt Sts. owned by St. Luke Hospital.

City zoning regulations require parking lots to be paved and not obstruct the vision of drivers on the street.

“The parking lot goes against the zoning regulation,” Herbel said. “St. Luke Hospital should have requested a building permit and a condition use permit.”

Last modified Aug. 1, 2019

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