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A quarterly newsletter by the City of Marion, Iowa -

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Published by City of Marion, 2017-11-20 09:35:44

Marion Messenger - Nov. 2017

A quarterly newsletter by the City of Marion, Iowa -



















ImaginNEXT Experience a
Very Merry Marion
Share your
Big Ideas Shop Local this Holiday Season | page 4
for Marion

page 5



In thanksgiving Wednesday in the
and gratitude… Ward Meetings Continue

This time of year gives us Marion City Council members have been hosting a series
reason to pause and count our of Wednesday in the Ward meetings to showcase the
many blessings. As a long-time projects underway in the respective wards and discuss
resident and mayor of our great city, those anticipated in the next couple of years.
I am thankful that we have so much
to celebrate. The Ward 4 gathering is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 13,
2017 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Hickory Room at Lowe Park,
In the past month alone, we 4500 N. 10th Street in Marion.
welcomed several new businesses
to Marion and were joined by the Visit the Mayor & City Council page at to
governor in celebrating the restoration of the Cobban-Hervey view a map of Marion’s wards and determine the appropriate
building and the rebirth of our historic Uptown as a destination meeting to attend.
and center for commerce, culture and entertainment.
We dedicated Marion’s newest park, Waldo’s Rock Park, In addition, Marion City Council members continue to
and completed two new art installations along the sculpture hold regular office hours every Saturday between 9:30-11:30
trail at Lowe Park. a.m. at the Marion Public Library, 1095 6th Avenue.
We broke ground on the expansion of Marion Process
Solutions and the construction of a new Marriott hotel in On the last Saturday of the month, Mayor AbouAssaly
a former brownfield site in the city’s core. invites all residents for coffee and conversation from
These were just the latest in a series of positive achievements 8-9:30 a.m. in the dining area at Marion Hy-Vee.
this year, which are made possible through the efforts of our
city staff and community volunteers, our business community City Council Meeting
and our economic development partners. I am grateful for the Schedule Changes for 2018
forward momentum and the positive transformation our city
is enjoying through these collaborative efforts, and the benefits The Marion City Council will not be meeting in work
that will be enjoyed by future generations. session on Tuesday, Jan. 2 or regular session on Thursday,
I am thankful for our businesses who believe in the amazing Nov. 22, 2018 due to holidays. Both the work session and
potential of Marion and are investing in its future. I encourage regular meetings will be combined in these instances on
residents to support all our local businesses this holiday season Thursday, Jan. 4 and Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018.
and beyond.
I am thankful for our city staff who work hard every day IN THE KNOW: ELECTION
to give Marion residents an unequalled quality of life. In our
recent citizen survey, 93 percent of residents rated Marion as an Election Results
excellent or good place to live. This level of citizen satisfaction
is a testament to the high quality services our city provides. Marion voters elected the following individuals to
I am thankful to my fellow City Council members, who love represent them on Marion City Council. They will
our town and take their responsibilities seriously. Through their officially take office on Jan. 1, 2018.
efforts in cooperation with the city staff, Marion is among an elite
group of Iowa cities with the highest bond ratings, a recognition Randy Strnad Steve Jensen Rene Gadehla
of sound financial management. I’m grateful to have had the At-Large Ward 2 Ward 4
honor of serving with Joe Spinks, Mary Lou Pazour and Dave
Nicholson, and wish them well as they leave the Council this year. Outgoing council members Mary Lou Pazour –
Most of all, I am thankful to you, the residents who choose At-large, Joe Spinks – Ward 2 and David Nicholson
to call Marion home and share in the vision of making our – Ward 4 did not seek reelection. Other council
City the best place to live, raise a family and grow a business. members not yet up for reelection include Paul
Marion is a great place because of its caring people, its non-profit Draper - At-large, Kim Etzel - Ward 1, Will Brandt -
organizations and its volunteers who help out their neighbors, Ward 3 and Nicolas AbouAssaly - Mayor.
serve our citizens’ needs and do the extra things that enrich The Marion City Council is made up of seven
our lives on a daily basis. members, including the mayor, who serve
This holiday season will offer us many opportunities to show staggered four-year terms.
our sense of community and compassion toward those who
depend on our generosity. I encourage all of us to do our best
to spread kindness and goodwill so that everyone may enjoy
the spirit of the season.
Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season.
Let’s continue reaching higher, together.


Get in the holiday spirit during Marion’s Christmas in the Park and
Peppermint Walk festivities! Join us for this annual celebration
on Friday, Dec. 1 from 4–8 p.m. in City Square Park. Santa and
Mrs. Claus will be escorted by the Marion Police and Fire Departments.

Traditional activities include the lighting of the community peace
tree, holiday music, horse-drawn carriage rides around City Square
Park, hot cocoa and popcorn. Kids—don’t miss this opportunity to
climb aboard the caboose as it’s transformed into the Peppermint
Express! Bring a new, warm-weather item to place inside and help
Keep Your Neighbors Warm. Craft activities, holiday tubas and a
holiday book sale round out the fun at the Marion Public Library.

In addition to the activities happening in the Park, Uptown
Marion will host the Peppermint Walk, a holiday shopping event.
Enjoy Uptown businesses as they are decked out for the holidays
complete with a special peppermint treat!

Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk is presented by the
Marion Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Marion Main Street
District. It remains a free community event thanks to the Marion
Chamber Platinum Community Partners – Farmers State Bank, Fosters
Heating and Air Conditioning, ImOn Communications, MercyCare
Community Physicians and Townsquare Media.


2017 Schedule of Events
All activities are FREE thanks to our event sponsors.

Shop Local this Arrival of Santa Claus All of the stores will be decked with holiday
Holiday Season lights, decorations and music making this
4 p.m. l Don’t miss the grand arrival a great complement to the park activities.
Small Business Saturday of our special guests by fire truck! Santa, Present a receipt from a purchase made
Mrs. Claus and their special reindeer will during the event at any Uptown Marion
Kick-off the holiday shopping season visit with children from 4-8 p.m. business and be registered to win one of
on Small Business Saturday! Uptown two $50 gift certificates to participating
Marion Main Street and Marion Peace Tree Uptown businesses. Fill a Holiday Passport
Chamber of Commerce will host a by Dec. 21 for a chance to win $50 Uptown
shopping event on Saturday, Nov. 25, 6 p.m. l Officially kick off the festivities Dollars. For list of participating locations,
between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy holiday with the lighting of the Marion Community please visit or
music as you shop and dine Uptown. Peace Tree.
Receive a free Shop Small gift, while
supplies last, and be entered to win Holiday Music, Christmas with Mrs. Claus
a $100 Uptown Dollars gift certificate Hot Cocoa and Popcorn
with each receipt you show! For your Registration is now open to experience a
convenience, a gift wrapping station 4-8 p.m. l Enjoy hot cocoa and fresh fun morning with Mrs. Claus while helping
will also be available. popcorn (while supplies last) and listen Keep Your Neighbors Warm. The event will
to classic holiday tunes. be held Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 at the Granger
Extended Holiday House in Marion. While Santa is busy
Shopping Hours Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides helping the elves prepare, Mrs. Claus will
make a special visit to Marion to share fun
Small Business Saturday will launch 4-8 p.m. l Create a special memory with facts from the North Pole while children
extended shopping hours within the your family by taking a horse-drawn enjoy cookie decorating, crafts and a tour of
Uptown district between Saturday, carriage ride around City Square Park. the Granger House, learning about holiday
Nov. 25 and Friday, Dec. 22. A district traditions in the late-19th century. Sit in
map, list of stores and shopping Keep Your Neighbors Warm the parlor while Mrs. Claus shares a story
hours can be found online at about giving during the holiday season. 4-8 p.m. l The public is invited to bring Participation is limited and registration is
donations of new hats, gloves or blankets. required. Cost will be a donation of a NEW
Uptown Holiday Passport Look for the Peppermint Express and cold weather item for each child attending.
help our conductors fill the caboose! Items can be hats, mittens, gloves or
In addition, between Small Business Items donated will be distributed to area blankets. Children ages 4-10 are eligible
Saturday and Dec. 21, shoppers have families in need through the Marion to attend and a parent or guardian must
the opportunity to fill an Uptown Holiday Giving Project. remain on site. Find more information
Holiday Passport by visiting partici- or register online at
pating businesses that have decked Marion Heritage Center
the halls for the holidays. Passports Donated items will benefit the Marion
will be available at each participating 5:30 p.m. l The Marion Big Band will play Holiday Giving Project which provides
business, as well as at the Uptown/ a mix of jazzy holiday tunes as well as a few clothing, non-perishable foods, winter
Chamber booth during Small classic big band favorites. Stop in, warm up items and gifts to over 142 Marion
Business Saturday and the Pepper- and enjoy live music. Dancers are welcome! families in need.
mint Walk. Return your filled Holiday
Passport by Dec. 21 to the Uptown/ Peppermint Walk
Chamber office for a chance to win
a $50 Uptown Dollars gift certificate. Visit participating Uptown Marion
merchants, restaurants and businesses
Uptown Dollars during this special holiday open house.

Struggling to find the perfect gift for
someone special? Consider giving
him or her Uptown Dollars! With 30
businesses participating in this certif-
icate program, your someone special
is sure to have fun as they shop, eat
and explore Uptown Marion. Certifi-
cates can be purchased at Hills Bank
and Trust Company (800 11th St) or
at the Uptown/Chamber Office (1225
6th Ave, Ste. 100) / 319-377-6316.
View participating businesses here:



Community Promise to Equip ImagiNEXT
Students with Tools to Succeed
Share your Big Ideas
Iowa has a goal of equipping 70 percent of individuals with postsecondary for Marion
education by 2025. At a minimum, students and adults need to obtain some type
of training or education beyond high school in order to earn a living wage and be ImagiNEXT, Marion’s latest community vision-
qualified for the majority of jobs. According to MEDCO’s business partners, the ing initiative kicked off in October. The process
number one challenge within our local and regional economy is finding qualified will engage the greater Marion area in an open,
and skilled talent. Why not take this goal into our own hands and equip students all-inclusive conversation to develop great ideas
with the tools to pursue a career in Marion? that reinforce the fact that Marion, Iowa is the
best place to raise a family and grow a business.
Community Promise immerses students in local business and provides clear
pathways toward authentic career pursuit. We’re building lasting relationships For the next several months, community
with future employers who are interested in investing in students. members have the opportunity to form groups
and brainstorm ideas they think could make
Students can learn about Community Promise at Marion an even better place to live, work
Here you will find a number of resources to learn about our business partners and and play.
unique careers that you may not even know exist in our community and region.
You’ll also find tools that illustrate career training and education opportunities, The public is encouraged to get involved
wages and benefits, and future employment trends within various careers. and conduct their own brainstorming sessions.
A gathering may be formal or informal includ-
Whether a student, parent, teacher or business, it’s time to get started. ing clubs, churches, neighborhood or coffee
Being the best place in Iowa to raise a family and grow a business means investing groups. More information about conducting
a brainstorming session and a printable toolkit
in our future workforce. can be found at All
ideas can be submitted through the website.
Students from Vernon
Middle School in Marion had In 2009 the community took part in
the opportunity to visit the Imagine8 which narrowed over 1,800 ideas
Alliant Energy Operations down to the Great 8 projects including: the
Center as part of one of Klopfenstein Amphitheater for the Performing
MEDCO’s Career Explorer Arts, splash pads at Thomas and Gill Parks,
Groups. Exposing students and the Lindale Trail to name a few. The final
to careers in their commu- two Imagine8 projects, a new Marion YMCA
nity at the middle school and Library, are in the final planning stages
level is a key strategy within and quickly approaching groundbreakings.
Community Promise.
Thank you to Marion Chamber of
Commerce, Farmers State Bank, KCRG TV9,
and Blue Sky Productions for sponsoring
ImagiNEXT, with support from Iowa BIG
and the City of Marion.


New bicycle-friendly street markings being painted on residential streets in Marion.
They are being installed as recommended in the Master Trails Plan which was adopted in 2014.
On street bike-friendly routes serve as a cost-effective option for multi-modal transportation.

Bicycle-Friendly Markings being
Painted on Neighborhood Streets

BICYCLE BOULEVARD designations are found
on lower-volume, lower-speed neighborhood streets.
The streets provide good access to destinations such as
schools, parks and trails. The pavement markings serve
as a reminder that the travel lane is shared.

SHARROWS are found on streets with higher-
traffic volumes and speed limits up to 30 MPH. They
do not designate any part of the roadway as exclusive
to motorists or bicyclists. They remind travelers to
share the road.

When you drive:
• Keep an eye out for bicyclists who may be traveling in the same lane.

They have a right to be there.
• Travel a safe distance behind bicyclists until it is safe to pass.

A recommended clearance is at least 3 feet.
• Y ou are allowed to drive on or over the markings.

You are not restricted to driving to the left of the symbols.

When you bike:
• Y ou may, but are not required to ride on or over the lane markings.

Always ride where you feel most comfortable and safe.
• Always travel in the same direction as traffic.


Roundabout Reminders and Traffic Concerns

As most residents are aware, roundabouts Leave some room when entering, so

have replaced some of the conventional others from other directions can continue

intersections in Marion. The newest one moving as well. It is similar to a four way

is being constructed at the intersection of stop at a busy intersection. We all need to

6th Avenue and 15th Street. While most of be considerate, take our time and take turns.

the roundabouts have been fully-functional When this happens, people realize just how

for a while now, some drivers continue efficient and effective the roundabouts can

to adjust. be for everybody.

Roundabouts are engineered to keep Driving, like most things in life, relies

traffic moving, minimize traffic delay heavily on courtesy and common sense.

and maximize safety. When navigating If you are watching someone driving

a roundabout, you merely need to yield dangerously and need immediate police

to the vehicle or vehicles already in the response, call 9-1-1.

roundabout (they will be traveling from If you have more of a chronic problem

your left to right). If there is a gap to of people speeding or driving recklessly in

safely enter the roundabout, continue in, your neighborhood, or have other traffic

maintain the proper speed and prepare concerns, feel free to contact Sergeant

to exit at the street of your choice. Jerry Whitson with the Marion Police

Roundabouts work best if all drivers Department by calling the non-emergency

show consideration for each other. number, 319-377-1511.


for Iowa Now
City Hall
The Marion Police Department is teaming up 1225 6th Avenue
with University of Iowa researchers to take a Marion, IA 52302
proactive step toward reducing crime and
improving policing strategies. Administrative Offices
Marion Police and UI
City Manager
PARTNERSHIPPublic Policy Center Forge 319-743-6301
“Too often, the criminologists have been people who look at the process City Clerk/Finance
after the fact instead of being there with you throughout the process,” 319-743-6350
says McHale, who plans to eventually hire a criminal analyst. “This
process will lay the groundwork for us to have a criminologist with us Planning & Development
as incidents occur to help us course-correct in the interest of public 319-743-6320
safety. We’re really excited about working with the University of Iowa.”
Building Department
As part of a partnership with the UI In addition, the Public Policy Center 319-743-6330
Public Policy Center’s Crime and researchers will employ social network
Justice Policy Research Program, analysis to identify individuals within Engineering Department
Marion police will work with researchers Marion and surrounding areas who are 319-743-6340
to learn about intelligence-led policing disproportionately involved in serious
and network analysis. criminal behavior. Water Department
Over the next six months, Mark Berg, “This strategy attempts to evaluate the
director of the research program and number of serious offenders within an Parks & Recreation
associate professor in the UI Department area and identify those who occupy key Lowe Park, 4500 10th Street
of Sociology, and Ethan Rogers, a research positions within offending networks, and 319-447-3590
coordinator with the program, will analyze therefore have the most influence on the
data already collected by the department— amount of crime in that area,” says Berg. Thomas Park, 343 Marion Blvd.
such as calls for service—to help Marion 319-447-3580
police develop a new beat structure that Marion Police Chief Joe McHale says
responds to the specific needs of the taking a look at the type, location and Public Services
community they serve. frequency of certain crimes throughout the (solid waste, sewer, streets)
city could help the department be more 195 35th Street
Researchers will formulate those beats thoughtful about how it assigns officers to 319-377-6367
by taking into account the seriousness of beats, responds to crime, and ultimately
a crime, the amount of time required to serves the community it is charged to protect. Marion Public Library
respond to calls, and the areas where 1095 6th Avenue
serious crimes occur. “Marion is one of the fastest growing 319-377-3412
towns in Iowa, and the department will
“Essentially, we will conduct data grow significantly in the next decade,” says Fire Department
analysis to help the police department McHale. “We want to be able to use data to 3933 Katz Drive
understand where to put their resources inform our decisions so we can make our Emergency – 911
as their community continues to grow city as safe as possible for our residents.” Non-Emergency – 319-377-8237
and evolve,” says Berg.
Police Department
6315 Highway 151
Emergency – 911
Non-Emergency – 319-377-1511
Records – 319-200-7714
Administration – 319-200-7727


Fire Prevention Week took place October 8-14, 2017 and this year’s message
centered on Every Second Counts – Plan 2 Ways Out.

Fire Prevention Week

With the contents of homes now
largely petroleum based – made out
of synthetics, foams and plastics –
fires spread faster, burn hotter and produce more
toxic smoke than ever before. It is critical to have
two ways out of every room in a home and have
working smoke detectors to provide early
warning to a fire starting.

Every year the Marion Fire Department
provides fire safety education to the elementary
students during Fire Prevention Week. They
educate around 630 third grade students, 650
first grade students, and 450 kindergarten
students about having two ways out, identifying
a meeting place and the importance of having
working smoke detectors.

All of the third grade students from Marion,
Linn-Mar and St. Joseph Catholic School partic-

ipate in a fire safety poster contest.
Their classroom teachers select one
poster from their classroom and
then the Marion Fire Department
selects the best poster from each
school and an overall winner from
all 27 classrooms. Each student
that was voted best in their school
received a signed certificate from
the Fire Chief as well as a trophy.

Congratulations to all
who participated in the poster
contest. This year’s best in the city
winner is Emily W. from Wilkins
Elementary! Emily is pictured
with Captain Shawn Fluharty.

Help a Firefighter: Adopt a Hydrant

When the snow flies, the Marion Water and Fire Departments encourage
residents and business owners to adopt their neighborhood fire hydrants.

The number of house fires typically increase during the winter. Significant snow
accumulation and drifts can hide fire hydrants, making them impossible to find
quickly. In the event of a fire, firefighters often have to locate and shovel out
fire hydrants before being able to connect to them, losing precious time.

Clearing 3 feet around the hydrant allows room for the Fire Department
to access all of the discharge openings and have room to turn the hydrant
on in an emergency. When shoveling snow near the street, be aware of
vehicle traffic and use caution.


Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly
OF 1225 6th Ave. | (319) 743-6305
home decoration Winter holidays are a time for families and friends
fires are started to get together. But that also means a greater risk
for fire. Following a few simple tips from the At-Large – Mary Lou Pazour
by candles. National Fire Protection Association will ensure
1609 3rd Ave. | (319) 377-1309
Nearly a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

1/2 HOLIDAY DECORATING At-Large – Paul Draper

of decoration fires • B e careful with holiday decorations. Choose 4670 Fairways Ct. | (319) 377-8393
happen because decorations that are flame resistant or flame
decorations are retardant.
placed too close Ward One – Kim Etzel
to a heat source. • Keep lit candles away from decorations and
other things that can burn. 933 8th Ave. | (319) 491-7179
• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use,
but not both. Ward Two – Joe Spinks

• R eplace any string of lights with worn or 3165 29th Ave. | (319) 377-1070
broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Ward Three – Will Brandt
Read manufacturer’s instructions for number
of light strands to connect. 2745 4th Ave. | (319) 389-9918
BEFORE HEADING • U se clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords
OUT OR TO BED do not get damaged. Ward Four – David Nicholson
• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
1820 Agate Circle | (319) 377-3276
lit candles when Send the same email to all members
you leave the room • T est your smoke alarms and tell guests about at:
your home fire escape plan. Marion’s City Council meets in
or go to bed. work session (no action taken,
• Keep children and pets away from lit candles. just discussion) on the 1st and
Turn Off 3rd Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m.
• K eep matches and lighters up high in a locked Regular session meetings are held
all light strings and cabinet. the Thursday following the Tuesday
decorations before work session at 5:30 p.m. All meet-
• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop. ings are held at Marion City Hall.
leaving home or
going to bed. • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers MARION MESSENGER
to keep their smoking materials with them so The Marion Messenger is published
young children do not touch them. quarterly for the residents of Marion,
Iowa, to keep them informed of city
• Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet policies, new developments and
cigarette butts with water before discarding. community events. If you have com-
ments or suggestions concerning
this or future issues, please contact:
Amber Bisinger, Editor
Marion City Hall


Keep Sidewalks Waldo’s Rock Park
Clear of Snow and Ice
Marion’s Newest Park Opens
Per City ordinance, property owners are
required maintain their sidewalks and clear In October, Marion Park Board members, City staff, community
snow and ice within 12 hours of the snow or leaders and Chamber ambassadors gathered for a ribbon cutting
ice being deposited on the sidewalk. ceremony to celebrate the completion of Waldo’s Rock Park, the newest
park in Marion. Located at 6303 Partners Avenue, east of Highway 13
The entire sidewalk along the property must and south of Highway 151, the park is adjacent to the 184-acre Marion
be cleared, including any corners leading into Enterprise Center.
the street. If the snow/ice is not removed by
the date and time stated above, the City will In 2015, local resident and developer Waldo Morris donated 7.4 acres
clear the sidewalk. The resulting charges will of land to be developed as a city park. A large rock on the property
be 85 cents per square foot, plus a $25 was determined to be a glacial, granite rock deposited on the site from
administrative fee. west-central Minnesota during the last Ice Age.

Questions may be directed to the Parks & Aptly named Waldo’s Rock Park, the project features the glacial
Recreation Department at 319-447-3580. boulder, a pond, 20-stall parking lot, pavilion with grills, loop trail,
fishing pier, prairie grasses and a trail connection to the Grant Wood
Help Wanted! Trail system.

The Marion Parks & Recreation Department The pond will be stocked in the spring and catch and release fishing
hires seasonal employees over the winter will be permitted until the habitat has time to become established.
months. Are you or someone you know are The park will provide unique learning and recreational opportunities
interested in being a lifeguard or swim lesson for all ages.
instructor at the Marion Municipal Swimming
Pool next summer? Applications for these The project was funded in part by a Resource Enhancement and
positions are due by Feb. 16 and will be avail- Protection (REAP) Grant from the Iowa Department of Natural
able at Resources, local option sales tax (LOST) funds and the City of Marion.

Baseball & Softball Diamonds Marion Arts Council Offerings MARION

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 3, baseball/ COFFEEHOUSE NIGHTS l Don’t miss the upcoming Coffeehouse COUNCIL
softball diamond reservations will be taken Nights at the Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center hosted by the
at the Parks & Recreation Office at Lowe Park Marion Arts Council. The musical performances feature talented local
for 2018 field rentals. Fees must be paid at acoustic artists in a relaxed coffeehouse type atmosphere. Admission is free
the time reservations are made. Marion Parks and coffee, cocoa and pastries are available for purchase. Performances run
& Recreation has first priority of all fields and from 7-8:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.
facilities and predetermines the time slots
that are available for rental. Rentals are $15 Anji Kat l Friday, Dec. 1 l Anji is an award-winning singer/songwriter
for each 90 minute time slot. sought after for her heart-touching lyrics, her down to earth wisdom and
her heavenly voice. While home base is in Cedar Rapids, she shares her
Cemetery Preservation music, talents and messages for hope and healing across the country.

As one of the oldest cemeteries in Iowa, THE GALLERY AT LOWE l The front portion of the Lowe Park Arts &
Marion’s Oak Shade Cemetery is home to Environment Center features an inviting gallery for Marion Arts Council
graves dating back to before 1840. Naturally, exhibits. Approximately every eight weeks a new exhibit is displayed in the
many of the original settlers of Linn County gallery, featuring works by local and regional Iowa artists. This is a great
were laid to rest here, along with merchants, opportunity for the residents of Marion and visitors to enjoy a variety
politicians and families for the past 177 years. of quality works of art.
Many of these graves are in need of preserva-
tion or restoration. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and
the first Saturday of the month 1-3 p.m.
If a member of your family has a gravestone
which needs to be cleaned, straightened or From November-January, enjoy the pottery and 3D art of John-Thomas
repaired, Friends of Oak Shade will be happy Richard and the illustrations of Doug Knutson.
to help you fix it. Please call Darcie with the
Parks & Recreation Department at 447-3580
to learn more about how you can get help,
advice or a place on next year’s work schedule
to have it done for you. Another way you can
help is with a tax-deductible contribution to
our Adopt-a-Grave fund to cover the cost of
cleaning supplies and equipment.





Children Age 4 l Players meet for 5 classes Children Ages 3+ l Our Christmas tree Open to All Ages l Join us for nights of fun,
to work on very basic ball handling, shooting could use a little T.L.C. Help us decorate our socializing and a chance to win some cash!
and passing skills. Parents participate with tree at Lowe Park for the season. Fill, paint, Games will be played for $0.25 per card, per
their child or children for this program as color your ornament and leave it for us to put game. Cash prizes are paid to the winner of
recreation staff instructs and demonstrates on our tree at Lowe Park. Ornaments will be each game, along with a few bonus games
the drills. voted on by a combination of public, depart- with increased payouts and a winner-take-all
FEE: $39*, includes camp shirt ment staff and Facebook “likes” and can be game of blackout. Participants are welcome to
DAYS/DATES: Saturdays, Feb. 3–Mar. 3 picked-up at the end of the voting window. bring food and drinks to enjoy while they play.
TIME(S): Saturday mornings FEE: $10 per child Doors will open at 6 p.m. Seats and cards are
LOCATION: Echo Hill Elementary School DAYS/DATES: Monday, Dec. 4 limited and first come, first serve basis.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Dec. 15, 2017 TIME(S): 10-11 a.m. OR 6-7 p.m. (select 1) FEE: $0.25 per card, per game
LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment DAYS/DATES: Friday, Jan. 19 & Friday, Feb. 16
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Dec. 1, 2017 LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center
Children Grades K–1ST l This instructional REGISTRATION DEADLINE: No registration
program works on the basic skills of drib- CANDY CANE HUNT required, but seats and cards are limited
bling, passing and shooting. Players spend and are first come, first serve.
the first 2 meetings working on skills and Children Ages 3–6 l For everyone who
practicing with their team and coach(es), still believes! Someone has left candy canes ADULT TEAM TRIVIA NIGHT
then scrimmage the remaining 3 meetings. around the Lowe Park Arts & Environment
There are no additional practices. Center. Come help us find them all! First, Adults Ages 18+ l Bring your thinking caps
VOLUNTEER COACHES NEEDED! we’ll decorate some seasonal crafts and then and useless trivial knowledge to compete
FEE: $39*, includes team shirt the hunt is on to find every last candy cane. against other teams in fun and challenging
DAYS/DATES: Saturdays, Feb. 3–Mar. 3 After the hunt, we’ll enjoy milk, juice and trivia. Categories will include, but are not
TIME(S): Saturday mornings treats and maybe even a Christmas story. limited to: pop culture, movies, music, sports,
LOCATION: Echo Hill and Bowman Woods Limited number of spots available. history, brand recognition and more. Partici-
Elementary Schools FEE: $12 per child pants are welcome to bring food and drinks.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Dec. 15, 2017 DAYS/DATES: Saturday, Dec. 9 Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
*All basketball fees are impacted by a gym TIME: 9-10:30 a.m. Minimum of 6 teams; Maximum of 12 teams.
rental fee to use school gymnasiums and LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment FEE: $80 per team (Max: 8 people per team)
are included in the registration fee. Center DAYS/DATES: Saturday, Feb. 24
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Dec. 1, 2017 TIME(S): 6-9 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
INDOOR BLASTBALL CAMP LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center
Children Age 3 l Blastball helps prepare
players for organized baseball/softball in a Children Grades K–5TH l See what the elf LIL’ CHEFS COOKING CLASS
fun, non-competitive environment. Children culture is all about by bringing your kids to
will be introduced to the fundamentals of Santa’s Little Workshop for an afternoon Children Ages 3–5 l Come ready to bake,
throwing, hitting and fielding while fostering filled with games, crafts, snacks, music, cook, and have a great time. Children will
the values of teamwork and good sports- movies and more. Drop your kids off and create delicious snacks and treats to eat
manship. Limited number of spots available. finish up those last minute Christmas and take home with them. Parents are
VOLUNTEER COACHES NEEDED! errands. Limited number of spots available. encouraged to participate with their child.
FEE: $33, includes child’s team shirt FEE: $25 per child Bring your appetite! Limit 15 participants.
DAYS/DATES: Saturdays, Feb. 3–Mar. 3 DAYS/DATES: Saturday, Dec. 9 FEE: $30 per child
TIME(S): Times may vary on Saturday TIME: noon–5 p.m. DAYS/DATES: Thursdays, Feb. 1–22
mornings LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment TIME(S): 10-10:30 a.m. OR 5:30-6 p.m. (select 1)
LOCATION: Bowman Woods Elementary Center LOCATION: Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center

Upcoming Linn County Master Gardener Programs


l Create a winter arrangement suitable for indoors or out, calendar, March 3, for the annual Winter Gardening Fair.
using fresh greens, dried materials, glittering trims and bows. Choose four sessions from 46 different topics covering a
Materials, including the container, will be provided. Class wide range of interests presented by 23 experts. Back by
size is limited to 20. Materials fee: $20. Preregistration and popular demand will be five new “hands-on” workshops.
payment are required by calling or visiting the Iowa State Keynote speaker Adam Janke will discuss growing urban-
University Extension and Outreach – Linn County office at ization and increasing recognition of the important role
319-377-9839 or 383 Collins Road N.E., Suite 201, Cedar urban landscapes play in the natural world. This session
Rapids. The office is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.- will explore key principles and practices to make land-
4:30 p.m. Hosted by the Linn County Master Gardeners scapes work for wildlife, including butterflies to bats, using
native plants and mimicking natural systems and processes.
DATE: Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 Lunch is included with registration. For more details, go
to extension or call 377-9839.
TIME: 6:30-8 p.m.

LOCATION: Lowe Park Greenhouse, 4500 N 10th Street,


LYeatr’sdTaWlkaste IN THE KNOW:

Yard Waste Drop-off Facility Private Snow Plow Licensing Requirements

Marion residents that receive municipal solid City ordinance requires that all private snow removal contractors
waste collection can utilize the Yard Waste need to obtain a snow removal permit for any work to within the
Drop- off Facility located at 195 35th Street. City right of way. The cost for the permit is $25. Permit applications
Yard waste items such as leaves, grass clippings will be accepted now through Dec. 15, 2017. Applications may be
and brush less than 4” in diameter are obtained at the Public Services Department located at 195 35th
accepted at the facility free of charge. Street between 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call
the Public Services Department at 377-6367 with any questions.
Extended hours for the yard waste facility
through the end of November (weather Garbage Fee Exemption for Vacated Premises
permitting) are as follows:
You may be eligible for exemption from garbage fees if your
Monday – Friday 7 a.m.-3:15 p.m. residential dwelling is vacant for an extended period of time.
Tuesday 7 a.m.-5:45 p.m. The guidelines are:
Saturday 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. • Must be a residential dwelling.
Sunday noon-4 p.m. • Residential dwelling must first be vacant and unused for more

Please contact the Marion Public Services than 180 days.
Department at 377-6367 for additional • Exemption begins after the 180 days. (Billing will continue
during the first 180 days of vacancy. If vacancy continues after
Curbside Yard the 180 days, the exemption may then begin. No credit will be
Waste Collection issued for any part of the first 180 days.)
• Application for exemption must be submitted to and
Curbside yard waste will be collected approved by the Marion Public Services Board.
from Marion residents until the last week of
November, unless it snows prior to that date. Applications are available online at or
Residents must place their yard waste in a from the Marion Water Department or Public Services
32 gallon can marked with a “Y” or a Department. For more information, please call Marion
biodegradable bag. Public Services at 377-6367.

Sticks, limbs, and brush, larger than 1 inch Payment Options for City Utility Bill
in diameter and no greater than 4 inches in
diameter, must be bundled at the curb. There are several convenient options available to make
Bundles should not measure more than 3 feet your municipal utility payment. Options include:
in length or width. Grass clippings must be • Check-Free Payment Program – Automatic payment by EFT
placed in biodegradable bags.
from your bank account.
Please call the Marion Public Services • Online via Self-Service Portal – Log in to pay by credit or
Department at 377-6367 with any questions.
debit card. Find the portal at the website listed below.
• P ersonal check – Checks may be mailed or dropped off in

person at Marion City Hall, 1225 6th Avenue, Suite 150.
• Cash or money order
• Drop Boxes – Two outdoor drop boxes are available at Marion

City Hall, one along 6th Avenue and one at the 12th Street
driveway entrance.

Search for Billing Options at
to learn more.

One Delayed Utility Payment Request

If payment cannot be made by the due date
on the utility bill, we offer one request per
billing cycle for a time extension to make
the payment. This request may only be
made in person or by phone, not by email.
If the customer fails to make full payment
by the agreed upon settlement date, then
the account will become delinquent and
service will be disconnected.

Prepare your CITY SERVICES 13
Water Pipes
for Winter As winter
approaches, the
Outside: Marion Water
• If you have an irrigation system, make sure it’s serviced and offers these tips
drained. for homeowners
to help prevent
• Remove any hoses from outside faucets. Even if you have winter water
“frost free” faucets, they will freeze up if an attached hose is left freeze-ups.
with water in it. Remove the hose and store it indoors for the
winter – the hose will also last longer. 2017 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

• Seal any foundation cracks, especially around outside faucets Garbage & Recycling Collection
and where water pipes are located in the basement.
Date Day Pick Up Schedule
Thanksgiving Day
• Wrap pipes using foam tubes (available at most hardware stores)
anywhere that water pipes are in proximity to outside walls. Nov. 23, 2017 Thursday Collection on Friday

• Caulk any cracks in the foundation, or around basement windows, Day after Thanksgiving
where winter winds may penetrate and freeze nearby pipes.
Nov. 24, 2017 Friday Collection on Saturday
• Turn off valves to outside faucets. There is usually a control valve
in the basement to each individual outside faucet. Do this even Christmas Day
if the faucet is “frost free” to prevent the faucet from freezing
and breaking. After turning off the valve, go outside and open Dec. 25, 2017 Monday One day late all week
the faucet to make sure the valve is off and drip-free.
New Year’s Day
• If you notice water temperature getting extremely cold,
consider opening a door below the sink or vanity to allow heat to Jan. 1, 2018 Monday O ne day late all week
the piping. This step is most likely to occur if the sink or vanity
is located on an outside wall of the home. Also, on really cold
nights one can leave a small trickle of water run which allows the
warmer system water to flow through the underground pipes.

If You Experience a Frozen Pipe:

• DO NOT use an open flame to thaw a pipe – you could burn
your house down. Do not use an electric arc welder to thaw a
frozen pipe – you could burn your house, or even your neighbor’s
house down.

• Open the piping area to room heat and use a hair dryer or
small electric heater to thaw the pipe. It may take a while, but
maintain supervision of the thawing process. The freeze up may
cause a split in the water pipe and a subsequent leak after the
pipe is thawed. You must be ready and know how to shut off
water to the affected area should water start spraying during
the thawing process.

• Be familiar with where the master valve is located – in the
basement, usually near the water meter, and carefully test it
to make sure it will work when needed.

• If the master valve is not operable, you will need to call a
plumber for repairs.

• In an emergency where water is leaking and causing damage,
and if a plumber is not readily available, you can call the Water
Department for assistance at 743-6310. After hour charges
do apply.

A few preventative measures could prevent the potential damage
and inconvenience of frozen water pipes in your home this winter.
Take the time to do it now.


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR Free WiFi in Even More Locations

Serving Children, Access free WiFi not only at the Marion Public Library, but
Tweens and Teens at the also in the Lowe Park Arts & Environment Center and the
Marion Public Library Thomas Park Safe Room. Just look for MPL WiFi, there
Serving youth—including babies, children, tweens and is no password.
teens—is one of the primary ways the Marion Public
Library engages with our community. We are proud to Building Project Updates
welcome youth of all ages into our library daily and find joy
Join us for a tour of our existing library building, including
in meeting their recreational, educational and social needs. the staff work areas, followed by a chance to hear an
update and see current renderings of the new building.
The library has a rich history of providing services to Be sure to bring your questions and concerns. All are
welcome, and if you’ve been before, we encourage you
youth and we are working hard to craft new and enhanced to join us again. There’s probably something new!
• Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 a.m. in Meeting Room B
experiences all the time. • Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. in the Conference Room
• Saturday, Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. in Meeting Room B
We’ve taken a big step in providing • Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room B
• Monday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. in the Conference Room
accessible story times by removing “breaks”
HotSpot Update!
in the story time schedule; now these im-
Did you know you can check out a WiFi HotSpot from
pactful programs are offered year-round. the library? All HotSpots now check out for 10 days.
Our original batch of seven will continue to be available
Check the library’s website or stop in for first-come, first-served from the Information Desk, so
ask about availability when you are in. We’ve added
a full list of story time options, and join a number of additional HotSpots to the collection
throughout the metro libraries. These units will also
us to sing, talk and read with the little check out for 10 days, but you can put holds on them
through our online catalog! Call for assistance in placing
ones in your life. The Children’s Services a hold, or search the catalog for “MLN Hotspots.”
HotSpots can be returned to any library or to the
Elsworth Carman division also recently kicked off a new drop boxes at area Hy-Vee stores.
outreach initiative. Staff visit several
Friends Home Book Program
community preschools and daycares on a monthly basis to
If you are homebound but would still like to be able
provide onsite story time and related activities, which allow to check out books and audiobooks from the Marion
Public Library, we can help! Friends of the Marion
children access to valuable pre-literacy and early literacy Public Library sponsors the Friends Home Book
Program. Grab a flyer from the library or from the
programming without needing to travel to the library. Friends Bookstore. An online application is available
at or email
Library staff have been proactively reaching out with any questions.
to community youth through school partner-
ships, residential and group home visits, and Downton Abbey Trivia
ramped up in-library programming.
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-4 pm. l Do you know enough to
We’re trying new things in teen services, too. Recent be heir to the Crawley fortune? Join other fans for
changes in after-school activities (including weekly offerings Downton Abbey trivia. High tea will be provided!
focused on STEAM activities, game days, anime and lan- Please pre-register at
guage clubs, role playing games and more) have resulted in
a big increase in the number of tweens and teens engaging Linn Area Reads
with the library. Recent events included a partnership with
the University of Iowa Museum of Art to present a program Join your community in discussions and special
on African Art (teens were thrilled to have an opportunity programs surrounding one book. The 2018 selection
to handle masks and artifacts from Sierra Leone) and a will be announced Jan. 28. Stay tuned!
“paranormal” teen lock-in full of spooky activities.
Expressive Journaling Workshops
As always, we offer a full suite of readers’/viewers’/listeners’
advisory services for youth and their adult caregivers. Library Join us Tuesday evenings from Jan. 23-Feb. 20 to learn
staff are happy to work with any age patron to find the per- ways to maximize your creativity and productivity. Carol
fect book, audio recording, or DVD. We can also show older Hedberg, EdD, of Sparking Clarity, will lead exercises in
youth and adult caregivers some tips and tools for finding bullet journaling, art journaling and more. Please bring
materials at specific reading levels or including/excluding a journal or large notebook.
certain themes. We love a challenge, so feel free to bring us
your needs in materials for youth!

To learn more about the ways Marion Public Library
supports and engages youth—and how this positively
impacts the community—visit our website or pick up a copy
of one of our newsletters. Come into the library and browse
our displays and collections for children and teens, and speak
with library staff about current and upcoming youth pro-
grams and events. If you are an adult caregiver to a child or
teen, make sure they have a library card (cards are free
for all ages, see the website or a staff member for more
information). If you’re an educator wondering how the
library could enhance your teaching, we’d love to hear
from you. We hope to see you soon!


You’ll always find programs at the library for many interests and tTeheisnWLiIbNTrEaRry Events
they are always free to attend!
Regular weekly programming includes: There’s something for teens going on every week
• Scrabble Club, Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the Marion Public Library:
• Knit Wits stitching group, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Stress Less: Study space for High Schoolers:
• Morning Genealogy Junkies, Thursdays at 10 a.m. Dec. 18, 19, and 20 from 5-7 p.m. l Need a break
• Evening Genealogy Junkies, Wednesday at 7 p.m. from the stress of exams? Come to the library to
Regular monthly programs include: make your own stress ball or do some coloring.
TIMELESS TRIVIA l 1st Monday of the month at 10 a.m. Join a free yoga session provided by the YMCA
Stretch your memory and have some fun with Timeless Trivia! Through on Dec. 19 and 20 from 6:30-7 p.m. We’ve also got
film clips, historic photos and commentary, there will be a new theme quiet study spaces reserved just for high school
every month. Come with friends or meet new folks. students. Free coffee and hot drinks provided.
NOVELS@NIGHT l 1st Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Read & Feed: Friday, Dec. 29 from 5-7 p.m. l We
starting in November feed you pizza and snacks, you read in the library
Get the inside scoop on popular titles from Adult Services Coordinator after it closes! Bring your own book or get a
Madeline Jarvis! Feel free to bring book recommendations to share. personal recommendation from a librarian.
COLOR ME CALM: ADULT COLORING NIGHT l 1st Tuesday Pajamas encouraged. (Registration required.)
of the month at 7:30 p.m. starting in November MPL Teen Choice Awards: January 2018 l
Relax with us at our monthly adult coloring program! All supplies Nominate your favorite books, movies and more
provided. for the 2018 MPL Teen Choice Awards! Stop by
NOVELS@NOON l 1st Wednesday of the month at noon the library in January to see how you can vote.
Get the inside scoop on popular titles from Adult Services Coordinator Make your voice heard!
Madeline Jarvis! Feel free to bring book recommendations to share. Roleplay Games for Teens: every Monday
ADULT WRITING GROUP l 1st Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. 3:30-5:30 p.m.
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY l 1st Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m. Travel Tuesdays: every Tuesday 3-5 p.m.
The HACAP Mobile Food Pantry will be at the library. Income guide- Game Day Wednesdays: every Wednesday 3-5 p.m.
lines apply. STEAM Fridays: every Friday 3-5 p.m.
MOVIE MONDAYS l 3rd Monday of the month at 10 a.m.
Join us for a classic film and free coffee and donuts. For a current list of all Teen programs and
activities, visit
For a current list of all Adult programs and activities, visit and click on Events and filter by Teens and click on Events and filter by at the right.
Adults at the right.

1225 6th Avenue
Marion, IA 52302

Community Calendar


City Offices Closed City Offices Closed
25 2
Small Business Saturday Granger House Museum NO CITY COUNCIL
Advance registration required WORK SESSION
1 13
4-8 p.m., Uptown Marion 5:30 p.m., Lowe Park
7-8:30 p.m., Lowe Park CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY 11:45 a.m., Cedar Rapids Marriott
Arts & Environment Center City Offices Closed

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