Marion City Council

Rece Roper (center in khaki pants), a freshman at Marion High School, raised $7,500 selling bricks salvaged from South Market Street to be engraved and placed in sidewalks along South Market Street. Pictured are Acting Mayor Anthony Rinella (front, from left), Susie Selock and children from the After School Program at Boyton Street Community Center, Roper, Ivan and Wanda Zwick of Lighthouse Shelter and Marlin Otte of Marion Ministerial Alliance; Back, from left City Commissioners Jim Webb, John Goss and Angelo Hightower. 

Marilyn Halstead, The Southern

MARION — Marion City Council voted Monday evening to approve a tax levy on corporate and special purpose property taxes of $1,831,152, an increase of 1.86 percent over last year.

The council had a public hearing on the tax levy before the regular council meeting. City Treasurer Steve Hale told those gathered for the hearing that taxes on a home valued at $100,000 will increase $4 per year or about 33 cents per month.

The increase could be cancelled if the equalized assessed valuation of property in the city rises.

“A 2.1 percent increase [in the EAV] will wipe out any increase for homeowners,” Hale said.

“Anytime you can hold taxes down to almost nothing, it is a good thing,” acting Mayor Anthony Rinella said.

The council also approved of disbursing donations of $2,500 to each of three organizations. Rece Roper, a freshman at Marion High sold old bricks that were removed from South Market Street to be engraved and reinstalled in bands in the sidewalks along the street, after getting approval from the council earlier this year.

When he wanted to donate the proceeds of the sale back to the city to offset costs of repaving the street with new brick, the council suggested he donate the proceeds to charities of his choosing. The project raise $7,500.

In October, Roper told The Southern Illinoisan that it was hard to choose which charities. He decided to split the money and Monday presented checks to three not-for-profit organizations during the council meeting. Susie Selock of Boyton Street Community Center, Ivan and Wanda Zwick of Lighthouse Shelter and The Rev. Marlin Otte of Marion Ministerial Alliance each received a share of the proceeds for their organizations.

Rinella congratulated the Ropers on raising a son who thinks of others and not just himself.

The council heard a report about its audit from Jalayne Luckett of Gray Hunter Stenn LLP. She reported that revenue has almost doubled since 2005.

“This says to me you’re doing something right. Revenue is growing. In fact, it has almost doubled,” Luckett said.

She added that both fixed assets and expenses also have doubled. Expenses include public health and safety, streets, recreation (Hub Recreation Center) and development (TIF districts).

“We continue to live within our budget. We have made cuts in the past,” Rinella said.

In other business, the city council:

  • Approved an additional $8,534.42 for repaving the fire station, bringing the project total to $149,885.23.
  • Approved Rinella’s resignation from Emergency Telephone Services Board and Fire Chief Jerry Odum as his replacement.
  • Approved the purchase of EMRT vests for the police department at a cost of $13,322.92, with $9,322.92 coming from the drug fund and $4,000 from Marion Rotary Club.
  • Hired and added classification to employees at the Hub Recreation Center.
  • Approved amendments to TIF agreement with Marion Hospitality LLC, Brad McMillan Realty Group and Allyson Group Inc.
  • Donated $1,000 to Lightning Bolts Special Olympics Team.
  • Approved an agreement for land development with Pepsi Mid-America and Marion Community Unit 2 School District.

The council’s next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 26 in city hall.

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Reporter

Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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