At the conclusion of the council meeting Monday, Jan. 7, Councilman Gabe Ramsey presented Alfrey with a ceremonial ax mounted on a plaque, and Fire Chief Tony Day gave Alfrey a helmet that had been autographed by the rest of the department staff.
"You may be retiring, but you're still our brother," Day said.
Mayor Mark Gooden thanked Alfrey for his service and added a thank-you to the fire department generally, noting the tendency toward longevity on the staff. Many firefighters have been with the department since the 1970s and 1980s.
"We've probably got the best fire department in the state," he said. "They don't want to leave."
In other business, the council announced December and year-end reports on solid waste and recycling rates, airport activity and construction activity.
Councilman Dan Brandt reported that airport traffic in 2012 was comparable to 2011. Total aircraft activity was listed at 5,166 for 2012 and 5,140 for 2011.
Although activity was down in 2012 for single- and twin-engine business traffic, it was up for single-engine student and single-engine pleasure traffic.
The numbers for solid waste and recycling in 2012 went in directions Marshall Municipal Service Director Bill Anderson likes to see. Solid waste tons were down, but recycling tons were up.
Total tons collected in 2011 were 8,803, but in 2012, the number dropped to 8,286, saving about $30,000 in landfill tipping fees.
Paper recycling for 2012 was nearly 928 tons, up from almost 907 tons in 2011.
Anderson said the city works to encourage recycling by trying to make sure residents have bins for placing recycling curbside and by holding steady on commercial recycling rates.
The numbers don't reflect recycling done at the drop-off facility on West North Street, which is managed by Marshall Municipal Utilities.
The council also amended its recently approved comprehensive flood plain management ordinance. The "critical facilities" section of the ordinance had specified that new buildings such as government offices, police stations, fire stations, hospitals and other such facilities would have to be built above the 100-year flood plain.
After consulting further with State Emergency Management Agency officials, city legal counsel Don Stouffer said specifying that critical facilities be built above the 500-year flood plain would be better.
He said state officials cautioned that the lower flood plain requirement could complicate the process of receiving aid in the event of a disaster.
Gooden read a letter of resignation from Norvelle "Brownie" Brown, who is retiring from public service in Marshall and will be leaving the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The council also approved an ordinance vacating an alley that runs between and perpendicular to Bell and Allen streets in Marshall. The city will retain utility easements along the alleyway.