Marion public hearing tonight

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Marion City Hall official has confirmed that a public hearing on the proposed increase in Marion residential water bills will take place tonight, March 17, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Marion residents are encouraged to come and voice their opinions, either for or against, on the proposed increase.

Judging by a tense City Council meeting on February 23rd, many in Marion will be there to voice their displeasure with the potential hike. At that meeting many residents spoke out angrily against the Council’s plan, and on more than one occasion Marion mayor Anthony J. Long and Marion police chief Tony Bufford had to ask for those in attendance to keep calm.

The hearing will take place despite the city attorney’s statement during the council meeting that the law did not require a hearing before the ordinance’s passage.

Mayor Long and the Council claimed during the February 23rd meeting that the city was losing approximately $15,000 a month in water and sewage costs, and that the proposed increase, a flat $10.22 monthly on all Marion water bills, was determined to be the fairest way to stop the financial bleeding.

Long later said that the problem could potentially bankrupt the city, submit it to state control, and thus cause a much larger hike than the Council now proposes.