Marion City Council authorized a quit claim deed Monday to transfer ownership of land east and south of the grain elevator on South Third Street to Cooperative Grain & Supply.
“The city still owns it from an original quit claim deed from the railroad. I think everybody in town pretty much figured it was co-op ground anyway,” City Administrator Doug Kjellin said.
The discrepancy was discovered when Cooperative Grain started the process of constructing an additional grain bin on the property.
“We’re on a fast-forward process because we have a window with the contractor to get this bin done by fall harvest,” Cooperative Service General Manager Lyman Adams said. “We discovered Wednesday we had a dilemma. They’re wanting to start the first of June, and we need them to start then.”
The area, approximately three-quarters of an acre, was formerly a spur line for railroad cars to be loaded. An existing bin partially sits on the property.
“We met with Doug and had a good discussion, and I appreciate his promptness in getting to this matter,” Adams said.
Another large bin on the property is a component of a tentative longer-range plan, Adams said.
“Lyman has already agreed any engineering or costs would be the responsibility of the co-op, so there is no cash out of pocket for the city,” Kjellin said.
The council voted unanimously to approve the quit claim deed.
“We’ve been fiddling with this for the better part of a year,” City Attorney Keith Collett said as he introduced a proposed ordinance regulating truck parking within the city limits.
An existing 45-minute limit on street parking has been augmented with a 45-limit on running engines and refrigeration units on trucks in residential areas.
“If they are unloading, I rewrote that to allow 90 minutes for unloading of trailers in any place in the city,” Collett said.
Anyone who wants to park a truck or trailer on private property in areas zoned residential would have to apply for a permit.
Collett cautioned the council that the ordinance is still in draft form and that public comments should be solicited before finalizing and acting on the ordinance.
“This is rough, you’re not acting on it tonight, nor do I think that you should act on it at the next meeting,” Collett said. “Some of the stakeholders involved are local truckers. They will want to be heard and should be heard.”
Kjellin stressed that the ordinance applies to residential areas, not commercial.
“If it’s a legitimate business that’s already zoned commercial, a lot of this doesn’t apply,” Kjellin said.
A public comment period will be scheduled for the May 29 council meeting.
Parks Advisory Board Member Pam Bowers reported on a bid from Mark Moore of Wichita for repairs to the spring in Brooker Central Park, which has been leaking water.
“The water recirculates there at the spring. The city is having to add water every month because there’s a leak, and it’s costing $300 a month,” Bowers said.
“The liner has pulled out from the sides and the water is going over the liner and going underneath and dissipating through the soil, or going out beyond where we collect to recycle,” Kjellin said.
Reattaching and securing the liner on the side should eliminate most of the water loss, Kjellin said.
“What was their bid?” Mayor Mary Olson asked.
“$7,000-something,” Kjellin said. The expense for the repairs would come from the Brooker fund.
Council member Todd Heitschmidt raised the issue of security in the park relative to possible repairs.
“The only way I’m going to give support to the repair is that we provide some additional funding out of the Brooker funds for some kind of surveillance equipment,” Heitschmidt said.
“Is there more going on?” Olson asked.
“Madam Mayor, we’re having to spend $7,000 because individuals are throwing rocks in the park. We can’t do that year after year,” Heitschmidt said.
“With the new bathrooms we’ve proposed, we have to have something,” Heitschmidt said. “We have a $17,000 surveillance package that included the entire park. I would definitely consider something less.”
The issue of increasing security by restricting road access in the park was also discussed. No action was taken by the council related to the park board report.
In other business:
- The council discussed a proposal to augment water drainage around the new county jail. The council decided the current design should be assessed after the jail is operational, and take action at a future date if design modifications are warranted.
- Olson signed a proclamation designating the week of May 20 to 26 as Emergency Medical Services Week. Marion County EMS Director Steve Smith expressed his appreciation, described future challenges for the service, and asked for council support of current and potential volunteers.
- The council approved the purchase of Chingawassa Day buttons for 24 full-time city employees, at a cost of $552.
- Bills in the amount of $145,819 and payroll in the amount of $27,666 were approved.
The next meeting of the council is scheduled for May 29.