Representatives of the Marcus Community Center were at the Marcus City Council meeting held Monday evening to ask for assistance and ideas for keeping the center open to the public. When the current board took the reins about five years ago and re-organized, they inherited a $21,000 debt and have been working hard to eliminate that debt while keeping the center open for operation.
Although they have had the support of the bank who handles the account they are concerned there will be a day when the facility will have to support itself. The board is trying to get to that point before it becomes necessary. They have sent out letters to members of the community to solicit their support in the form of donations but fear that more needs to be done.
The board sent out 21 surveys to other community centers and received 18 replies. Questions on the survey included items such as ownership of the facility, who pays for utilities, management of the facility, who pays for employees and managers, amount of use, marketing of the facility, size of facilities, and others.
Of the 18 respondents the board discovered that 14 community centers were owned by the city and 3 were owned by corporations formed for the sole purpose of running the facility. As far as utilities are concerned, 13 had utilities paid by the city, two by corporation and two had some paid by the center and some by the city.
In the end the board was asking whether the city could provide some additional support for the center and whether they had any ideas to help the center to continue to operate. The council members will be taking the request under consideration.
In another matter, citizen, Mike Dias, asked the city council to reconsider its decision concerning stop sign placement at the corner of Linn and Cedar streets in Marcus based on the relevant factors given to the council at the last meeting. Citizens in the area are concerned, stating that the intersection is busy with both residential and commercial traffic in addition to considerable farm and pedestrian traffic.
Currently there are no stop signs on Cedar Street between Main Street and C Avenue which is home to 19 residents, one church, six businesses, a city shop, and a county shed. The citizens state they want the stop sign to assign right of way. After researching the factors relevant to placing a four way stop sign the citizens presented a list of six factors that apply to the installation of a stop sign at the corner.
The factors cited include, the number of pedestrians and bicyclists, the amount of through traffic, the crash experience (or near misses), the proximity of public facilities (in this case church, businesses, and shopping), traffic volume, including the number of vehicles making turns, and the number of school-age children who have to go through the intersection, whether walking, being driven, or on bicycles, on their way to school.
Council members were not able to make an immediate decision and will take the matter under consideration.
Police Chief Ebert presented the monthly police reports followed by a presentation of a map showing what a sex offender ordinance would do for the city of Marcus. On the map he located the registered day care providers, preschools, schools, parks, etc., then penciled what a 2000 foot radius around those places would look like.
Should the city council decide to adopt a 2000 foot ordinance like many other communities, virtually all of Marcus would be included in the ordinance. Only about four lots on the west end of town and a few blocks on the east end of town would be allowable for sex offenders under such an ordinance.
Council members thanked Ebert for the information and did not indicate any immediate action would be taken.
In other business, Rusty Pick and Randy Weslen were approved to be members of the Marcus Fire Department. A Beer and Sunday Sales permit was approved for Casey's. A resolution regarding water quality standards by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was also approved. The approval for the purchase of 25 acres southeast of Marcus for use as a business park was also made.