Council says ‘Yes’

To the West End Park Futsal Courts project

Selness

Selness

Despite objections in writing from two residents, the city council unanimously approved by 7-0 vote a resolution which certified plans, specifications, form of contract, and cost for the West End Park Futsal Courts project.

Futsal is a form of soccer played with a smaller ball, on a smaller court and with five people to a team.

The project proposes to replace the worn-out tennis courts and add a number of amenities to the park.

However, Leigh Bauder and Anna Wolvers, both of Marshalltown, outlined in a letter received by the city Monday their objections, citing increased costs, and requesting a comprehensive parks and recreation plan be completed prior to authorization among other issues.

Bauder is a local businesswoman and Wolvers an educator.

Conversely, Marshalltown High School soccer coach Chris Fox, joined by resident and businessman Rick Hernandez, spoke strongly before the council in favor of the project. Both cited the urgent need for a free soccer facility, saying there is not one locally. Hernandez, who heads a local soccer club, is in the process of raising $5,000 to contribute to the project.

Parks and Recreation Director Anne Selness reported project costs of $196,300. Much of the project has been funded from grants, ranging from the local Martha Ellen-Tye Foundation contribution of $$65,000 to a Wellmark Foundation contribution of $60,000, with an application to the U.S. Soccer Club for $20,000 is pending.

The city is providing $65,000 from its Comprehensive Improvement Plan fund, which had previously been approved by council.

Selness said the tennis courts were under-utilized, and the the project would address growing recreational needs of immigrant populations, and might make Marshalltown a destination for futsal tournaments.

“This would be the first of its kind lighted outdoor futsal complex in Iowa,” said Selness.

Greer thanked Selness for her vision and work. Selness said she was following-up on recommendations from others.

Bids are due Aug. 21.

Joint Police/Fire department headquarters

Council reviewed and unanimously approved 17 separate resolutions approving plans and specifications for bids on the $17.5 million dollar project, ranging from demolition/earthwork to floor covering to elevators. Three of the resolutions applied to adjustments on earthwork/demolition segment. For 14 resolutions, public hearing will be Aug. 28, with bids due Sept. 19.

Hiring of Code Enforcement Inspector

Public administrator Jessica Kinser outlined general job description and other details for the position, which has been vacant for awhile. Passage of the Local Option Sales Tax re-allocation vote has given council flexibility to hire. Code enforcement and related work has been done part-time by a Marshalltown police officer, by Kinser, and by resident Merrill Price. The latter working on a volunteer basis, frequently 40 hours per week. Price recommended to council position be full-time. Price, a retired railroad executive, said the work-load was becoming demanding at his age. Price is a retired railroad executive. Item will be on the Aug. 28 council agenda for vote.

In other action:

— Wolvers asked council and community to work with the “Splash 4 Life” group’s efforts to install locally a free-of-charge splash pad. Wolvers said State Center has such a unit. Wolvers and Bauder have worked aggressively over the years as the “Splash 4 Life” team fundraising for the pad since the drowning deaths of youths swimming in the Iowa Rivers several years ago.

— Approved tentative resolution providing Conveyance and Transfer of Title to property from the city to Marshalltown Church of Christ and setting public hearing for August 28.

— Approved plans, specifications, form of contract and cost for the West End Park Futsal Courts project, bids due Aug. 21, 10 a.m.

— Approved agreement with Marshall Gun Club, inc., for lease of real estate near airport for three years, at $75 per acre.

— Appointed Val Ruff of Marshalltown to Cable TV Advisory Board. Ruff is a local resident and executive director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The next regular meeting of the city council is 5:30 p.m. Aug. 28, in council chambers, Carnegie Building, 10 W. State St. For more information, contact 641-754-5701, or visit ci.marshalltown.ia.us.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com