A mask mandate considered by the Marysville City Council Monday drew passionate input from council members, and a lengthy discussion that resulted in development of a Health and Safety Committee, to be comprised of the Mayor, City Administrator, City Health Officer, County Health Nurse, Police Chief, and Sheriff that will be tasked with developing a draft resolution for consideration at a future meeting.
Prompted by the recent rise in positive Covid-19 cases, Mayor Jason Barnes initiated the discussion, presenting several other community mandates that have been enacted. He noted the significant widespread increase statewide, pointing out that we’re out here on our own, in providing adequate hospital capacity. It was noted that any council action would be subject to publication, and full adoption could be weeks away. Police Chief Todd Ackerman commented on enforceability, and discussion briefly touched on fine levels.
Several residents were in attendance in response to a letter recently mailed to property owners who use a single service grinder pump. A proposal to hand over future maintenance responsibilities after replacement of the current pump should it be required drew opposition of Sharon and RJ Vogelsberg, who consented to city annexation of their home along 11th Road nearly 20 years ago pointing out the limited maintenance that has been done, and an agreement that the city would provide services, including water, sewer, streets, etc. They pointed out that the agreement was an effort to help adjacent neighbors, and that the city benefited from increased tax proceeds, while such concerns as adequate street repair remain an issue.
David Bruna, who operates a camper facility also expressed concern as a business owner. Council member Terry Hughes spoke in favor of grandfathering current property owners in. A motion to reject the proposal by Keith Beikman died for lack of a second, and a motion to table the matter was approved.
The Parks and Rec Committee had returned a revised agreement with Greg and Jenna Meyer to operate the city recreation program was rejected, after some discussion on a 2-3 vote. In response, they indicated that as a result they were no longer interested in pursuing the opportunity.
City Administrator Austin St. John presented options for annual pay raise increases, with a suggestion of $1.25 per hour for all employees, except police at $1 per hour, since they received a larger increase overall last year. His goal would be to get all city employees to a minimum of $15 per hour. In response to Council Member Diane Schrollers comment that the raise might be a little high considering other small businesses, St. John said that businesses should be encouraged to raise hourly employees to $15, which he said is a benchmark being adopted by Walmart. Parker Price went further, speaking in favor of $1.50 per hour in an effort to show appreciation, and attract quality employees. No decision was made, and the matter will be carried forward to a future meeting.
The General Fund remains just over $1 million. Revenues were mostly stable. The sales tax fund saw an increase of about $50k and is just over $300k higher than a year previous.
City Hall will be closed to the public effective Tuesday, with staff still addressing the public needs by phone and electronic communication.
In committee reports, status of 11th and 12th Roads east of Marysville were brought up, with Parker Price asking about consideration of weight limits for truck traffic. Keith Beikman highlighted the ongoing requests from residents for improvements, and the mayor noted that plans were being considered, after a meeting a year ago, and engineering is not complete. He also noted funding challenges.
The city recreation program was brought up again, in light of council action earlier. Options of contracting out or bringing management of the programs in house for the city were discussed, with no decisions made.