City should honor past commitments

I understand that our City Administration has been reviewing the idea of extending Fifth Avenue past the Iowa River Hospice (IRH) home. In my opinion, the recently built housing development to the west of the IRH home was built before giving careful consideration to the requirements for streets in the area. Did the City Administration, to use an old cliché, put “the cart before the horse?” Why were the houses built before the street issue was firmly resolved?

Now, as a community, we must deal with the consequences of this failure in planning. In so doing, I hope that we do not compound an error by forcing a non-mandated street into an area that is already tight. I ask that you drive out and look at the spacing yourself. Is a Fifth Avenue extension a second mistake? Is it right to construct a street where it is damaging to all the parties involved? Is it a mistake to pack in a street that will be close to both the new houses just built and to the IRH home? The proposed Fifth Avenue extension would decrease the green space and tranquility which has been so beneficial to the purpose of our IRH home. Let’s not compound the planning error.

Our City Administration may be considering a Third Avenue extension as an alternative to the Fifth Avenue extension. If our Administration feels that they must have a street, then that is a consideration. However, I do wonder: “If a street is not required, why put it in?” Why use our city funds on an unnecessary street when there are so many other needs to be addressed in our community?

Marshalltown has been blessed with the award winning IRH facility and program, something of which the City has been proud. IRH has been a part of Marshalltown’s commitment to the quality of life for its citizens, particularly for those who are the weakest among us.

Approximately ten years ago, when the IRH put its home in an undeveloped grassy area, the Town, the Council, and the City Administration gave their support. Why would we change that commitment? I ask the Council to honor its past commitments.


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