City prepares for RAGBRAI, but with few vendors

Friday, July 16, 2021

A lack of vendors for the RAGBRAI visit July 25 has an Alta volunteer committee concerned about finances. A member told the city council recently that it only found out in late June that it was to be responsible for the cost of serving the event, too late to do a fundraiser. It had been hoped that fees from vendors would cover the expense, but with only seven or eight signed up, that is not realistic.

City officials said they may have to cover more of the expense than planned. No set amount of city funding has yet been determined.

The city clerk will be emailing a reminder to residents on Main Street that the street will be closed to accommodate the cyclists.

In other recent city council discussion:

• A replacement member is needed on the public library board, as a current member’s term is expiring. That member has agreed to continue serving until a replacement can be found. The library has resumed much of its open public programming such as Toddler Time. The library director said that parents had come to the library to say that they are ready. The library has also added a few more open hours to its schedule to meet public needs.

• Trash issues were discussed. It was clarified that a maximum of three 34-gallon containers could be put out for collection per home, although the crew makes some allowances for homes that do not put out trash regularly. There are some issues with debris from spilled cans. The city crew cannot stop to pick up loose items and still complete its circuit of the city in the allotted one-day time, the council was told.

• Mayor Kevin Walsh thanked the Alta-Aurelia schools for the playground development, calling it “a very nice addition to our community,” and thanked the Fair Board for its efforts, including an offer to open its buildings to RAGBRAI riders if there is inclement weather.

• The council discussed employee pay, feeling that wages have been low. Rather than use an across-the-board pay increase, a gradual process is proposed to get pay to a competitive level, with some incentive for longevity. The mayor said the city has difficulty hiring for what is offered now, and said city government would be “in deep trouble if we lost Megan or Brad,” referring to the city clerk and streets superintendent.