MARCUS - The Marcus City Council had several Marcus residents come before them to make sure the council was well aware of the difficulties the recent huge rainfall had made to their homes.
Many had over four feet of water in their basements, as the gutters couldn't carry the rain away fast enough. Ground water rose and sump pumps were overwhelmed. Much carpet and other home furnishings were destroyed and carried off to the landfill. Many are still drying out their homes. The council responded by thanking them for coming, saying they were aware of the situation and that an engineer is going to look into the matter to see what can be done to avoid such an occurrence to repeat itself.
City attorney Chuck Knudson has been asked to draw up an ordinance in regard to animal confinement set-ups and to prevent any being built within 2-3 miles from the Marcus city limits. Those already in existence will be grandfathered in. It's not that the council is against farmers making money but to keep the town's environment a pleasant one.
Knudson will fine-tune the tree ordinance, making it ready for council approval in a special meeting next week. Marcus residents know that they need to go to city hall and get a permit for planting trees to learn what is approved and how far back from the center of the street the trees need to be planted.
A private meeting, an abatement hearing, will take place to settle a situation next week.
Mayor Darrel Downs commented to the council how fortunate Marcus is to have Pete Howe of Spencer take care of Marcus sewer lines. They review a third of them a year so that in three years time, all lines have had a thorough checking. They will smoke the lines which will tell them how many sump pumps are hooked in. Cost for the service varies as it depends on the amount of repair they see that is needed.
The council voted to up the insurance policy from ICAD (Iowa Community Assurance Pool) from $2 million to $3 million in case the town is sued. The increase amount comes in at $1,065 above the amount of the annual fee of $7,519. The council felt they should have more coverage to stay with times.
The council also approved the employee handbook which was provided by SIMPCO at a cost of $1,500. They felt all responsibilities and cost of doing business were set out for both employee and employers. The council wishes to avoid paying overtime. Long-time employee Steve Galigan has expressed verbally that he will retire at the end of the year. Council is thinking it is time to start looking for a new man and getting him trained to take on several responsibilities.
In other business, the council approved the Marcus Fair parade route; the route for the Fun Run 5K and one mile walk during the fair; they approved the audit proposal; approved the Landfill Association Agreement.
The council emphasized that traffic on Section and Holmes Street needs to be slowed down to 25 miles an hour. If traffic doesn't slow down, the roads will be embargoed. The higher speeds will ruin the street. The council also wants to remind folks of the Hotel/Motel tax vote coming up and hopes that it will pass this time.