The Marysville City Council met Monday and unanimously approved spending $41,000 from the industrial fund toward developing a strategic development plan being coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce. The Urban Planning Department at Kansas State University will assist with a set of studies to include a housing assessment, a master plan that will focus efforts on business retention and sustainability, potential property improvements, beautification, historical contributions, and community wellness.
Jen Duffy, with the Chamber of Commerce advised the council that market value of such a project would be $185,000. Designation by K-State as a Master Community Project makes the package available at a considerable discount. Community members, business and civic leaders will all be engaged as work moves forward in developing a comprehensive plan that will then guide decision makers as to a series of annual projects to accomplish long term goals. Jen Duffy will be a guest on our public affairs program this weekend and will summarize the project. The program airs Saturday morning at 7:10, on KNDY-FM 95.5 and KNDY-AM 1570/FM 94.1.
In a related decision, council voted to contribute $1,000 toward the Marshall County Partnership for Growth to fund economic development. That motion passed on a 7-1 vote, with a future consideration to increase the contribution to $3,000. Todd Frye voted no, indicating his preference to fund the $3,000 at this time, citing other smaller Marshall County communities that have contributed $1,000 annually for the past several years.
City council heard a brief summary report on findings from a first impressions group, through K-State Research and Extension that highlighted many positives. Among concerns were available affordable housing, empty downtown storefronts, and whether the community main street was Broadway or Center Streets.
A building incentive ordinance was finalized and approved that would offer $2,500 toward demolition and up to $5,000 toward demolition and reconstruction on projects valued over $35,000 in the city subdivisions of Palmetto, Marysville proper, and Morril. The effort is to better utilize and promote redevelopment of those older areas of the community that are served by city services and could generate increased tax revenue if developed.
No decision was reached regarding a proposed offer of $5,000 annually from U.S. Cellular for construction of a fifty-foot cell tower on city owned property near Feldhausen Field. A number of residents, and some council members have voiced concern with potential health effects of a tower within residential areas. The City Administrator and attorney advised against adopting a broad ranging ban on cell towers within city limits, citing potential conflict with federal regulations. The matter will be carried forward.