Marked Tree council approves rail spur repairs
After much discussion, the Marked Tree City Council voted 7-1 in favor of accepting a bid of over $44,000 to do railroad track repairs to the spur next to Snyder Crown.
During the discussion, Alderman Shane Glenn, who voted against the ordinance, asked about the possibility of deeding the spur to Snyder Crown and having them pay for the repairs. "What does the city get out of it?" Glenn said. "I just don't see that the city needs to foot the whole bill."
Alderman Michael Scott said he would be in favor of negotiating with Snyder Crown to help with the cost. Mayor Mary Ann Arnold said there is room for the spur to expand, and that potential could eventually lead to another factory which would benefit the city. "I think it would be short-sighted to get rid of our spurs," Mayor Arnold said.
"I don't see us gaining factories in the future," Glenn said. "Personally, I don't think the city should be in the rail business."
Aldermen Mary Smith and Cleo Johnson said they believed the city should pay for the repairs. "The rail is the only thing you got going," Johnson said. "You need the rail."
According to the ordinance the council adopted, Shelby Railroad Service, Inc., will do the repairs for an estimate fo $44,975. The money will come out of the city's industrial fund.
In other business, the city passed a resolution extending the tax millage of 3.04 mills. According to Mayor Arnold, the millage has not been raised in the last few years and is one of the lowest in the county.
The council briefly discussed a contract with Joey McCorkle to lease part of the rail spur for a future grain business but tabled the matter to give him a chance to review the contract.
The council also accepted the 2013 audit and approved hiring Michael Matlock as a patrolman and Ashley Rollins as a dispatcher.