Truck drivers Ralph Hartley and Kevin Steele were quick to speak up that they needed the parking area.
Brewer said he would fence the area with a high-tensile wire that can’t be cut with pliers. Steele said it’s important to secure the loads he hauls when he’s home.
Steele said the secured area could be important economically to Marion. He said his company wouldn’t allow him to unhook his high-value trailer loads in anything but a company-approved secure area.
Since he couldn’t unhook while he was home, Mike’s Service had been denied a chance to rotate his tires, and service his truck for several hundred dollars.
Councilor Bill Holderman noted that with an estimated 15 semi-truck drivers living in town, they could be considered an important industrial component of the city.
Hartley had asked the council at an earlier meeting to provide city parking for the drivers, but he liked Brewer’s offer. He had offered to help haul gravel.
Hartley said the only other place for the trucks to park in Marion is at Ampride, where the charge is $50 a month or a guaranteed purchase of $500 diesel. But the space provided there can only park five trucks, he said.
Brewer said in his area, which he had intended for RV and boat storage to finance his retirement, he would charge only $25 a month, plus $10 a month for use of an electric hot-line he would put in for heating truck blocks for easier start in the winter.
In answer to a question from Councilor Gene Winkler as to why he wouldn’t charge as much as Ampride, Brewer replied that he is trying to keep charges comparable for all units he gives parking space to there, including trucks and RVs.
The truck drivers said Pizza Hut does not want them parking in its space there “because a bull hauler dumped waste there, spoiling it for all of us.”
The drivers asked that until the development is done that Marion police be asked to refrain from bothering them with where they currently parked.
Brewer also asked that the city also assure adequate streets for two to three blocks for trucks to get from Main Street to the parking area.
Councilor Jerry Kline noted that former Marion oil man Don Rogers used to take very heavily loaded semi-trucks through the same area.
Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson said that some of the streets involved have only had histories of being repeatedly “slurry sealed.” He said use of some gravelled only streets might be preferable.
Mayor Martin Tice asked that since “several concerns seem to be involved” the council table the issue for two weeks to allow study of issue.
Charles Heerey, reporting to the council for the Marion Housing Authority, said Hilltop Manor has one vacancy with 13 persons on the waiting list after a year of being full.
Heerey said after years of Hilltop residents being mostly women, “we have nine males up there now.” As a result the Housing Authority has installed 8-ball and snooker in the new storm shelter.
“We have a wonderful investment in that storm shelter,” Heerey said. “Chairs can be put around the edge of it. It’s as big as the council room here. You ought to go see it.”
He said in an emergency, the shelter is big enough to house more than just Hilltop residents in its area.
Heerey said an $18,480 grant was used to replace exterior, interior and storm doors on units. They also have been replacing kitchen cabinets and carpets.
Heerey said income and handicap approved residents can stay in Hilltop units for as low as $50 for a one-bedroom unit to as high as $521 for a two-bedroom unit.