MARCUS - Reports of progress in the town was pleasant news to the Marcus City Council at their meeting Monday night. A report showed an increase of roughly $1 million in evaluations which has been the addition of homes, remodeling of homes, and new businesses.
As Mayor Darrell Downs commented, "This is what assists communities in growth which keeps them vital as a town."
In addition to that, Bob Gannon of WesTel Systems was on hand to inform the council about the "Fiber to Homes" project which roughly amounts to a $2 million project for the town of Marcus. The project is about bringing fiber optic cable lines to every home and business which will be routed in. New larger terminal boxes will replace the old boxes and some inside wiring of each bulding will be required. Technicians have already started going door to door to explain to all of their customers what is happening and why. Technology of the future will require such measures.
There certainly are some major benefits for their customers such as high definition TV. The project will begin in early spring and run through the summer as they do one city block at a time, clean it up and proceeed onto the next block. This will also include some businesses sitting right outside the city limits as well. Bids will be taken to do the project. Gannon said bids will be let in March with several companies bidding for the project, but he thought a company from the Minnesota area would be chosen.
Mark Buschkamp was also present representing the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation. He brought materials for the council to keep noting projects undertaken this year and the work done promoting the Cherokee area. He noted that Cherokee was fortunate to keep Cherokee Mental Health Institute although some jobs were eliminated at that time. Now several position have opened up and a few rehired.
Buschkamp noted that a survey of several county businesses noted they have weathered through the downturn of the economy and are bouncing back. Buschkamp said he regularly is busy attending meetings and doing all that he can to improve the local economy.
Steve Gettner appeared in front of the council and brought back the idea of having one parking spot in front of the community building for loading and unloading senior citizens and handicapped individuals. They recommended having a second regular handicapped parking spot to supplement another down the street in front of the drug store. These two new spots would have transportable signs for when they would be in use or not. The council approved the plan.
The council approved giving Mid Sioux an annual amount of $800 as they do well in helping local families.
Police Chief Jim Ebert mentioned in his report that there are some people who are not obeying parking regulations when snow needs to be removed. Some warning tickets were issued but some have not replied. Therefore their $25 ticket unpaid will go to $50 in court.
City Attorney Chuck Knudson noted several folks have commented about the tree ordinance. He commented that he has been explaining that trees make a town attractive. There needs to be some control of planting location as well as type of trees.
The council also approved the application for Tax Abatement for two new businesses whcih will help the with costs providing a sliding tax scale which starts at 75 percent and takes them to the full amount in 10 years. These added taxes help greatly with the town's budget.
Also, the council approved a new health plan for city employees. Input was taken from each which has each empoyee paying a portion of their health insurance.