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Marion council moves to condemn 2 houses

News editor

Marion City Council targeted two dilapidated houses for condemnation at its Dec. 22 meeting, voting to schedule public hearings for property owners to “show cause” why the buildings should not be demolished.

Annette Kline owns the house at 530 Walnut St., in front of the water plant. She no longer lives in town, City Administrator Roger Holter said.

“The efforts to force resolution have failed,” Holter said. “There is now animal infestation and unlawful access to this building that’s not safe.”

Richard Harrington is the owner of 432 Arbor St. in Jex Addition. The property has two primary residences, one of them built without a proper building permit, Holter said.

“I’ve driven by the property and it’s in sad shape,” council member Jerry Dieter said. “They don’t have any water or electricity in it, and it looks like the roof has fallen in.”

“The chief of police did get the immediate hazards cleaned up,” Holter said. “The yard had debris in it that would cause injury to children or anyone entering the property.”

The hearings will be at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in the city council room.

New businesses

A crop spraying business, which the council discussed in October without revealing the prospective owner’s name, will open for business this spring at Marion Airport.

A lease was approved for Matthew Orth, who had been working for Tri-Rotor Crop Services of Ulysses.

Orth will pay for a new hangar, utility extensions, and taxiway modifications needed to accommodate the service. The annual lease amount will be determined by the square footage Orth occupies.

“The intent is to have this facility operational for spring season, which would be in April,” Holter said.

A $1 contract was approved for sale of the northeast lot in Batt Industrial Park for a proposed Dollar General store. The Petrous Group, a Tulsa-based commercial property management group, is the purchaser.

Marion Economic Development Director Terry Jones said The Petraus Group reduced restrictions on other business development to three lots. He said the developer was flexible with other concerns as well.

“He told me just to make the changes, so I did, and he accepted them,” Jones said. “Anything I had concerns about he just deleted.”

Jones said average annual sales for a Dollar General store are $1.5 million will significantly boost sales tax revenue.

“With Dollar General we will go up another 11 percent,” Jones said.

A final decision on the store is expected to come out of a meeting on Jan. 14, Jones said.

In other business:

  • Electric and water rate increases discussed at a prior meeting were passed. The residential base monthly rate for electricity is $12, and the commercial rate is $14. Both are chared 13.35 cents per kwh. The base water rate is $30 up to 1,000 gallons, and $5 per each additional 1,000 gallons.
  • Special purpose vehicles such as ATVs can get to any part of the city after the council amended the ATV ordinance to allow all special purpose vehicles to cross Main Street bridge via the sidewalk. Holter said pavement will be put down between the curb and sidewalk to allow room for pedestrians and vehicles. Special purpose vehicles are also allowed to cross Main Street.
  • The council instructed Holter to research options for a public Wi-Fi network for Central Park and Main Street.

Last modified Dec. 30, 2014

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