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Wheeler appointed to city council

Staff writer

As one Marion city council member stepped away from the job, another was appointed to take his place.

John Wheeler, who came in a close third in the most recent city council election, will be sworn in at the May 23 meeting. His appointment, approved at Monday’s city council meeting, was recommended by Mayor Todd Heitschmidt after Chad Adkins, who is moving to Texas, announced his resignation effective Tuesday.

Heitschmidt said his choice was based on election results. Wheeler got 66 votes, coming in only seven votes behind Melissa Mermis. Wheeler is a sixth-generation Marion resident with an interest in economic development and a background in sales.

“I’m thrilled,” Wheeler said of his appointment. “I’m excited, anxious to get started and greatly honored to have this opportunity.”

Adkins had a few parting words for other council members.

“I just want to say thank you to the city for the last two years,” Adkins told fellow council members.

He asked for prayer as he and his family go to the next stage of their lives.

Adkins said serving on the council had been a positive experience for him.

“I would encourage people in the town to get involved,” Adkins said.

Turning to another property matter, the council heard from Jason Schafers, who recently purchased 118 S. Freeborn from Allen Church. The city had been at odds with previous owners Church and Paul and Elaine Morse since last year over the condition of the property and issued an order in late April that if the property did not get major repairs within 90 days, the city would raze the house.

Schafers presented a detailed plan that would have required repairs completed by Nov. 9.

Council member Melissa Mermis asked Schafers about his intention for use of the house.

“Initially I’m thinking as a rental,” Schafers said.

Council members voted to extend the deadline for repairs by an additional 180 days.

Marion Police Department was approved to purchase a vehicle that will better transport the department’s drug dog.

Assistant police chief Clinton Jeffrey and chief Tyler Mermis discussed with the council a 2011 Chevy Tahoe, already equipped with cage, light bar, and sirens, that is for sale in Chicago for $10,000.

“All of it will come out of our seizure money,” Mermis said. “It won’t cost the taxpayers any money.”

Council members approved the purchase pending the officers inspecting the vehicle to make sure all is as advertised.

In other business, the council:

  • approved a contract to hire the Pictometry company to conduct an aerial mapping survey of the city;
  • passed an Animal at Large ordinance; and
  • granted a fireworks sale permit to Wholesale Fireworks.

Last modified May 12, 2016

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