MARSHALL - Details on the vacant Marshall Hotel building were brought before the Marshall City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday night. A structural engineer's report said the building isn't in danger of collapsing right now but would require extensive repairs before people could occupy it. Council members responded to the report by approving a hazardous building order for the hotel.
Jim Panko of Paulsen Architects presented council members with the results of a structural investigation conducted on the building in March. Panko said several parts of the vacant hotel on Main Street showed signs of water and other damage.
"The roof is kind of where the problems are in the structure," Panko said. The hotel roof membranes are "completely deteriorated," he said, and a slope in the roof also creates ice dams and leaking. Portions of the floor on multiple stories of the hotel were weakened by water damage and would need reinforcement. The "Hotel Marshall" sign on top of the building was corroding, Panko said, and a canopy over the sidewalk did not meet codes for bearing the weight of drifted snow from the hotel roof.
Panko said the hotel did not seem to share walls with the Marshall municipal building and Daily Grind coffee shop to either side of it. The foundations of the hotel were connected to the Daily Grind foundations, he said.
Panko said the report's recommendations included repairing the hotel roof, replacing the roof membrane and removing the hotel sign and sidewalk canopy within 60 days. The report estimated total costs for those repairs at more than $50,000. More would need to be done to make the building habitable, he said.
The council voted unanimously to issue an order to the hotel's owner, Joseph Bot, to repair or raze the building within 60 days of the order being served.
A request for a permit to drive a golf cart on city streets came back before the council Tuesday. Marshall resident Karen Meister had requested the permit, but past city practice has only been to allow golf carts to travel between the Marshall golf course and a residence. Members of the council Legislative and Ordinance Committee were unable to agree whether city ordinances should be changed to allow golf carts on the street.
"We all had very different opinions on what should be allowed," said council member Mike Boedigheimer.
In further discussion Tuesday, council members again said they were concerned about the effect granting the permit might have on road safety. However, council member Dan Ritter pointed out that city mowers and other small vehicles already drive along busy streets and highways in town.
"So really, the city's kind of the biggest safety issue out there," Ritter said.
The council voted 5-2 in favor of approving a permit that kept to the city's past policy of only being allowed to drive to the golf course. Council members Boedigheimer and Jennie Hulsizer cast the votes against.
Later in the meeting, Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig presented the council with draft amendments to Marshall's vehicle ordinances, which would clarify the city's policies on golf carts and make permit applications simpler. Council members voted 5-2 to refer the issue to a council work session at a later date.