• Last modified 669 days ago (June 21, 2017)


Museum asks for more money

Staff writer

Expanding digitized records, forming partnerships with other museums, and adding programs for the public are 2018 goals for Marion Historical Museum, board chairman Pamela Varenhorst told city council members Monday.

The museum has been working to digitize all artifacts, but the best software is expensive and a dedicated internet line is needed. The museum is asking the city for extra help.

Its budget request for 2018 is $12,600, a $2,600 increase from last year.

The difference may be offset by revenue generated by the police department. Chief Tyler Mermis was given permission to buy the department’s next squad car with money that comes from $20 fees charged for vehicle identification number inspections, and from asset seizures granted by the courts.

When police believe a person has intention of distributing drugs found in the car, police can seize the vehicle and file a petition in court to retain the vehicle.

“When we seize a vehicle and file for an asset forfeiture, we wait until the court process is done and they are convicted,” Mermis said.

If the judge grants forfeiture of a vehicle, the police department ordinarily auctions the vehicle.

“We’ve seized money, too,” Mermis said. “That money also goes into the law enforcement funds.”

Mermis said the department had enough money saved in its account to buy a car and do some other things.

The car, a 2012 Chevrolet Impala formerly used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will cost $8,895.

Council members reviewed a first draft of the overall 2018 city budget.

“What we’re presenting will not increase the ad valorem mill levy,” city administrator Roger Holter said. “We’re trying to buy our citizens a little flexibility as they adjust to higher state income taxes.”

A budget work session is scheduled for July 10, and a public forum on the budget will be July 17.

Council members approved invoices from EBH Engineering for work on Streetscapes and the possibility of a joint Marion/Hillsboro water plant. The Streetscapes project is a renovation of lighting, sidewalks, and accessibility compliance along Main St. from 1st to 5th Sts. that has been ongoing for three years. Kansas Department of Transportation will pay $705,000 of the estimated $900,000 project.

For the Marion/Hillsboro water project, any building would be about 10 years in the future, Holter said.

Council members approved issuing a request for proposals for $62,000 needed for lease-purchase of a trash truck. The truck will replace one being operated now. The truck now used will be retained as a back-up, and the current back-up will be sold. Trash trucks are on a 10-year replacement schedule.

Holter told council members that a new state law requires amusement rides, permanent or portable, to be inspected and registered with the state.

Permanent rides, including the water slide at the Sports and Aquatic Center, will have to be inspected annually at a cost of $500 and registered annually at a cost of $75.

Temporary rides, including inflatable bounce houses used at Chingawassa Days, will have to be inspected annually at a cost of $250 and registered each time they are used at a cost of $30.

Last modified June 21, 2017