Marion City Council agreed to give a derelict property owner 45 days to contact building inspector Marty Frederickson in order to comply with code violations for a house located at 401 N. Roosevelt St.
A petition to bring the property up to code or have it demolished was signed by seven Marion residents living on Roosevelt. It was dated Oct. 25. The petition states the house “has been a haven for drug activity in the last several years, it is an eye sore and it devalues property.” Police Chief Tyler Mermis affirmed the drug den allegation at the meeting.
The house has been vacant for two years, Frederickson said. Ray Lindgren owns it and another party not listed on documents. City administrator Doug Kjellin said one of the owners is incarcerated.
Frederickson took photos showing an exposed gas line, although the gas has been shut off, exposed pieces of flooring, and an open crawl space. He stated the crawl space is the only immediate public hazard.
The council agreed to go with Community Development Block Grant administration with Government Assistance Services out of Topeka for the $400,000 street improvement grant. The council accepted the grant at its Feb. 18 meeting.
The city usually employs Rose Mary Saunders of Ransom Financial for administrative services. The city was required by the Kansas Department of Commerce to choose a new administrator because another city Saunders was working with ignored the timeline the administrator set for a project, Kjellin said.
In other business:
- The council agreed to refinance the interest rate for 828 N. Roosevelt St, previously Arlie’s Paint, Body, and Glass. The current lease/purchase rate is 5.1 percent. The balloon payment for the property, $235,437, is due in August.
- From the staff meeting report on Feb. 28, a paint booth and air exchange system were removed from Arlie’s building, leaving holes in the side of the building. Christian Pedersen was going to check with Eldon Hett to get replacement metal to repair holes.
- Property owners of a residence on the west side of the city shop have been contacted and are interested in selling the property. City attorney Susan Robson will research liability waivers for removal of structural items, if the property can be purchased.
- After approving minor modifications, the council approved financial and budgetary policies.
- Frederickson gave a report about building permits in 2012. There were 40 building permit applications issued in 2012, the most being for electrical and accessory building permits. The total estimated cost of projects was about $1.6 million. The fee amount collected was $4,455. Permits were up from 25.
- Kjellin said the city will attempt to install a new scoreboard at the baseball field. He checked with a company in Wichita that charges at least $115 an hour to install a board, the cost of the contract would be between $800 and $1,000.