The Marysville City Council met Tuesday, and unanimously approved a roughly 15% increase of $2.40 per hour for police officers, bringing the starting wage to $18.23 per hour, which is in line with the county sheriff’s department. Concern with staff reduction to 50% due to several officers leaving prompted the consideration. Larry Wenzel, who had retired, has indicated he would come back part time. James Leis who had been on the force, is planning to return, and an assistant chief to replace David Ohlde plans to start in January. A request for holiday pay for Chief Todd Ackerman was denied on a 3-2 vote, as some council members felt that should be part of his salary package.
A 1.5% increase in the transient guest tax, which is levied by local motels on guests was approved unanimously. Proceeds fund Marysville Convention and Tourism activities. The approval followed discussion where councilman Kevin Throm expressed concern that we may be pricing local lodging higher than other communities and may potentially lose business.
A comparison with construction costs for a number of fire stations built in recent years in various Kansas communities raised comment that estimated costs of for a new fire station in Marysville are high. Engineers have estimated construction at $173 per square foot, for a 10,000 square foot building. Other communities came in closer to $100 per square foot. Some used volunteer labor, and a Kan Step program, which is no longer available. With that, Mayor Carla Grund urged the city be aggressive in seeking competitive bids and contact some of the builders of area facilities to determine their interest. She was hopeful to bring the project cost in closer to $1 million.
A contract for the Veterans Wall is complete, and the display will be at Feldhausen Field next September 17-20. Fundraising efforts continue with a goal of $10,000 to fund the visit.
Christmas opening in Marysville will be Saturday, December 7th, including Santa’s arrival and parade among many other events. Council was invited to a joint meeting of the Marysville Chamber of Commerce, and Marysville Main Street on December 11th, to discuss future directions for the two organizations. The breakfast meeting will be at the Wagon Wheel at 7 a.m.
Council voted not to assist with funding a sewer hookup for a new residence planned along Keystone Road. The property has been annexed, and if sewer service is not provided the owners could request de-annexation. A point was made that property tax proceeds would quickly offset an estimated $2,000 cost. Concern was expressed regarding fairness to others who had paid for sewer hookups when the eastside district was established, and with regard to setting future precedence in such matters. The issue has been a discussion point for several months and was denied on a 4-1 vote.
Marysville request for a Kansas Department of Transportation matching grant for improvement of 11th/12th and Keystone was not approved. Ninety-two applications were received for this round of funding, and the city was advised that the application would be carried over to a possible future funding opportunity.
Concept drafts from the Kansas State University Visioning classes for downtown urban revitalization, and potential improvements for city owned property surrounding the historic Union Pacific depot will be on display the rest of this month at the arts center. The public is encouraged to tour the exhibit.