Marysville City Council extended a mask mandate for another 30 days, through at least May 1st, hearing from Dr. John Ryan, noting 5 new COVID-19 cases have been reported locally within the last two weeks. A resurgence is possible, with spring break travel, Easter, and the like. He noted that it’s too early to back off, noting patients that he sees from Gage and Pawnee counties contracting COVID-19. Acknowledging that “we just don’t know,” and cases may remain low, he expects a rise again this summer or fall.
He commended vaccination efforts that place Marshall County among the highest in the state and commented that vaccine does reduce the severity of COVID-19. He also noted that those over 65 are at greatest risk of reinfection, and that variants appearing are of consequential threat. A motion to extend the mask mandate through May 1st brought questions and comments as to what level will eventually result in dropping the mandate. Lack of enforcement, a growing public reluctance, and the county dropping a mandate were raised as concerns which prompted lengthy discussion. Extension of the mask mandate thru May 1st was approved on a 4-2 vote, with Diane Schroller, Terry Hughes, Colleen Behrans, and Kevin Throm voting yes, and Keith Beickman and Parker Price voting no.
Council voted not to sign on as co-sponsor with Marshall County for a Kansas Department of Transportation grant that could fund up to 80% of the cost for developing 11th Terrace, which would extend north of U.S. Highway 36 between Subway and Kan-Equip, allowing access for a proposed jail site, and could be extended to serve a proposed expanded business park through Marshall County Partnership for Growth. The county had previously approved the grant application, contributing a 20% match. Partnership for Growth has initiated an economic impact study, funded through Evergy, the Helvering Trust, and Guise Weber Foundation. Several council members spoke against the jail being located away from the courthouse location, while also commenting on gauging sewage pump capacity, and waterway drainage issues. Ellen Barber presented the proposal, noting safety concerns with the current jail, as well as parking congestion, and security concerns.
A resolution to allow raising chickens within city limits allowed discussion, but a prompt and firm no vote prevailed 6-0, with numerous public comments against the measure cited by council members. Discussion as to redrafting a measure with some additional limitations also failed for lack of a second. Enforcement was then discussed, and consensus was to cite those residents currently raising chickens be fined.
Wage recommendations for city pool employees was tabled, as council asked the City Administrator to return with options for increases before approval. The city is still seeking applicants for summer employment at the pool. Council members have expressed concern with being short of help, and wanting to have adequate staff to remain open full time, and perhaps returning the morning swim hours.
A proposal from Jeff Mayer with the MHS class of 1998 to provide materials, if the city were to assist with labor, and equipment for ball field improvements at Dargatz Park, with some work as well at the basketball court, and perhaps adding a shade shelter at the park passed unanimously, with work to be done this fall.
City Attorney John McNish offered to bring back some options regarding placement of intermodal containers and would provide zoning recommendations for such other items as trash disposal containers within city limits.
Marysville city brush dump site is now open Wednesdays 4-6, and Saturday/Sundays 1-5, with city clean up week slated for the 3rd week in April. Council member Kevin Throm inquired as to the status of hiring a code enforcement officer, noting a number of homes with substantial junk and trash in the yards, and on porches, as well as immobile vehicles parked. Other council members concurred that the city image suffers.