Marion leaders OK tables, bike rack for coffee shop

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
The Marion City Commission Monday approved the Daily Grind coffee shop placing tables and a bicycle rack on the sidewalk for a 30-day trial period.

The business also is allowed to put up an awning for window sun protection without signage, which falls outside city regulations, according to City Manager David Mayfield.

Daily Grind owners Annette Nienstedt and Kim Thompson had earlier asked permission for the sidewalk usage plus use of Liberty Park across the street. They were denied these requests by Mayfield, Harvey Sanders, public works director, and Michel Soyez, police chief, unless they got commission approval.

Thompson said kids who have moved evening activities down the street to the Daily Grind might be encouraged to do less moving up and down the street by the availability of outside tables.

She said the sidewalks are “double-width” so tables could fit without blocking foot traffic. She envisioned one table in front along Main Street next to the building, and one around the side under a stairwell on Second Street.

Commissioner Jim Crofoot said he didn’t think the sidewalk on Second actually was as wide as the one on Main.

Nienstedt said the tables to be used are only 24-inch round tables, so there is little likelihood they will block any more than an existing building ramp does or the stairwell does.

Soyez confirmed that he thought under the stairwell on Second would also be a good place for the bike rack.

Thompson said she hoped the tables could be out in time for Art in the Park and remain for Old Settlers’ Day.

Mayor Martin Tice suggested the 30-day trial, which was approved 3-0, to see if it was good for the business without creating problems for pedestrians or vehicle traffic.

For the second meeting in a row, the commissioners postponed discussing an ordinance regarding landlord responsibility for unpaid tenant utility bills. The first postponement was for the absence of Larry McLain, the second for the absence of City Attorney Dan Baldwin.

Sanders said at public request, new street lights are being installed on South Roosevelt this week, and may be done Tuesday night.

He reported the city crew is finished hauling in blacktop for Eisenhower Street by the new assisted living facility.

Soyez said no parking signs will be put in along Santa Fe Street by the Elgin Hotel across from the city building to help keep the street widened for traffic movement.

Mayfield said four parking stalls at the city building will also be made 15-minute parking spots to keep them open for customers trying to pay utility bills. He said that especially elderly customers find it difficult to walk a distance to the building.

Mayfield said a man from Florida who bought a house in Marion over the Internet that is in the process of being condemned by the city has been here to paint and clean up outside.

Sanders said from the outside the house is looking “not that bad now.”

Mayfield said the man said his contractor would be there to install plumbing and heating in the house to bring it up to standard, but no such action has been noted yet.

Mayfield confirmed to commissioners that another house a block away from the first would have to be inspected soon.

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