Brodie-Fitzgerald resigns from Marquette City Council

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

Marquette has an unexpected seat to fill on its city council, following the recent resignation of Pamela Brodie-Fitzgerald. The move, effective Aug. 6, was announced at the Aug. 13 regular council meeting.

“I want to thank Pam for the time she spent on the council. She did a lot more than people realized,” stated councilwoman Cindy Halvorson.

Brodie-Fitzgerald has served for nearly four years; her seat is up for re-election this November. Due to the timing, the council unanimously approved a notice to fill the position by appointment.

Residents who are interested in serving can now submit letters to city hall. The council intends to make the appointment at its next meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The appointee will serve the remainder of Brodie-Fitzgerald’s term, through the end of 2019. If interested in continuing in the role, he or she must then run for election this fall. 

City considers solar-powering additional buildings

The city’s success with the solar project at well number four has prompted officials to consider proposals for solar-powering other city buildings. Next on the list are the city shop/Mar-Mac Police Department, as well as the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Wetlands Centre Director Alicia Mullarkey, who was in attendance at the meeting. “It’s a nature center, so the more environmentally-conscious we are, the better, and it reduces operating costs.”

Unlike at well number four in the Timber Ridge Subdivision, where the solar panels are on the ground, they would be roof-mounted on the two latest proposed buildings. 

At the shop, it was suggested that the roof be replaced as part of the project, leading the council to hold off on a decision until getting cost estimates.

In addition to the shop and Wetlands Centre, city clerk Bonnie Basemann said other potential buildings to consider solar-powering are the sewer plant and city hall. But the council felt those plans aren’t quite as feasible at this time.

“The sewer plant is out there a ways,” remarked councilman John Ries. “These two are more realistic.”

Security cameras going up at city hall

The council approved a bid of $1,792 from Alpine Communications for the purchase and installation of security cameras at city hall. Basemann said the cameras will be placed at three interior locations: near the Emma Big Bear Basket collection by the community center, in the council chambers and by the city hall entry way.

“I think it’s important we do something, especially for safety,” noted councilwoman Halvorson.

If the set-up works well, the council will also consider installing cameras at the Depot Museum and Information Center.

City makes offer on school property

The council agreed to offer the listing price of $28,000 for a 4.9-acre piece of property owned by the MFL MarMac School District in Marquette’s bench neighborhood. 

Superintendent Dale Crozier realized the school owned the spot, which was likely part of the old Marquette school property, a couple years ago. The school board opted to put it up for sale last month.

Located near the ballfield, the small acreage is a popular spot for local kids to play.

“I would like to see it stay in public access because we have a lot of kids who play and explore there,” said Mullarkey, the Wetlands Centre director and also a bench resident, who encouraged the city to pursue the property. “Having that in our neighborhood is a benefit. If it’s privately owned, that may not ensure access.”

If the city is awarded the property, councilman Ries said they would assure it remains accessible. 

“Our intent is for it not to be dozed, logged or developed,” he explained. “It’s for green space at the ballpark, to protect our park.”

Resident requests dog park

During the public comment period, resident Paul Colsch asked the council to consider creating a dog park within the city. The area would have to be fenced, he said, and offer separate areas for bigger dogs and smaller dogs.

Council members were receptive to the idea.

“It’s something to check out, to see what property we have,” said Ryan Young. “It could be a draw.”

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