Mission accomplished, says outgoing councilman

By Nathan Oster

Marvin Hunt takes pride in many of the town’s accomplishments during his 12 years on the council, but one thing stands above the rest and it can be found at the corner of First Avenue South and South Fifth Street. 

The opening of the town’s outdoor swimming pool in the summer of 2020 was the culmination of years of planning, meetings, fundraising, and toiling in the summer heat. While a great many contributed, Hunt was often the public voice of the effort due to his role on the council.

With three summers at the pool in the books, Hunt said he wrestled “a little bit, but not much” with the idea of running for another term on the council. He opted not to and will be leaving the council at the end of the month. 

“My whole intent these last eight years has been to get the pool built and then get off — and that’s where I’m at,” he said in an interview Tuesday, a day after receiving a plaque for his service from Mayor Myles Foley.

Hunt admits that some of his most trying times on the council were related to pool, but that in the end, enough people came together to make it a reality. Seeing the pool packed with kids the last couple summers has brought great satisfaction.

“I knew it would happen,” he said. “People used to talk about how kids didn’t go to the old, covered pool a lot and that was probably true.  But kids love outdoor pools — being out in the sun and swimming.  I’d have been floored if we’d built it and they hadn’t shown up.  So that’s been great to see —although the fact that it’s free is probably helping too.”

Looking back on it, he admits, “There was a point when I didn’t know if we’d get it started … but once we got it started, I knew we’d get it finished.”

Hunt’s 12 years on the council were not consecutive — one run lasted four years, the other eight. His first experience with the council coincided with a project to improve the city park.  His wife Cheryl and her fifth-grade students were lobbying for new playground equipment, believing that what was there was inadequate.  That project got completed.

So, too, did the development of the new ballfields on top of the hill — after the site selection for the new elementary school required their relocation — and the xeriscaping in front of the Greybull Public Library.

“I’m proud of the infrastructure work that the town’s done, too, but with those, you don’t come up against a wall.  They’re going to happen because they need to happen, or else.  But these other projects, they’re the ones I’m proudest of because they’re the ones there isn’t necessarily funding or backing for, but ones that need to get done.”

With his tenure on the council drawing to a close, Hunt said he’s not sure what the future holds. His wife Cheryl is also retired. “I’ll probably hang with my daughters (Jessica is in Scottsdale, Ariz., Chelsea is in Mesa, Ariz, and Emma is in school in Rapid City) and try to travel a little.”