By Nick Kaltenbach
A request for a package liquor license by Yesway was discussed at the Martin City Council regular meeting March 10, and after discussion, the council was advised to table the request, which they did.
Martin City Mayor Gary Rayhill stated they only have one package liquor license.
Matt Risse, owner of Bros. Inc., addressed the council concerning the matter saying Bros. bid the liquor license prior as if the city only had one package liquor license. He explained that if the city grants another package liquor license, then it would be a breach of contract in their opinion.
Risse argued they could not compete with another business, that they have improved the selection, and that they have actively been helping in the community with schools, 4-H, and coaching. Risse concluded saying their contract is five years and they have the option for the next five years.
Councilman Kevin Rascher stated that he did not want liquor being sold at Yesway which Mayor Rayhill and Councilwoman McCue agreed with.
City Attorney Sarah Frankenstein advised the council to wait and the council tabled the request.
The City financial report and claims for March were approved.
A USDA lagoon payment of $1163 was approved.
The city received a grant for the airport.
City Finance Officer Jean Kirk informed the council that a new COVID grant for $9,000 came out. She explained that it was more limited than the last grant and she was unsure of the amount the city can use, but advised the council to apply just in case. The grant would help cover cleaning supplies and cleaning related to COVID at the airport. The council approved applying for the grant.
City Police Officer Daniel Dove applied for a highway safety grant for three radars and was approved with the total cost $8,685, but the city is only responsible for $1,500. Councilman Rascher commented on the use of the radar brand Stalker. Officer Dove responded that was the main radar they had been using. A motion was made to cover the remainder not covered by the grant and it was approved.
City Police Chief Brandon Peterson stated the police log for February had 73 calls, 134 events, 16 arrests, 7 felonies, 9 misdemeanors (of the 9, 3 were juveniles).
Mayor Rayhill complimented the City Police on a job well done. The city council went into executive session at 5:39 p.m. with Chief Peterson concerning personnel. The council exited the executive session and a motion to give Officer Dove a $1 raise from $15.91 to $16.91 was approved.
Sarah Frankenstein advised the council to hold on to the building code ordinance, that the current ordinances were outdated and to wait until 2022 when the new ordinances come out and to purchase them then. The council tabled it for six months.
James Begeman updated the council on the current financial situation for the golf course. There will be an open meeting to elect the board members in three weeks. The golf course opened this year with $1,246.69, a positive balance from the previous year. There was $950 collected this past weekend in membership fees and cart rentals. Begeman explained there was a cost of sprinkler heads which was around $1,000. He said he salvages all the parts he can from all the sprinklers, however, the case for the sprinkler usually cracks and he needed those parts.
Begeman updated the council on remaining financials. The golf course collected $41,105.79 during 2020. He thought they might have been closer to $50,000 if they had more liquor sales. He didn’t think that it would have increased the profits due to the cost of liquor licenses.
Begeman said they will probably not continue with the liquor license due to hiring issues. If they can get some larger events to come to Martin, they might pursue the liquor license. He also requested some sort of action on the heating/cooling system in the building. There is very little cooling and no heat. He has purchased a large fan to help cool the building during the summer.
Mayor Rayhill inquired about the roof which Begeman stated was good. Rayhill inquired about break-ins to the cart shed and Begeman reported none so far. Rayhill questioned if cart shed rentals were being collected and James said not yet. Golfing fees will stay the same with families at $500 and individual at $300. First time membership is half. Shed cart fees are $75 for gas and $100 for electric. Mowing equipment is okay except for the fairway mower which will need some maintenance. Begeman inquired on the direction of the heating/cooling system and it was decided Councilperson Claussen will contact Kenny Soderlin and Butch Ceplecha.
The council discussed the option of opening the swimming pool and that was tabled until Paul Noel could be consulted.
The malt beverage license ordinance has been changed. The old ordinance stated three “off” sale licenses and six “on/off” licenses. Finance Officer Kirk said she renewed everyone as a “on/off” license since the state did away with the “off” license and increased the number of on/off to eight. Mayor Rayhill performed the first reading of Ordinance #2021-2 and a motion was made and passed to accept it as read.
Councilperson Claussen was approached by Missouri Breaks to purchase or rent the city lot across from the Candlelight Hotel. Missouri Breaks would like to use the lot for storage and additional parking. Missouri Breaks offered $,1500 to purchase or $50 per month to rent.
Mayor Rayhill commented that if they sell it, the city would no longer have to maintain it. A motion to sell the lot for $1,500 was made.
There was some discussion about the underground water lines and future building on the site. The council discussed putting an easement on the property.
Jay Yohner commented on the city’s direction of putting storage on Main Street. Joyce Wilson commented on the storage unit at the hospital. The motion was seconded. The council then discussed the costs of surveying.
Jay Yohner brought up the concern of having to surplus the lot and open it up to bids if they decided to sell it and then the motion was denied.
A motion was made to rent the lot for $50 a month for two years including upkeep on the lot and paint the building. That motion passed.
Street signs have been a growing concern that many streets have no sign. Missing signs should have been replaced but the cost of replacing all the streets would be high. Finance Officer Kirk stated that the city might possibly be getting a grant to replace street signs in 2025. No action was taken.
Mayor Rayhill presented the Small Community Transportation Planning Program to study and place bike trails and sidewalks through a grant. However, an engineer had to be hired and the cost of the engineer was not covered in the grant. A motion to decline was passed.
Past due water bills were discussed and approved to be handled as usual.
Dog complaints were the only complaints.
Others present at the meeting were: Attorney Sarah Frankenstein, City Police Chief Brandon Peterson, City Police Officer Daniel Dove, Matt Risse, Keith Risse, Joyce Wilson, James Begeman, Jay Yohner, and Nick Kaltenbach.
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for April 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.