Library plans new addition
Librarian Janet Marler and library board member Pauline Holub brought plans to Marion City Council Monday for a new library building to be placed alongside the existing depot building. The building will be completely separate from the existing library.
The building would be 30 x 40 feet about 1,200 square feet. It would include a kitchen, bathroom, meeting area, and Wi-Fi space for people taking online classes.
Holub said the library has been looking to add space for nearly 10 years. Marler cited several events that had 100 participants or more. The library has acquired the funds for the project over that time through memorials.
There are two plans circulating for the building, a wooden frame surrounded by metal siding and a completely metal building. New parking will also be added. City Administrator Doug Kjellin estimated the cost of the project to run between $80,000 and $120,000. Holub said the current plan is to use local contractors for the project. Marler said she would like to begin construction this summer.
The library board will need to acquire a conditional use permit for the building. The Marion Planning Commission will review the application and then the council will have final approval.
The most contentious item on the City Council agenda was a discussion of alleys.
Mayor Mary Olson and council members Jerry Kline and Jerry Dieter voted to change the priority list to move the 100 block north between Fourth and Third streets as the next alley the city will fix.
Todd Heitschmidt and Chris Meierhoff voted against the change of priority because the previous list was agreed on by City Administrator Doug Kjellin and Streets Superintendent Marty Frederickson. City fixed the alley 100 block south between Third and Second Street behind Central National Bank at the end of 2012. Heitschmidt is the President of Central National Bank.
“When we discussed alleys, you read me the riot act,” Heitschmidt said.
When Heitschmidt brought up that Kjellin and Frederickson agreed to the list, Olson snapped, “Just forget about that.”
The alley behind the 100 block north between Third and Second street was the next alley on the list because of traffic, Kjellin said.
Heitschmidt questioned Olson’s motivations in the ally discussion. She works at Bearly Making It Antiques, which has an access to the alley between Third and Fourth streets.
She responded: “I’ve had a chance to do what? Walk the alleys.”
Because of council interest, Kjellin said he will try to find funding to fix at least one alley in 2013. However, he said it might not be easy with a street project planned for 2013. He cited that snow removal between Feb. 20 and 23 cost the city $7,885 in equipment and labor.
He said alley construction could begin when temperatures consistently reach between 60 and 70 degrees.
In other business:
- The council decided to have Bearly Making It Antiques pay an entire January and February water bill at its storage barn on North Walnut. The January bill was $258 and the February bill was $243. Owner Dennis Maggard said there was a leak that was not found until the city changed a water meter. Kjellin countered that Bearly Making It received uncharged water for about two years.
- The council heard a presentation from the Marion Housing Authority in charge of Hilltop Apartments. The housing authority receives $25,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The maximum a resident pays for rent in apartment is $389 while the minimum is $55.
- The Council approved a contract with Donna Crawford with Governmental Assistance Services for grant administration. Crawford will be paid $62.50 an hour. The city will have the ability to get out of the contract at any time.
- Clifford Hett was named as a replacement for Angela Lange on the Park Board.