The Marysville City Council met Monday, and gave final approval for the mayor to sign and proceed with acquisition of the former Union Pacific Depot, and surrounding property, as all conditions in the purchase contract previously agreed to have been met. Contractor bids for lead paint and asbestos removal for the depot came in $42,000 under the cap of $177,000, which the railroad had agreed to pay for the work. This was the final contingent, following recent confirmation that Union Pacific had released restrictions on development of the east parking lot, which comprises the city block to the north of Westar. Two offers to purchase that part of the property from the city have already come forward, and members of the Historic Depot Restoration Group were in attendance, and assured that the group was ready to move forward immediately in closing on purchase of the building, as well as parking north and south for $20,000.
A memorandum of understanding with Marshall County Commissioners regarding distribution of intangible tax refunds requested by city residents was approved. Council member Carla Grund suggested and proposed submitting several pages of minor changes to the agreement, but was advised by City Attorney John McNish that the memo would not be accepted by the county with changes. She was concerned with what she termed as wordsmithing, and a power play by the County Attorney in drafting the terms of the memorandum, which allows Marysville residents to file for a refund of intangible taxes billed in 2014, and a corresponding adjustment in distribution of the proceeds to the city. It was reported that as of Monday, over 70% of potential refund requests had already been filed. Following a lengthy discussion, a motion to approve the memo as proposed passed 5-2, with Grund and Vicki Gross voting no. They agreed that they were not opposed to the principal of the issue, but were concerned with wording of the draft.
Bid opening is set for February 22nd at City Hall for repainting the water tower. Previous bids had come in considerably over estimates, and were rejected. The city was finding difficulty finding multiple bidders, concerned primarily with liability for overspray issues with adjacent property owners. Options as to the finish, and alternates were outlined, and it is hoped that multiple bids will be coming forward for consideration.
Following discussion, adjustments to the five year airport development plan on file with the FAA, as suggested by the Airport Advisory Committee were approved. The confirmation does not obligate the city to any future projects, but keeps state and federal funding options available.
The City Administrator recapped final income and expenses for 2014, noting that sales tax receipts were below $1 million for the first year since 2002. No other major changes were noted. Payroll was up nearly $48,000, with $42,000 of that total attributed to extra hours for swimming pool operations. It was consensus of the council to go out for bid for the city property and liability insurance coverage, following inquiry from two local agencies interested in submitting bids. A motion was approved to fund the City Clerks attendance at several meetings in Kansas, as well as $1,625 for attending a national conference for a week in Hartford, Connecticut. Council member Vicki Gross raised concern with the out of state travel expense, and time out of the office. City Clerk Debbie Price is serving as a national officer for the clerks association, and has the opportunity to be considered for national president. After discussion, the motion to approve passed 4-3 with Gross, Carla Grund, and Dennis Schroller voting no.