Improving our town

Rick DeClue · Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ken Donnelly reported on continuing Ken Donnelly reported on continuing preparations for the 175th celebration to the West Liberty City Council on July 2 during its meeting.

The All School Reunion banquet and program at the West Liberty Community Center, planned as part of the 175th celebration, has received 475 responses. This exceeds the 450 that was expected. However, Bob Cline said the group continues to take responses, even though the June 15 deadline has passed.

Cline, a member of the Community Center board, said they want to make sure to have enough seating and food, but added that nobody will be turned away.

Donnelly said organizers were planting 25 bushes and 15 trees as part of the preparation. A $500 donation from the Rotary Club, $500 from the 175th Anniversary Committee, funds from the city, and efforts from Bill and Jodi Simon’s employees at All American Concrete have helped make the planting possible on N. Walnut Street.

Unrelated to the 175th, Donnelly also told the council of the delivery of an old children’s carousel near the train depot. Lyle Zimmerman found the carousel and Ken Ruegsegger moved it from Muscatine to West Liberty. It will take some time to sand blast the horses, then repaint and install the carousel, added Donnelly.

In other council business, City Engineer Leo Foley reported on the status of the surfaces at the Dutton Complex tennis courts.

The council had asked Foley to investigate the cause of discolored and deteriorating red spots on the courts, as well as what action should be taken.

Foley said the spots represent iron pyrite leaching to the surface from the aggregate base. The problem is very common in the midwest and can only be avoided by bringing in aggregate from outside the area.

He noted that the University of Iowa decided to redo all of their courts by bringing in non-local aggregate at a cost of approximately $1 million.

Foley had counted 100 or more spots on the West Liberty courts. Discussions with contractors indicated a cost to the city of $10-12,000 to eliminate them, but this came without the guarantee that the spots will not resurface.

As the current surface is four years old, with an expected life of five to seven years, Foley recommended the city address the spots when it resurfaces the courts in the course of normal maintenance.

Foley said he was more concerned with scrapings on the courts that he suspects are related to the installation of lines for pickle ball. Something is actually scraping through the tennis court surface and exposing the underlying aggregate.

After a brief discussion about the growing popularity of pickle ball, no action was taken on the tennis courts.

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