Monday night's Marcus Council meeting began with a public hearing on the opening of sealed bids on Mulder property located on North Main Street. Mayor Darrel Downs noted he was pleased to see two bids for the property.
City Attorney Chuck Knudson opened the bids: Marcus Lumber bid $5,000 and Adam Frederes bid was $10,000. The Marcus Council voted to go with Frederes who is thought to be planning to erect a building on the said property that will benefit the town's tax roll.
The council is hoping to have the building taken down soon and will go forth with a written contract with Frederes. Mom's Café is also to go down shortly.
After the approval of the bills and clerk's report, seeing no one else wanted to address the council, Mayor Downs took the opportunity to do so.
Downs commented, "Perhaps you have heard from a few people wondering at times why we're doing what we are doing. They do not seem to understand that we need to bring forth jobs to this community in order for Marcus to survive. With the planning and work done to bring about the ethanol plant, the planned biodiesel plant, the new business park and Country View, Marcus is benefiting. Marcus will benefit more as time completes these things. Progress doesn't go forth unless work is done and changes are made.
"Some people wonder what goes first, the school system or the town. Most think if the school goes away so will the town. The opposite is what we have to be concerned about. We need jobs to keep folks here which includes their children enrolled in our school. No one is more happy with the success of our plans than Supt. Jan Brandhorst. He gets it and apparently we need to be thankful that those negative folks in the south portion of our community who do not cooperate with us, need to get it and work with us. We have trouble getting easements where we need them. They fight being annexed into the town."
Downs then read the description of four types of communities. The first group is referred to as "Mules". Drive into a mule town and you get the sense that this community is not only opposed to change but also proud of the way it is. Sometimes people are so set against change that they close off to all possibilities even if the change presents good opportunities to the community.
The "Moles" have dismal OUTLOOK. These communities are always behind the times, never at the forefront. Like Mules, they resist change but the Moles resistance stems from fear not obstinacy. These communities have a fear of failure rather than a "Thirst for Success". Mole towns talk about making changes but nothing ever happens. Mole towns look at other towns successes and wistfully or jealousy says, "That could have been us. We could have done that." They could have and should have but they didn't and they're left to lament the fact.
A "Jackal" community, deep down, are fearful as well but they respond much differently than mole communities. Jackals lash out, deriding other communities that take risks and meet new challenges head on. Jackals prefer to sit back and watch others fail. Jackals are definitely not a "can-do" community. They are parasites who want to live off the success of others.
"Eagle" communities posses among other characteristics the positive attitude needed to make and keep a town successful. Eagle communities aren't fearful of what others think of them rather they focus on what they need and want and how to achieve it. Eagle communities see opportunities. Eagles know their own weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths. Eagles have strategic plans, other than short term and long term (comprehensive) in place. Eagle communities know when to strike.
Downs perceives Marcus as in the Eagle category. He extolled the council to be positive and explained when questioned why they are doing what they are doing. Downs believes the council is doing an extraordinary job and should be proud of their efforts.
Council woman Sherree Ogren reported on the success of the present community center board and their efforts to reduce the center's debt. In the last few months, they have paid off half of that amount, $7,000 with several events taking place there. More will be held before the end of the year. They also have purchased some new tables and chairs. Ogren felt their attitude is very positive.
The council is going to pursue renting alfalfa land at Country View (3 acres) and also at the new business park (22 acres). Each will be in a different contract as new seeding of the business park is uncertain to the success of its growth. The contracts will each be for a year and subject to standard crop, adjusted to a possible sale of a lot. The bids must be received by May 10th.
The council plans to deal with water and sewer rates as they have not been raised for several years. Another topic of a special meeting will deal with the appointment of five individuals to the Board of Adjustment. Anyone who wants to be considered may stop in and let City Clerk Bev Alesch know they are willing to serve.
In other business, the council was reminded open burning is permitted April 15 through May 15th; Old Panhead Restaurant received permission to have a block of Main Street be closed off on Tuesday nights so motor cyclers may visit with each other while viewing their bikes. The council noted it brought many folks to town which should be a plus for Marcus.