Aldermen discuss whether to address safety issues or spruce up buildings

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 4/14/21

Brad Rasmussen, president of the Gerald Athletic Association, brought some firm facts and figures to the Board of Aldermen at their regular meeting last Thursday, April 8. 

The GAA warned the …

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Aldermen discuss whether to address safety issues or spruce up buildings

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Brad Rasmussen, president of the Gerald Athletic Association, brought some firm facts and figures to the Board of Aldermen at their regular meeting last Thursday, April 8. 

The GAA warned the board last year that several of the light poles around the ball fields at City Park were rotten and needed to be replaced. Rasmussen was back at the board’s meeting in March to address the issue again. He presented three bids to the aldermen for the necessary repairs. The lowest of those was $18,000 for labor and materials. Rasmussen told the board the GAA would contribute $5,000 towards the project. 

Ward 1 Alderman Angela Koepke told the board she had inspected the two poles in question herself. One, next to one of the dugouts, was rotten at its base. Another, in the outfield, had a hole all the way through it. “This is a safety issue,” she told her fellow aldermen. She indicated it was an issue that should be addressed immediately. 

Ward 2 Alderman Ed Adams asked her if she intended to spend the rest of the available park money on this issue. Adams was referring to a project already approved which involves exterior painting and replacing windows at Legion Hall. Some park money must also be used for mowing grass in the city’s two parks. 

Ward 1 Alderman Steve Grgurich asked if the board should tell the public “that instead of sprucing up Legion Hall we are going to address this safety issue?” 

“Are we prepared as a board to ignore a safety issue?” Koepke responded. She then made a motion the city go forward with the project. Adams made a conditional second, that if they agree to do the ball field project, “We are going to do Legion Hall.” The “spruce-up” project is expected to cost around $17,000.

The park budget for 2021 showed $34,270 in expected income to cover all expenses. Of that, $11,600 is budgeted for wages and payroll taxes for employees, including mowing the grass. Since the city uses its own employees to maintain the park, another $5,550 is added to include payments to health and dental insurance, retirement and workers compensation. Another $14,265 are budgeted for other park expenses. 

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