MARSHALL - Public hearings on street and utility projects again started off the Marshall City Council's regular meeting Tuesday. But the public turnout was much lower compared to two weeks ago, and proposals to improve sewers and streets on West Main Street, South 1st Street, and portions of Redwood, 3rd and West Marshall streets were all approved by the council.
Of the three proposals, the West Main Street project would have possibly the largest impact on Marshall residents and businesses during construction. The project would replace sanitary and storm sewer lines on West Main Street, roughly between the North Highway 59 intersection and Channel Parkway. Work in the area would require a detour at certain times, said Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson.
In addition, he said, the Minnesota Department of Transportation would be contributing funds toward resurfacing on part of the street.
The other two projects included the replacement of water and sewer lines on South 1st Street and Grimes Street, as well as replacing a lift station along South 1st Street; and the replacement of water and sewer lines and streets on parts of West Redwood Street, North 3rd Street and West Marshall Street.
The projects were approved unanimously except for the Redwood/3rd/Marshall Street project, which passed on a 5-1 vote. Council member Charlie Sanow cast the dissenting vote.
Later at Monday's meeting, the council discussed proposed amendments to city personnel policies, affecting whether city employees may also have on-call jobs like being a firefighter. Marshall Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Dubs said the proposed changes were developed to address overtime and other concerns for non-exempt city employees who may have to respond to emergencies in addition to their full-time jobs.
The proposed policy amendments would make non-exempt city employees ineligible for appointment to the Marshall Fire Department or the Chemical Assessment Team. Exempt employees, who would not be owed overtime pay for their on-call position, could still be part of the Marshall Fire Department or CAT. Three non-exempt employees who are currently part of the Marshall Fire Department would be grandfathered in to the new policies, Dubs said.
Council member Mike Boedigheimer questioned whether the city should allow employees to serve on the Marshall Fire Department at all. Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith responded. While it wouldn't work well to have a city supervisor balance a job with firefighting duties, Klaith said, in emergencies it can be helpful for a firefighter to be a city employee with easier access to equipment or supplies.
The council approved the policy amendments 5-1, with Boedigheimer casting the no vote.