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Do not extend Fifth Avenue

You may have seen other letters or editorials regarding a proposal by the city to build an extension of South Fifth Avenue past the west side of the Iowa River Hospice Home. I want to join the chorus opposing this proposal.

Our award winning hospice facility is of huge benefit to Marshalltown offering a comfortable, peaceful, homelike atmosphere for terminally ill patients from our area, especially those with medical needs beyond what can be provided in their own home. Part of creating this kind of atmosphere is keeping things calm and quiet. Extending that tranquil atmosphere into the out-of-doors is a big plus.

Putting in a through street right next to the hospice property would bring disruptive noise and commotion negatively impacting the function of the home in offering a restful and pleasant setting for terminally ill residents in the last days of their lives and for their families.

I think it is important to remember this outstanding non-profit facility is the result of voluntary fund raising from the community to the tune of well more than two million dollars. Hard working volunteers and generous contributors made this happen. One of the important talking points in that fundraising campaign was the somewhat remote setting for the home and a design complete with a wraparound porch giving comfortable outdoor access to patients and families. We should not renege on that promise to contributors or to patients.

Some city council folks agree this extension of Fifth Avenue is a bad idea. They along with our mayor have asked planners to look for other options. I truly thank them for this and for their understanding and acknowledgement of the issue. If a through street is really needed (which is questionable) the alternative of extending Third Avenue instead of Fifth Avenue would solve the hospice house issue.

Many know of or have been close to a family benefiting from the hospice home, others contributed to its building or just understand how a nearby street is a distraction to the service provided. This wonderful service is there for anyone who needs it. Let’s protect it. I ask you to call or email your council representatives and ask them not to extend Fifth Avenue past this property.

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