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County leases former fire station for $1

T-R FILE PHOTO The former fire station on First Avenue will be leased to Marshall County for $1. It will be used for the November election.

Marshall County will pay $1 to David and Kathy Thompson to lease the former fire station at 107 S. First Ave.

The space will be used for the November general election. Auditor Nan Benson told the Board of Supervisors at the regular Tuesday meeting that the cost is only $1 so all of the insurance can be taken care of.

Supervisor Steve Salasek asked if there was any negotiation in the lease cost.

“Could it have been 50 cents?” he asked, joking.

Thompson said they did not want anything for the lease but Benson insisted it had to cost $1.

“It’s more of an administrative hassle,” she said. “We appreciate because of the transfer process of David and Kathy’s donation to the county, it always seems like real estate things never go as quickly as we want them to because there’s always . . . it just takes longer than we think. So, this takes care of us and at this point Dave is actually letting us use both sides of the building – both 107 and 109.”

Benson said only 109 was used for the June primary election.

Thompson, who is also a supervisor, said his only concern was he and his wife were given keys to the building and they know the code to the back door.

“Because this is an election and you need it completely secured without question, I feel no matter who wins this next election that it will be challenged,” he said. “We would appreciate it if the security was changed and we don’t have access to anything.”

Benson said the office space will be rekeyed with keys the Thompsons do not have. Everything for the election will be secured in the office. The other space, she said, will be used for public voting booths and tables.

“Nothing of value. It will not have the ballots. It will not have that type of information,” Benson said.

Thompson said the request is for their protection regarding the validity of the election, regardless of what happens.

“We don’t want to get caught up in it in any way, shape or form,” he said.

The county will take care of the small yard space, and remove some bushes that are overlapping the sidewalk.

Supervisor Bill Patten laughingly said that could be taken care of with a stake in the ground, a rope and a goat. Salasek asked if the City of Marshalltown would allow that.

“Well they allow chickens,” Patten said.

Thompson abstained from the vote approving the lease.

In other business:

* The supervisors discussed the possibility of holding meetings in Great Western Bank again and continuing the utilization of Zoom. Thompson said there has been more meeting participation and views from the public thanks to the Zoom option than he has ever seen. No action was taken and the matter will be discussed again in one month.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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