City discusses roundabout for Main St.

Asks for resident input about stop signs

Staff writer

For the past two years Marion has applied for a grant through the Kansas Department of Transportation to remove the bump form a former railroad crossing on Main St. The grant has been denied. At Monday’s City Council meeting, city administrator Roger Holter presented other options to redo the intersection of First and Main Sts. and fix the bump left from the railroad.

“The new possibility would be to create a modified roundabout or change the approach,” Holter said.

Either option would require the city to acquire private property to complete work to be done sometime in 2017.

The city can apply for the grant before May 9. It would cover everything except property acquisition and engineering fees, Holter said.

The modified roundabout would eliminate the U-turns often made at the intersection.

“We want to fix the elevation issue, which will still cost us, but it doesn’t hurt to apply for the grant because it doesn’t cost us,” Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said.

Holter estimated that if awarded, the cost to the city for engineering fees and fixing the bump to be around $116,500, not including the cost of property acquisition.

Levee certification

In one of the last items before the levee can be recertified, the last remaining culvert must be video inspected. The levee has three culverts, two of which have already been inspected; the third has not been completed because it is completely submerged in water, unlike the other two.

In order to inspect the culvert, it must be drained and cleaned out.

Two bids were received, and the council approved the bid from Middle Creek for $29,400.

In order to drain the culvert, Middle Creek will need to create a structure to dam up water and to keep it from flowing into the culvert. Marty Fredrickson recommended the council set aside money each year to create a permanent structure to drain the culvert because it will have to be inspected every five years to be recertified.

“The process has been very expensive so far,” Fredrickson said.

He estimates $230,000 has been spent over the last three years to certify the levee. If the levee is not recertified, property owners in the flood plain would need flood insurance for any mortgages.

The council tabled an ordinance proposed by Police Chief Tyler Mermis for stop signs to stop east and west traffic on Freeborn, Weldon, Nickerson, Welch, Maple, and Melvin Sts., and adjacent intersections on Roosevelt St.

Mermis said the signs would force drivers to stop and look for cars, and especially ambulances using Freeborn and Roosevelt Sts.

Signs were also recommended for Roosevelt and Denver Sts., Freeborn and Denver Sts., for north and south traffic, and First and Water Sts., to slow down drivers who speed down those streets.

“This would hopefully eliminate the complaints of fast moving traffic through the area,” Mermis said. “There have been a few accidents there but my biggest worry is kids playing in those streets and people moving so fast they can’t stop.”

The council tabled the ordinance until the next meeting to get resident input.

“I think it’s overkill,” council member Jerry Dieter said. “We need to talk to people before instead of enacting to avoid another thing like the no-parking issue.”

In other business:

  • Heitschmidt re-appointed city attorney Susan Robson, Mermis, fire chief Mike Regnier, city clerk Woodrow Crawshaw, deputy city clerk Rebecca Makovec, judge Randal Pankratz, and Holter to serve in their positions for the next year. Chad Adkins was appointed to the Marion Economic Development Inc. with Dieter as the alternate.
  • The final payment to Middle Creek for $78,000 for work completed on the Jex Addition sewer was approved. No comments were given during a public hearing held about the project.
  • A payment of $45,077 to Hett Construction for work completed on Fourth and Williams Sts. was approved. Work will begin on phase three of the project, from the north jail entrance to Library St. this week.
  • A payment of $79,601 to Vogts-Parga for work completed for the street project was approved along with a payment of $12,483 to EBH and Associates for engineering work on the project.
  • An extension of a month for auditing services by Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk, and Loyd was approved.
  • The council met in executive session with Holter and economic director Terry Jones for 30 minutes to discuss real estate acquisition. No action was taken after returning to open session.
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