In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...
Mayor Gary Rayhill read the traditional poem with great emotion at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 8. With the reading, the proclamation of Poppy Day, May 24, was signed by the mayor. Auxiliary Unit 240 embraces the importance of Poppy Day each year, as the red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It also reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms.
Auxiliary member Cindy Knecht and Junior Auxiliary member Laney Fanning witnessed the proclamation signing, and brought poppies for council members and others present at the meeting. Unit 240 will be selling poppies in locations of Martin on May 24.
Malt Beverage Hearing
Following regular opening business, the council addressed the agenda item: Malt Beverage Hearing, New License for Family Dollar. Immediately, three voices of opposition spoke from the audience. Rich Toczek, representing Sportsman’s Lanes, spoke for Matt Risse of the American Legion, and Susan Palmer, of Susan’s H and H Bar.
“One, we have enough malt beverage licenses in this town. Two, on behalf of our Budweiser salesman, who couldn’t make it to the meeting, he doesn’t want to go into the store. Where are they going to put him? He can’t get down the aisles, and he’s also opposed.”
Risse spoke up, “One thing, too, with the amount of theft, and high employee turnover, how are they going to make sure they have employees trained to sell alcohol or beer to people who are 21?” Palmer was asked if she would like to say anything. “No, they said it all!”
Toczek continued. “If they were serious enough about this, someone would be here to speak their piece. I just think it would be a nightmare, but that’s personal.”
After reading a letter concerning the matter from City Attorney Sarah Frankenstein, and following a unanimous discussion, the application was denied.
CPA Jim Gardner presented the annual financial compilation from January 1 through December 31, 2018 to the council, who approved its passing.
Rural Attorney Recruitment
Pat Goetzinger was contacted by speakerphone to address the council on the matter of Rural Attorney Recruitment. The purpose of his call was to ask the city to donate a portion of the funds for financing the program. He began by stating, “I want to make it clear that I’m visiting as a private citizen. I wear a lot of different hats in association with the program.” Goetzinger reminded the council that long-time residents of Martin, Fred and Luella Cozad, were co-chairs for the project, with the city and Bennett County being their inspiration. “As an attorney, Fred knew the importance of having access to legal representation in our rural area, and the justice that comes with it.”
Goetzinger mentioned attorney Amanda LaCroix, and how she began working in Bennett County last year through the program. Pat was not aware that LaCroix was at the meeting, and was listening to his praise.
Goetzinger told the council that this program is a nod to the legacy of the work of Fred and Luella Cozad, and asked for the city to provide half the funding for the five year commitment. The council agreed unanimously to paying half the cost, totaling $1,189.38 each year for the next five years.
With the approval, Goetzinger added one parting note. “Fred was my mentor. He was responsible for me becoming a lawyer. Now it is time to mentor the next generation. From the bottom of my heart, we’re glad to have her (LaCroix) in the community, the whole family.”
Police Chief Brandon Petersen addressed the council with statistics from April. The department had 73 calls for services, 1,060 events logged, with six felony arrests and 13 misdemeanor arrests.
He mentioned that he was aware that the county sheriff’s office is planning to sell a vehicle, and will continue visiting with the sheriff about details.
The council went into executive session at this time for personnel issues, and returned to regular session a short time later.
Extend Free Cleanup Month
Mayor Rayhill brought up to the council that during April’s free cleanup month at the city landfill, “We had one nice day. People have not been able to get their yard work done because of blizzards.” The council agreed to extend the free month through the end of June. It was mentioned the road to the landfill has been in rough shape due to the rain. Finance Officer Jean Kirk also joked, “You guys are going to make it rain for another month and a half!”
Discussion later in the meeting was held about the possibility of having a sign at the corner of the highway to let the public know if the landfill was open. The council will check into the details of having one.
Adjourn Old Council/Call to Order New
Mayor Rayhill adjourned the current city council, adding, “See ya!”
He then called the new meeting to order at 6:55 p.m., with each member signing their current Oath of Office. The same members remain on the council, and retained their current committee duties.
Walter York was voted as Council President, with Tootie Moffit being Vice President.
The council approved Security First Bank as Official Depository, Bennett County Booster as the Official Newspaper, and Sarah Frankenstein as City Attorney.
Open Bids Cold Mix, Chips and Hauling
Bids were opened for cold mix, chips, and hauling. Simon was the only bid for materials. Cold mix was $107.00 per ton, chips $16.50 a ton and emulsion oil was $2.15 a gallon
Both Brent Weber Livestock and Ceplecha Trucking bid on hauling. Weber was .145 per ton mile and Ceplecha was .1448. The bid was given to Weber because he had a copy of his insurance with the bid.
The council approved the hiring of Jennifer May as Swimming Pool Manager. Lifeguards hired include Nicole Goetzinger, Tabitha Pettit, Josie May, Jessica Begeman, Baily May, and Rachel Ireland. Baily and Rachel will need to be certified. Opening day for the pool is planned for late May, as the weather allows.
The council approved a $120,440.00 partial payment for the Water Project. Rayhill reported that Avenue Five is completed, and work is continuing down Dorothy Street, going east and west.
Malt Beverage Licences
Malt beverage licenses were granted for Sportsman’s Lanes, Martin Golf Course, American Legion Post 240, Bros. Inc., two Yesway locations, Lynn’s Dakotamart and Susan’s H and H Bar and Grill.
Building permits were granted for Tammy Red Owl and Leslie Ferguson, 500 Easy Street, adding an addition to their home; Carol Palmer, moving a double wide trailer to 204 Bennett Avenue; and Sky Garner, building permit extended for nine months.
The June council meeting will be moved to Friday, June 14, at 5:30 p.m., in the Library Community Room, due to Jean Kirk attending Finance Officer’s School.