Alta selected as a RAGBRAI pass-through town

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bicyclists will pedal through Alta on Sun. July 25th on the first day of RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) 2021. The 7-day bike ride will begin in Le Mars and end in Clinton with the first day from Le Mars to Sac City along with other area pass-through towns Aurelia, Schaller and Early.

Alta City Council members discussed the event at the Feb. 1st meeting. “We’ll certainly get hundreds of people to stop in our community,” Mayor Kevin Walsh said. “A pass-through should be good for us and other towns, too. Last time it went through it certainly made for some good fundraising for some people. We’ll support as much as we can. The key is to get a committee that’s excited about doing it.”

“My suggestion is, if the council is okay, in the next month or so to have a committee formed of RAGBRAI enthusiasts,” City Clerk Megan Peterson said. “The council maybe needs to decide how big they want it to be and what do you want to do in a pandemic. I don’t know how much money the City wants to put into it.”

“Let’s put Alta on the map. Let’s try to get something organized,” Council Member Pam Henderson said.

“You’re probably going to have some churches that are going to want to do some things and they’re going to have to get their permits,” Council Member Molly Elston said. “There is some work that’s going to have to be done and we’re going to have to support them.”

The council agreed that local non-profit organizations and residents will likely want to be involved. They plan to familiarize themselves with the handbook Peterson received and will form a committee in March.

This will be the 48th annual RAGBRAI which is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world.

In other city council news -

Peterson said the Alta Park Board will need to purchase a new UTV (utility terrain vehicle) relatively soon which is estimated to cost around $17,000. It is shared with the school district which would split the cost. The current UTV is believed to be more than 15 years old and the new purchase could be part of the upcoming city budget or the following year’s budget.

The Park Board also wants to put money aside in the city budget to upgrade tables at the pool.

Rob Hach, founder of the non-profit organization Altagether, requested use of the Alta Community Center on Sat. Mar. 6th for the first Home and Garden Show where contractors will be available to meet with Alta residents one-on-one. Social distancing and masks will be required. Hach said the primary reason some Alta residents are unable to make repairs to their homes is that they cannot get contractors to call them back. Council members voted unanimously to waive 100% of the community center rent for the event, using funds from the donation budget.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for March 1st.