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City flips county proposal for 4th St.

Staff writer

After a long discussion, Marion City Council agreed on a proposal to present to Marion County Commission about construction on Fourth and Williams streets on Monday.

The council suggested the city would pay about $88,000. That amount would cover 40 percent of the cost of concrete paving for the section of Fourth Street from Williams Street to Library Street and all of Williams Street. Fourth Street from Williams to Library has already been torn up by the county because of jail construction. The city would pay all of the cost of the section of Fourth Street from Main to Williams, about $40,000, City Administrator Doug Kjellin said.

“It’s time the city gets a little more progressive in terms of its infrastructure,” council member Todd Heitschmidt said.

Under this proposal, the county would pay $100,000 toward the project and would be responsible for brick removal for the street.

The county originally opposed a split with the city picking up 60 percent of the tab for both Fourth and Williams Streets. In that proposal the county would pay $62,000 while the city was responsible for roughly $161,000.

The county amount included $18,000 which it owes the city for city crew charges, water and sewer tap fees, and other costs concerning Fourth Street.

The council voted unanimously to apply the $18,000 fee separate from street construction.

“We don’t have to do anything,” Heitschmidt said.

“It was agreed that we would,” council member Jerry Kline said.

Part of the debate between Mayor Mary Olson and Heitschmidt was whether the county would accept a proposal that included Williams Street.

“I would agree that the county will turn that down, but Williams Street is not just a Marion street,” Heitschmidt said. “I don’t think you play your cards all at once.”

Kjellin said the city would be able to pay and complete some of the road project this year with the different plans presented toward the council. However, with the current proposal, he said a street bond for 2013 would be necessary to pay for the project. Although he said the project could begin in 2012 if the bond is prepared smoothly, it would be at least December before funds could be secured. He added that early 2013 would be a more likely starting time for the street project.

In the mean time, Kjellin suggested a temporary patching for the section of Fourth Street that is damaged.

Alley

The council came to a split decision about repaving an alley between Third and Second Street, between Central National Bank and Marion County Record office.

Kjellin presented two options from Hett Construction. The first option was to repair the entire alley, 227 feet. Option one was slated to cost $19,664. The second option was for 164-feet of alley, which takes out 50 feet on the Second Street side. Option two had a price tag of $14,195.

Council member Jerry Dieter made a motion for approval. Dieter and Chris Meierhoff voted for the alley replacement but Kline and Olson voted against it.

Heitschmidt abstained from voting because of a conflict of interest as Central National Bank president. The council voted 4-1 to place the item on the next council agenda July 9, with Kline opposed. Heitschmidt said he was going to conduct more research to determine if he actually had a conflict. The city owns every alley in Marion.

Last modified June 28, 2012

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