Fee waivers used as construction incentive

Staff writer

Marion City Council members hope a limited-time waiver of sewer and water tap fees passed Monday will help move along completion of housing units for the Homestead Affordable Housing project.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin asked the council to clarify an April agreement in which the city waived building permit and inspection fees.

“The letter does not mention sewer and tap fees, but the expectation is that these should also be included in the waiver request,” Kjellin said.

The tap fees for connecting to city systems are $400 for sewer and $350 for water. Kjellin said the waivers would amount to $2,700 through completion of the project.

“I would like to see if we’re going to waive fees that it be contingent on the project as previously presented, with the completion date of 48 months or 60 months, so they can’t change it,” council member Todd Heitschmidt said.

The council approved granting the fee waivers provided nine remaining duplexes in the plan are constructed by Jan. 1, 2018.

Bank quotes

Marion National Bank was the only local bank to respond to the city’s request for quotes for banking services for the next three years.

Heitschmidt, president of Central National Bank, said he believed the bid was not complete until after the deadline, when MNB sent a correction to include fees that were omitted in the original proposal.

“The only bid we have was not complete by the due date as presented. The other item I noticed was not complete was the 91 days for the interest calculation. That doesn’t give you much consistency or what way to go.”

Heitschmidt said a scheduling error caused CNB to miss submitting a quote.

Council members Jerry Dieter and Chris Meierhoff expressed concern about the lack of a specific interest rate for the city operating account.

“They don’t have that on here,” Meierhoff said.

The council approved a motion by Dieter to reject the contract because of the interest rate question, and to request new proposals by Sept. 27. Three members voted in favor of the motion, and Heitschmidt abstained from voting. Mayor Mary Olson was not present.

Airstream lease

Kjellin presented a five-year lease-purchase agreement with Mark Evans to relocate his Airstream restoration business, The Airstream Guy, to the spec building in the industrial park.

Evans will make an $8,500 down payment and quitclaim his current lot to the city. The remainder of the purchase price, $72,500, will be paid in monthly installments of $573, with a balloon payment of $54,054 due at the end of the five-year term.

Soyez retires

More than a dozen representatives of Marion County law enforcement agencies were on hand to honor Bob Soyez, who is retiring as a part-time Marion officer. Soyez started with Marion Police Department in 1978 and also worked for Marion County Sheriff’s Department. He received a certificate and a gift.

“We’re going to miss Bob, because we all look at him like a father,” Chief of Police Tyler Mermis said. “He’s been a good friend and a good employee.”

In other business:

  • Owners of a dilapidated property at 656 N. Cedar Street were given 60 days to demolish the property. The action gives the city authority to tear down the structure if the owner fails to comply.
  • A scope of work agreement with Wilson & Company for final assessment of the levee required for Federal Emergency Management Agency certification was approved for $231,945.
  • Bill Smithhart, Ed Wheeler, and Harlow Warneke were appointed as appraisers for levee certification. Doug Lind was named an alternate.
  • A revised fireworks ordinance was presented and discussed. The ordinance was tabled to allow additional modifications.
  • Jan Helmer was appointed to a four-year term on the Recreation Commission.

The next meeting of the council will be 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

Quantcast