Marion shoots offer of $80,000 for lots for new jail years ago

Staff reporter

At a special meeting Feb. 4, Marion City Council made a commitment to the Marion County Commission regarding the location of a new jail facility at the city's industrial park.

A letter was composed by city administrator David Mayfield regarding the city's offer of land to the county.

The city agreed to sell four lots in Batt Industrial Park to the county for $80,000. The legal description is Lots 4, 5, 6, and 7, Block 2, Batt Industrial Park, Marion.

The four lots, between seven and eight acres, are located at the south end of the park, southeast of Cardie Oil Tire and Service Center, in an undeveloped area where there are no utilities or streets.

The commitment is contingent on a bond issue being approved by voters in the November general election.

The council also voted not to locate the Marion Police Department in the county law enforcement center.

The plat of the area shows a cul-de-sac, located between the lots which would not be developed should the bond issue pass and the county commission decide to build the facility at that location.

If all goes as proposed, the jail facility would be located just north of Kellison Street, between Roosevelt and Freeborn streets, and adjacent to residential neighborhoods and a park.

Miscommunication was cited as the reason for the city not responding to a request made two months ago for a proposal.

The letter was sent to county commissioners Feb. 6, and discussed at Monday's county commission meeting.

At that meeting, county clerk Carol Maggard said she had talked with Marion Mayor Mary Olson and was told that the cost of sewer and water would be the same price as $20,000 per lot. Commissioner Dan Holub questioned whether utilities would cost as much because there currently are utilities at two new businesses and three new buildings not too far from the proposed site.

Marion city officials will attend the Feb. 25 commission meeting to discuss connecting links and the commission will discuss the lots with them at that time.