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City signs loan agreement for water project

Staff writer

Marion city council members signed a loan agreement to finance replacement of water lines in 1/3 of the city during Monday’s meeting.

The 20-year loan from the Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund is for an amount not to exceed $3.9 million. The final amount of the loan will be determined after the project is bid.

The $3.9 loan agreement is based on an engineer’s estimated cost for the project.

Council member Ruth Herbel asked when the city has to establish a dedicated source of revenue to repay the loan.

City administrator Roger Holter said February 2021.

Mayor David Mayfield said an increase in water rates might be part of repayment of the loan.

“We will not have any idea until later how much we will have to raise water rates,” Mayfield said.

Herbel said the city shouldn’t set water service rates so high they discourage people from moving to Marion.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Holter answered, adding that if the city doesn’t have decent infrastructure, that will prevent people from moving to the city.

The city learned Monday that it was given a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant for the water project.

Council members also approved giving a utility rate reduction to Marion Senior Center. The Senior Center will be charged the hotel rate for water instead of the regular water rate.

Resident Darvin Markley told council members he thinks the seniors deserve more support than merely a rate reduction. The city supports youth programs and activities, and seniors deserve support as well, Markley said.

The city of Abilene donates money to their senior center, Markley contended.

Mayfield called for the city to hold a work session to discuss their visions of the city’s future in February, suggesting a Monday opposite a city council.

Last modified Jan. 30, 2020

 

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