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Marion City Council votes to refinance bonds

Staff writer

Marion City Council approved the sale of two separate city-owned items Monday.

Under the advice of Ranson Financial accountant Rose Mary Saunders, the City Council unanimously passed Resolution 11-11which refinanced a general obligation bond and then authorized the city to sell the bond worth $800,000 for 2012 through 2021.

“Refundees are a high item,” Saunders said. “Interest rates are low and people are looking to refinance.”

Saunders’ debt analysis report states that Marion has $922,000 worth of non-exempt debt, 7.8 percent of the budget, and a total debt of $3,788,600, 32.06 percent of the budget. Saunders said both percentages are good.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin also brought forward a proposal to sell 240 single-phase electric meters, 33 three-phase meters, 12 three-phase, seven-terminal solid state electric meters, and five single-phase, six-terminal electric meters.

He said he prefers to sell the entire lot for $6,050 to another municipality.

“Even if it is less than $6,050, we can accept that; we’ll just take the best offer,” Kjellin said. “A little bit of something is better than all of nothing.”

Third-quarter finances

The council also approved finances for the end of the third quarter.

The city has used 80 percent of the budget, $5,268,875. The city has $103,813 remaining in the budget with $379,998 in cash.

The special highway account and equipment reserve are both under budgeted. The special highway is over $56,405 and the equipment reserve is over $12,404.

Municipal judge

The council took a 7-minute executive session to discuss hiring a new municipal judge. The council gave Kjellin the authority to look for a new judge.

Bryson Mills resigned from the municipal judge position.

Recycling

Marion County Commissioner Dan Holub spoke to the council and recommended the city of Marion work with the county to put two large recycling bins in the town.

Waste Connections is canceling 58 curbside pickups in Marion. Holub was saying the county transfer station could not handle that entire recycling load.

“Rollin (Schmidt) and I visited with them,” Holub said. “It’s not going to come back.”

The large bins are picked up by Waste Connections and have been placed in Peabody, Goessel, and Florence.

“People don’t need to sort, they’re open 24-7,” Holub said. “It’s a very popular thing.”

Holub is asking the city of Marion to pay some of the cost for the bins. The council tabled a decision on the issue.

“It looks like it’s just going to be pure expense for us,” Kjellin said. “We can dump all we want (at the transfer station) — it’s the county’s responsibility to get rid of it.”

Kansas Power Pool

The council voted that they prefer to pay a lump sum to the Kansas Power Pool to retrofit all of the city’s Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines.

The lump sum is $67,300. The measure was a non-binding commitment to KPP. The update of engines is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency but there is a bill in congress, authored by Kansas U.S. senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, that would make some municipalities exempt from the regulation.

Kjellin said KPP is preparing for the regulation as if the bill will not be passed.

“Are we going to have more cash up front or are we going to have to finance it?” Kjellin asked.

Mayor Mary Olson motioned to pay in a lump sum and Bill Holdeman seconded it. Jerry Kline and Chris Meierhoff opposed the motion.

Mapping

The City Council again tabled a decision about mapping electrical and water utilities in case of a disaster.

Red Ribbon week

The city approved a proclamation from Josh Whitwell proclaiming Oct. 22 through 30 Red Ribbon week.

The week is meant to instruct and encourage youth to abstain from drug use. The main event of the week will be a march by USD 408 students through town Oct. 24.

Last modified Oct. 19, 2011

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