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Markle TC makes advertising choice

A final decision was agreed upon regarding the Town of Markle’s water tower advertising space during the Wednesday, Nov. 17, regular Town Council meeting, as was the matter of choosing a name for a local street.

Previous town council meetings had revealed that Novae had entered into an advertising agreement with the town of Markle, in which Novae was able to use the water tower space to advertise their business. However, the agreement lapsed and neither party moved forward with re-upping the contract. This resulted in Novae inadvertently advertising on the town’s water tower for several years free of charge.

Although they were not legally required to do so, Novae opted to pay the amount that would have been owed had they continually re-upped their originally contract. However, due to the fact that it had lapsed, council needed to offer the chance to other advertisers to take that advertising space. After sending out requests for advertising proposals, council received two proposals – one from the existing client and one from National Oil and Gas. Council President Matthew Doss explained that council was not required to go with the highest bidder.

“We can appropriate whatever conditions we want for whatever reason we want to go for a certain proposal or not,” Doss said. “We just have to articulate those reasons.”

Novae proposed a five-year lease with an automatic option for two additional three-year terms if a 90-day notice was not provided. The annual lease would be $6,000 with a 5 percent increase each additional three-year renewal term.
National Oil and Gas submitted a bid for a three-year lease, paying $550 a month with a small increase every year. The company stated they would be willing to spend up to $3,000 for installation and production costs – which posed a few questions and concerns.

Although their submitted bid would provide the town an extra $2,700 in the three-year period compared to Novae, there could be a significant loss if the fee for installation and production of the new advertising design cost more than $3,000. Another factor, brought up by Assistant Town Supervisor Mike Grant, was that if the town were to opt for Novae’s contract and it went the full-time span of 11 years, it would nearly be time for the water tower to be re-painted anyway.

After a little more discussion on the merits of Novae’s proposal, council opted to accept their bid.

In unrelated business, the matter of naming one of the town’s streets came up.
“Last meeting it acme up that we needed to rename a street,” Doss explained. “And it actually gave us some thought – and there was a, perhaps amusing, name suggestion. But after thinking about that suggestion, I think it’s a sound one – and that is to name the street Asher Street.”

Doss went on to explain that the idea for naming the street Asher Street after Town Supervisor Rick Asher, who has been a town employee for 45 years.
Council members Blake Caley and Kyle Lund both mentioned that they wanted to make sure that Asher wouldn’t be embarrassed by the gesture.

“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to truly embarrass Rick,” Caley said. “If Rick is okay with it, I’m okay with it – I know he’s very humble. If he’s going to have difficulty with it…I don’t want to make a hardship on him.”

Grant shared that Markle has a history of honoring those who have played key parts in the town’s history by naming streets after them.

“It’s been brought up jokingly in the community, but there are a lot of people that think it’s a good idea,” Grant said. “And the history of a lot of street names in the town of Markle have been family names of people who helped establish the town – and 45 years of your life is a lot to give for a community. And I can assure you that in those 45 years, there has been a lot of time given for free. I firmly believe that we as a town would not be in the position we are in with the infrastructure and the planning that had been done many years before I was here had it not been for Rick.”

Asher stated that it “didn’t matter to him” if the council chose to name the street after him. So, it was decided to move forward with it – and the name they settled on was Asher Drive.