• Last modified 42 days ago (April 18, 2024)


City studies whether it needs a study

But forgets that it agreed just last year to pay $5,000 for one

Staff writer

In discussing grant opportunities Monday night, Marion City Council heard that interim administrator Mark McAnarney planned to talk to consultants about commissioning a new study of how many residents have low or moderate income.

To qualify for community development block grants, 51% must fall in that category.

What he didn’t know and council members and staff didn’t point out is that the city paid the same consultants $5,000 just over a year ago to perform exactly that study, and such studies are valid for at least two years.

McAnarney said Tuesday that he hadn’t realized a study had been done that recently, but he would talk about it with consultant Rose Mary Saunders from Ranson Financial this week.

“We’re checking into it to see if we need to do it,” McAnarney said.

Only one current council member, Zach Collett, was a member of the council when the last study was undertaken. However, all ranking city staff other than McAnarney were in office at that time.

The council also spent time Monday discussing a hiking and biking trail from Marion to the county lake.

Darin Neufeld of EBH Engineering talked about applying for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant to develop the trail, no specific route for which has been set.

A potential hangup, he said, would be in obtaining property easements for eight of more property owners along whatever route is chosen.

Council members expressed a consensus that Neufeld work on an application for a grant to build the trail. He said his firm would not charge for that work and an income study probably not be needed for that project.

In other business, code enforcement inspector James Masters reported to council members on work being done to repair a house that was determined to be a nuisance property in October.

Masters showed council members photos taken Monday morning and pointed out improvement made since the city threatened to demolish the building.

In a previous report March 7, Masters had said he still wasn’t happy with the house and that it needed more work on a handful of things.

He maintained Monday that a few things still need to be done. Among them were painting and removal of debris from the yard.

But he agreed that the matter no longer needed to be on council agendas unless some snag occurred.

In other business, council members heard that:

  • Mayor Mike Powers intends to reappoint the city clerk, assistant city clerk, treasurer, attorney, municipal judge, court clerk, and fire chief at the council’s May 7 meeting.
  • No police chief will be appointed at that time. Zach Hudlin has been interim since Gideon Cody resigned last fall after it became public knowledge he that had instructed restaurateur Kari Newell to destroy evidence of police conduct leading up to an Aug. 11 raid of the Marion County Record. Powers said he and McAnarney thought it was time to start advertising for a permanent chief.
  • A floodplain ordinance passed two weeks ago needed to be revised to remove errors pointed out by the Record as it prepared to publish the an April 1 version of the ordinance.

Last modified April 18, 2024