Marshall County Commissioner Jon Ungerer spoke with Marysville City Council Monday night requesting consideration of an interlocal agreement that would allow the county to move forward with a possible sales tax to fund the balance of a new jail facility. A half cent additional would raise the sales tax to 9.1%, with the county taking 100% of the half cent proceeds. If cities were to agree, the question could be put on a fall ballot, rather than approaching the state legislature which delay the process until next year. Council would need to make a decision at or before the August 14 council meeting.
In response to why a sales tax is being pursued versus property tax, Ungerer responded that due to valuation increases, property taxes have and are expected to continue going up, and that concern combined with location were the top reasons heard from the public opposed to a previous effort to fund a new jail. The county has an option on the Nordhus property east of the current jail and is revising designs. Council member Coleen Behrens questioned the sales tax level, which would be higher than many adjacent communities. Mayor Jason Barnes noted that adding this to a half cent currently funding Community Memorial Healthcare could put that renewal upcoming in jeopardy and would allow less room for the city to consider any future sales tax that may be deemed necessary for roads, recreation facilities, or the like.
Merits of the request were a broader base of contributors, with outside dollars also coming in, and concern of business owners particularly hit by high property taxes. Council member Jeff Keating asked if the county was cooperating to a full degree with cities on economic development, and expansion. He specifically noted a need for street improvements. Ungerer expressed concern with remodeling the current jail, saying that could run some $9-10 million, and still present future challenges. A consideration at the east Marysville site was allowing for future expansion. Council member Kevin Throm said that residents want to know specifically what county commissioners want to do, and a final firm cost that doesn’t result in an open checkbook. A motion to table the matter to the August 14 meeting was passed unanimously.
Ethan and Andrew Crownover met with council to discuss cleanup of a nuisance property in southwest Marysville. They requested clarification of a previous agreement with council, and updated progress. Discussion was that the property would need a provisional use permit, or rezoning. Concern from council was a used car back lot that could become an eyesore. Later in the meeting, on a related matter council member parker price presented a resolution draft that could allow temporary permitting for restoration of a disabled vehicle which is setting outside. Options and specifics were discussed further and will be considered by an ad hoc committee consisting of Parker Price, Todd Frye, and Jeff Keating.
Mark Hoffman outlined requests for the 10th annual Pony Express Gravel Dash, which is expected to draw some 350 riders Saturday September 9, along with a 5k/half marathon benefit for St. Gregory Catholic School. Registration for riders will be that Friday evening, with a Saturday morning departure downtown, and arrivals back that afternoon.
Engineers with BG Consultants reviewed plans for updating and expanding the city sewage lagoon west of Marysville adding a wetland. The low bid of four submitted was from Superior Construction, at a base bid cost of $1.74 million, with an optional alternate adding an additional $112,000 primarily for additional concrete. Engineers had estimated a total near $2 million, and bids ranged to over $4.7 million. Additionally, work including de-sludging and screening is estimated at another $1.15 million, which would bring the total project cost to over $3 million, with a loan/forgiveness of $600,000 to $950,000 available through Kansas Department of Health and Environment. An option to add a building at the lagoon site could add another $200-250,000. A motion was passed unanimously to proceed with application for state approval, and contingent acceptance of the low bid on the base option, proceeding with construction accordingly. The options will be considered further.
Follow up on nuisance violations were presented for properties at 303 North, 410 Carolina, and 504 Spring, with hearings for resolutions on properties at 1301 Calhoun, 500 and 502 Jenkins, and 300 Calhoun streets.
A lease request from Verizon for locating a 185-foot cellular tower in the south industrial park, immediately south of the water plant building was presented. Council discussed alternate locations and noted that it was not in a residential neighborhood and should improve cell service in the community. No action was taken, and the matter will be brought to the next meeting.
Three bids were received for a water line project at 8th and Elm with a low bid of $421,000 from Jadwin Construction, 40 percent over estimates. The low bid was approved unanimously, with work to be completed this year and funded through water revenue and sales tax proceeds.
City administrator presented information regarding placement of a junkyard, and related zoning requirements as requested previously by council.
The girl scout troop no longer wishes to use the cabin on city property on north Nineth Street, and the adjacent boy scout cabin were discussed. The property was purchased by the city on foreclosure in 1940, and the boy scout cabin dates to the 1930’s and the girl scout cabin to the 1940’s and were formerly railroad cars and a railroad building. Consensus was to consider application of any individual or organization wishing to renovate and reuse the building should contact city hall.
Appointment of Ty Warren to replace Wayne Kruse who has resigned from the Convention and Tourism Committee was approved.
City attorney presented an option for securing and removing abandoned vehicles. Recent cleanup efforts have been slowed as residents are unwilling or unable to move disabled vehicles, and a policy was suggested as to a simple process for a bid process whereby the city could sell such vehicles after appropriate notice.