MARSHALL - Members of the Lyon County Board had more than just an opinion on the sale of the former Marshall-Lyon County Library building in downtown Marshall. At the board's regular meeting Tuesday, they offered a proposal of their own to buy the building.
However, it remains to be seen how the Marshall City Council will respond. There are currently two finalist bids, one from the Lyon County Historical Society and one from Marshall Public Schools, already being considered by the council.
Earlier this month, the Marshall Council had tabled action on the bids to get commissioners' feedback. The county contributed money for the upkeep of the former library building and would receive a portion of the proceeds from its sale.
Photo by Deb Gau
Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig discussed possible development plans for Lyon County Road 67 at Tuesday’s county board meeting.
Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said another possible option would be for the county to buy the library building from the city and use it as a permanent home for the Lyon County Historical Museum. Commissioner Mark Goodenow said that arrangement could help solve future financial questions for both the historical society and the county. Marshall Public Schools has the ability to raise taxes to fund building purchases and maintenance, while the historical society does not, he said. If the society's bid for the building was accepted, eventually it would come to the county for help with funding.
"The (library) building is in good shape . . . But someday the building is going to need a new roof," Goodenow said.
Some kind of long-term lease between the county and historical society would have to be worked out, he said. The county portion of sale proceeds could also be turned back to the historical society for building maintenance.
Commissioners, and members of the historical society present at the meeting, said they liked the idea of securing a permanent home for the museum. However, Commissioner Rodney Stensrud questioned whether it was too late to make the offer to the city.
Marshall Superintendent Klint Willert asked commissioners to keep a few things in mind about the library sale. The school district also had a part in building a new city-county library, he said, and Marshall's alternative school draws students from a wide area. By purchasing the old library, the school district could ease local taxes by reducing a lease levy. Finally, he asked that commissioners honor the bidding process that is already in progress.
Commissioners voted to offer $100,000 to purchase the former library building, for the city council's consideration.
Earlier in Tuesday's meeting, board members also heard an alternative proposal from the city of Marshall on the future of North Bruce Street, also known as Skunk Hollow Road. The city and the county have been discussing the possibility of repairing or detaching the road from Marshall for some time.
Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig presented commissioners with an alternative development plan for the road. The plan would construct an extension of Lyon County Road 67 that would connect with the end of Fairview Street in Marshall. After completion of the new roadway, the existing Skunk Hollow Road and adjacent farm fields could be detached from the city, and a dead end built on the road. At that point, the old road could possibly be turned back to Fairview Township for maintenance, Martig said. Funds for the upkeep of Skunk Hollow Road currently held by the city could be used to help fund either the new road or the dead end.
Martig said details of this proposal haven't all been worked out yet. It would probably be most realistic for the city to put the project on its five-year plan, he said.
Commissioners' feedback on the proposal was mostly positive.