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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Marcus Junction coming' on

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Carl Nelson and Steve Adams are anxious for painters to complete their task and then set up the awnings. The gas pumps are planned to be set up this week.
(Photo by Nancy Hohbach)
Area residents have been busy observing the development of Marcus Junction Truck Stop located at the corner of Highway 3 and 143. Rainy weather had slowed the building progress but workers have more than made up for lost time. Target date for opening is July 17th

Steve Adams of Perry, on-site manager, commented, "We have poured 7,000 yards of cement over a base of two inches of crushed limestone followed with seven inches of concrete. There are three fuel islands for cars and pickups on the north (front side) and three truck islands to the east. We will be spreading more gravel with possibly more cement later on. There is enough space for 25 semi trucks to park easily."

The roof is a brick red with pale gray siding on the top portion of the building complimented with a darker gray brick on the lower third.

The original committee giving life to the idea of a truck stop included Carl Nelson, Jack Foresman, Chuck Schmillen, Darrell Downs and Adams. After many discussions, the committee expanded others with expertise in particular areas. The committee added Dennis Brady, Bob Leavitt, Jim Rassel, Nancy Neilsen, Geri Lynn Specht and Allen Reuter.

After the blueprints were drawn up, the original committee made a few changes which were done at less than $4 per square foot. One of those changes was adding a vestibule to prevent a direct wind blast in the front door.

On each side of the front door, there will be a large area with tables and booths that can seat six. The business may seat anywhere from 72 to 80.

"As one enters the Marcus Junction, the first thing they will notice is a horseshoe counter where they pay for their fuel. Immediately around the horseshoe, on both sides, there will be a food item bar with all kinds of food plus a beverage fountain for sale," said Carl Nelson.

In the southeast corner, south of the food bar, the kitchen will be located. Adams is proud to show off the 12 foot stainless steel hood to hang over the huge stove and a 48" grill. A portion of the kitchen will be open and be viewed by customers. Behind the wall of cooking area, is a separate room for washing dishes. To the west of both of these rooms are huge wall coolers to keep frozen/refrigerated foods.

The freezers came in sections and were erected on site. The southwest room is a storage room where electrical wire conduits will be situated. Electrical power will be highly consumed by this business.

To the west of the seating area are the restrooms and showers. "We are proud of our spacious restroom and the conveniences offered. Across the hall are two connecting rooms used for showering and changing clothes. It allows your clothes to stay dry rather than damp. Truckers prefer separate rooms for dressing after a shower. Anyone who has need while traveling can reserve the room," explained Adams.

The tile floors will all be a neutral gray with accents of burgundy. The lower level of the walls will be ceramic tile carrying the same color scheme out. The large windows, energy efficient, will provide a wonderful rural view as they dine at Marcus Junction. There are four different comfort zones in the building for heating and cooling.

"We want folks to know we'll be grilling Angus burgers fresh from the freezer and serve a full range of hearty sandwiches. Homemade pizza will be baked in two special pizza ovens. They do mean the pizzas will be homemade with real mozzarella cheese and top quality ingredients to make them the best around. We want folks to return time and again for our wonderful food. They can buy pizza by the slice or order up a whole pizza. Take out orders will be welcome if they prefer," smiled Adams.

Breakfast will be a special time at Marcus Junction as well, by serving up fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and tasty biscuits and gravy. They also plan to have fresh baked donuts, cinnamon rolls and cookies for the sweet tooth.

Their coolers will be filled with frozen items such as ice cream, novelty snacks and frozen foods. Blue Bunny ice cream will be featured. The group is also thinking about possibly putting in a soft ice cream machine.

In addition to all this, they will have fresh vegetables and fruits. Back of the building, there will be a grass area with tables to enjoy an outside picnic. There will also be space to the west for six RV campers which include electrical and possible cable hook-ups. An RV dump site will be located on the east side for clean out.

Shell is the company going with the Marcus Junction and folks will be encouraged to apply and receive a Shell credit card which provides five percent rebate on their fuel purchase and one percent on other purchases. Shell along with corn and soybean growers associations will run promotions for ethanol and biodiesel fuel at Marcus Junction Truck Stop.

Nelson was pleased to learn that Iowa Renewable Fuel Association has given Junction Truck Stop a $20,000 grant from their value fund to help defray the costs of putting in special equipment for pumping E85.

Applications may be picked up at city hall or on site as a manager, assistant managers, kitchen manager and assistant kitchen manager is needed as well as several part time positions.

The truck stop hours will be from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. until business directs them to expand hours to accommodate late night drivers.

Also a Blue Star marker will be set there and hopefully, an organization will be interested in erecting a magnificent flag pole to go with it.

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