Gardens in midst of Awaysis project plan
The Storm Lake City Council in special session Wednesday voted to resist a July 21 petition for an injunction filed by Norman Kolb in Buena Vista County District Court to keep the city from relocating the Kolb memorial garden and fountain from the Sunrise Park Road area.
The memorial gardens are located in the midst of the area the city plans to develop as a lodge hotel and other amenities as part of the $30 million AWAYSIS destination park project.
The Council also agreed to oppose efforts by Kolb to dissolve the Robert J. Kolb Memorial Trust and have the assets returned to the grantors, should an injunction fail to keep the gardens and fountain from being moved.
The site is a memorial to Robert J. Kolb, who was killed in a hunting accident in 1966, when he was a senior in high school.
It was his grandfather Henry who entered into an agreement in the late 1960s to create the fountain and flower garden on city park property as a memorial. The Kolb Trust also donated two quarter sections of land to help generate funds to maintain the garden.
Originally, Norman, the boy's uncle, and Norman's brother, Robert H., the boy's father were named trustees of the trust. Robert has since died, leaving Norman Kolb as the only trustee.
The Council Wednesday also agreed to a request by City Attorney Paul Havens to retain Ivan Webber of the Des Moines law firm, Ahlers and Cooney, to assist in the the city's efforts to stop Kolb's injunction. Project AWAYSIS Project Manager Mike Wilson said Webber is being retained on the city's behalf due to his experience in municipal law. Havens will be co-counsel.
The Council also agreed to Havens' request to put the trust under court supervision, which is not currently the case. The city will seek to remove Kolb as trustee from the trust, citing a breach of fiduciary duty, and to seek an accounting of all assets of the trust.
"We want to proceed this week if possible," Havens said.
When contacted by the Pilot-Tribune, Norman Kolb said it was his understanding that the flower garden and fountain were intended to be perpetually located on their current site. "That was the agreement," Kolb said.
He is being represented by attorney James W. Gailey, of Newell.
The Storm Lake City Council has met in closed session several times over the last several months regarding pending litigation on the matter. The Kolb gardens and fountain are located near Sunrise Park Road, in the area proposed for the 80-unit lodge centerpiece of Project AWAYSIS. The city has intended to relocated the Kolb gardens to the Great Lawn area of the project.
"It always has been" the city's intent to relocate the Kolb gardens, said Wilson. He said the matter has not delayed planning on the project. Wilson noted that a timetable for Project AWAYSIS development is expected to be made available to the public later this week.