MARCUS - The Marcus City Council held an early special meeting on Sept. 17 to deal with some timely issues. Board members for the newly proposed community pantry were there as well, along with their attorney, John Wibe. The council had expressed some concern over the issue of 'separation of church and state,' as Bibles and children's coloring books are among the items which will be handed out at the pantry.
Wibe quoted some research on such rulings, which concluded that community members should have equal access to a public building that's commonly known to be used for community activities. There was some confusion over the cross reference of center, with some thinking it was the community center building , as reported in the paper, when in actuality it is the Legion Building. Senior meals are served and prepared there as well as other social activities. The basement is used for storage of flags and other items, but the building is not used for governmental reasons. The city has helped out with expenses, and will need to charge a nominal rental fee for the building.
The council leaned that a small amount of shelving will be used to hold canned goods and other staples. Hours have yet to be set.
The council was pleased to learn from police officer Randy Weflen that he went around to various businesses to explain about having a local D.A.R.E. officer and that the training is free. The city's budget would not allow the council to pay for other officers to take his place while at training. He was able to raise $950 in cash and another $800 in pledges. The council was positive on his taking the iniative to find the funds for his training, and voted to allow Weflen to go to the school, but he is also to make sure the evenings are covered, and that city hall will know who to call if someone should be needed.
Another great piece of news is that the Marcus Fire Department has three new names to add to it's roster, bringing their numbers up to 32. Mayor Darrell Downs praised the group for keeping young men entering into this service for their community. The new members are Matt Dreckman, Dave Rupp and Mike Scholten.
The council recieved a couple of bids for putting a 2 1/2inch overlay on Railroad Street from Highway 143 to the north end of Main Street. The general consenous was that it should hold up for over five years. Grant money and other sources for helping towns out with the cost of re-doing streets is very minimal. The cost for doing Railroad Street is $42,554, which was the low bid from Wagner who has a blacktop plant operating by Aurelia.
The council also learned that it would take around $36,000 to repaint and caulk the swimming pool. Downs recommended that the council remember to put the pool on their schedule to be done early next spring to have it ready for use next summer.