Marion refuses to pay full pool bill
Marion city council members split the difference with USD 408 after getting a higher-than-anticipated bill for the city’s share of operating the community swimming pool.
The city’s share is paid annually, and the invoice is typically $14,977.51, lower than the $17,221.62 billed this year.
Council members didn’t understand why the cost should be higher when the pool was closed nine weeks because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
City administrator Roger Holter said he’d called the school district and was told administrative expenses had gone up with the hiring of another worker, and that lifeguards had been paid through the time the pool was closed.
City officials hadn’t been told about additional personnel being hired or the lifeguards being paid while the pool was closed, though.
Holter suggested the council modify the amount paid to the school district.
Council member Jerry Kline didn’t hesitate to warn that he didn’t think the city should pay less than the invoice.
“If we don’t go along with this, we’re going to bite it somewhere else,” Kline said.
Councilman Susan Gray suggested paying the full amount and notifying the school district that they need to communicate better with the city on expenses related to the pool.
Council members cast a 4-1 vote to pay the typical amount of $14,977.51, with Kline voting against the motion.
“Our whole point is, communication is a good thing,” mayor David Mayfield said.
School superintendent Aaron Homburg could not be reached for comment on the city council decision.