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home : news : news Sunday, November 19, 2017

8/9/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Man wants city to lift his ban at swim center
Parks commission will be first to hear appeal

By Tom Pantera

A man who has been banned from the DeWitt Aquatic Center wants to appeal that decision, but he'll have to go through the Parks and Recreation Commission first.

City Administrator Steve Lindner said the man had been given a no-trespass notice because of repeated incidents that were "making the employees feel uncomfortable." The decision to ban him was made by Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Lake, Lindner said.

The man wanted to talk to the City Council about the move, hoping to get it overturned.

Lindner said there have been instances before where people were banned from the Aquatic Center, but not for repeated behavior.

Council Member Kurt Ketelsen suggested that the Parks and Recreation Commission should hear any appeal of Lake's action.

City Attorney Robert McGee agreed, saying the appeal could go first to the commission for a decision. If the man does not like that, he can still speak to the City Council, the lawyer said, although the council's role would be mostly to decide whether the commission had thoroughly reviewed the matter.

After Monday's meeting, Lake declined to say exactly what the man had done to draw the punishment. He said he hoped the man could meet with the commission this week or next, Lake said.

Land acquisition hearing

Also on Monday, the council set an Aug. 21 date for a hearing on the purchase of property at 902 Fifth Ave.

That is a rental house in poor condition, Lindner said, and the owner was given a dangerous building notice ordering major repairs or demolition.

The owner, who lives out of state, has been cooperative and wants to get rid of the house, which is next to City Hall and the library, Lindner said. The city plans to pay $50,000 for the house, which would be demolished.

In other action, the Council:

Accepted a $16,092 bid to replace the heating system at the Fire Department. Lindner said plans for that were discussed at last winter's budget-planning sessions, when council members "decided to limp along until this fiscal year."

The city actually approved paying up to $18,000 for the work, since the scope of some minor measures, such as moving lights, has yet to be determined.

Approved a project agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation, which will allow next year's repaving of Sixth Avenue from Lake Street to South Fifth Street. That project will require a $188,000 local match, which will come from federal regional planning funds the city has banked.

Heard an update from Lindner on the library expansion project. The idea of closing part of 10th Street for the expansion appeared to be dead, Lindner told council members, and they need "to start thinking about how you want to proceed as the numbers come together" for the project's budget.

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