Council hears more details on Fogarty mural

MARSHALL – Marshall City Council members learned more about a planned downtown mural by artist and Southwest Minnesota State University alumnus Terrence Fogarty during part of their regular meeting Tuesday night. Council members approved an artist’s agreement commissioning the painting that will later become the mural.

Marshall Community Services Director Harry Weilage said the finished mural would go up in 2014.

The Fogarty mural will be the last of three planned by the Marshall Mural Project. The finished mural will have a theme of sports and recreation and will be located on the parking lot side of the Varsity Pub building at the corner of Main Street and College Drive.

Weilage said the mural won’t be painted directly on the building, like the mural on the west wall of Johnson’s Paint and Wallpaper further down Main Street. Instead, Fogarty will start with a 20-by-60 inch oil painting on canvas. Once the painting is finished, Weilage said, the image will be enlarged onto another material like vinyl and attached to the wall.

In that respect, he said, “It would be similar to the mural on 3rd Street.”

Under the artist’s agreement, the original painting would also belong to the city. Weilage said it could be displayed at the planned amateur sports center in Marshall.

Funding for the artist’s agreement will come from several sources – including $20,000 funded through the 1.5 percent city tax helping to fund the sports center, Weilage said. Weilage said the painting’s planned display at the sports center helped connect it to the project. Other funding sources include a raffle fundraiser that raised $15,000 and five corporate sponsors contributing a total of $12,500. He said the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council also has $9,600 in funding that will go toward construction of the mural.

“They’ve had wide support for the project,” he said.

Council member Glenn Bayerkohler asked about plans to use sales tax funds to help buy the mural painting. Council member John DeCramer said sports center supporters are “believing pretty strongly we’ll get state bonding dollars” in the next legislative session.

Council members voted 6-1 in favor of approving the artist’s agreement. Bayerkohler cast the vote against.

Council members voted to award a bid for a new rural pumper truck for the Marshall Fire Department. Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said the city received two bids to build the truck. The low bid was from Custom Fire for about $468,000.

Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith said the truck design included features that would help with fighting grass fires and would meet current vehicle regulations.

“It’s a quite detailed truck,” Klaith said. He said the new truck would take a while to be built to specifications and would likely be delivered in March. He said another small city had shown potential interest in buying the old truck from Marshall.

A project that would build a segment of bike trail running from Clarice Avenue to Minnesota Highway 19 prompted some questions from Bayerkohler. Assistant city engineer Shane Waterman presented council members with an agreement limited use permit from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for construction of the trail within the Minnesota Highway 23 right of way. The project was part of MnDOT’s Safety Transportation Improvement Projects in 2008.

Bayerkohler said he had questions about some of the terms of MnDOT’s permit agreement, including a termination date in 2033, with the provision that the city will then remove the trail.

“That’s kind of scary,” Bayerkohler said. The permit agreement says the city would also need to reapply for a new limited use permit if it wanted to continue using the trail.

Waterman said he might not be able to explain the terms of the agreement or termination date for Bayerkohler. However, council members voted to approve the agreement. Council members said it’s possible that the highway or area around the trail might even be redeveloped by 2033.

During an informational update at Tuesday’s meeting, Waterman told council members that Marshall Public Works Director Glenn Olson is recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash last week, while Olson was on vacation. Waterman said Olson has been able to do some office work this week but is still on the mend.