MARCUS - Citizens Tom Willems and Mario Carbo addressed the Marcus City Council Monday night about the proposed resolution prohibiting firearms and weapons in and on property either owned, maintained or otherwise occupied by the city of Marcus. Neither were in favor of it, and they felt it was going against state law and therefore this resolution would not be supported by the courts. Both feel folks have a right to carry a weapon as long as they possess a gun permit. They also questioned how the law could be enforced.
Later in the meeting, the council passed the ordinance unanimously.
Steve Gettner also addressed the council on the upcoming all-school reunion event which will be held during the Marcus Fair. The committee has hired two policemen to assist with regulating the crowd downtown. Gettner also had a map of how a double fence would be set up around the beer garden with only one gate for admittance. Wrist bands will be purchased to gain access. The Marcus Jaycees have hired a beer wagon from Aurelia and will have dumpers on site.
Mayor Darrel Downs complimented the local fire department on the amount of pride they put into providing service to the community. They also keep younger men wanting to serve as volunteers as they take pride in being a fireman. The council approved Joey Brady and Evan Grell to become new additions to the department.
Jim Nielsen approached the council representing the Marcus Historical Society. His purpose was to inform the council that the present building is not large enough to handle the volume of items they would like to display. The present building has two floors but many handicapped folks are not able to access the lower level.
The group has been thinking of moving the building out next to the fair grounds adjacent to the Mount Pleasant Church. The fair board heard of this idea and believe they'd like to join in this endeavor. Both groups would like to build an addition on to the building large enough to accommodate displays for the fair board and the Marcus Historical Society. A vintage car had been delivered to the Historical Society last year and they would like to have it on a permanent display. The Historical Society has really grown in a short period of time and simply need more space which is handicap accessible. Nielsen wanted the council to be aware of their targeted plans and to be on board as some work may be needed in regards to the streets there to handle traffic.
Policeman Jim Ebert reported he attended three workshops. One dealt with pipeline safety by Northern Gas, another on prescription drug abuse presented by Iowa Poison Control and County Attorney's office, and the third one was for registered sex offender training presented by the Department of Criminal Investigation. He also noted the help given to him to provide a simulated drill for the MMC high school staff by the Cherokee and Aurelia Police Departments, Cherokee Sheriff Department, Cherokee Police Reserves. Cherokee County Emergency Management and the Marcus Ambulance.
In other business: the council passed the resolution on prohibition of firearms and weapons on city property as they don't want weapons near the pool, fair grounds, public library, community center or senior center buildings and such; they approved blacktopping Second Street from the west gate of the fair grounds to the first street corner going north and south (which is a very short block); approved purchasing an air conditioner unit with furnace for the senior center building from Marcus Lumber at a cost of $8150 (half will be covered from insurance); approved removing two large trees, one is located on Railroad Street and the other on the corner of Spruce and Hwy 143, at a cost of $1,800 with the city crew hauling the debris away. The council would also like to take care of the surface on Amherst Street but the estimated cost is $88,000 and they have yet to find out how to cover the cost.
The council was pleased to hear that the town will receive $7500 from a Legacy Grant to help finance a trail path for walkers of which there are many.