The Marysville City Council met Monday and approved an option to use temporary notes to fund the balance of a new fire station proposed for construction on north 20th street. The decision as to financing is required in advance of a grant submission which is being finalized. Initial projections were to utilize $430,000 that the city currently has available, coupled with the potential of a $600,000 grant that would fully fund a million-dollar structure. The architect returned with a $1.2 million estimate during a presentation to the council this summer. Then, as the grant application was considered, soft costs were added, now bringing total construction estimates to $1.6 million, leaving the city short some $500,000 to $600,000 to fully fund the facility.
Options for temporary notes, or bonds were discussed, with the mayor suggesting that a series of five-year notes could be repaid through the fire department budget, without affecting the current mill levy. The vote to proceed passed 5-1, with Terry Hughes voting no. He expressed concern with the significant increase from initial estimates and was not comfortable borrowing money for a non-necessity. That prompted other council members response, including Diane Schroller who indicated that citizens she was hearing from were also expressing concerns. Consensus showed a reluctance to downsize the size of the building, which is designed to house all of the city fire and rescue equipment in a single location. Comment was also made that borrowing costs remain low, and construction costs will inevitably rise. After conversation, city staff was advised to compare costs with comparable cities that have recently built structures, and to investigate the potential of using fundraisers to provide some funding. It was decided that the grant coordinator should be available to address questions from the public an hour before the next council meeting, that portion running from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, October 14, with a public hearing during the regular council meeting following that evening at 7 p.m. Public comment may also be brought forward during the public hearing.
Contractor estimate for repair of the north three tennis courts in the city park has risen from $21,000 to $30,000. That after cracks requiring reseal were more significant than originally thought. The process will include a new color coat and marking and will be guaranteed for five years. Some council members were reluctant with a short-term fix but saw no other options as USD 364 has indicated that they do not currently have any capital outlay funds available. The mayor suggested that the temporary fix may buy time to continue a cost share conversation with the district at some point in the future. Vote was to proceed with the work, to be funded through the Parks and Recreation budget. Approval of a $20,000 bid for new computers at City Hall and the Police Department was granted.
A group of Kansas State University students have completed a housing study, and will visit Marysville in October, meeting with various community leaders to discuss the next phases of an urban planning project, and consider future development and uses for the city owned property on north seventh street, surrounding the historic Union Pacific depot. They will compile their concept ideas, and recommendations for a public meeting planned November 6.