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Not the yellow brick sidewalk in downtown Tama?

Safety Issues Raised About Condition

October 14, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Those downtown Tama streetscape bricks have raised the concern of at least one more downtown business owner.

Mayor Dan Zimmerman told city council members at their regular meeting Monday night Don Rank, owner of the 2nd Hand Store, believes the city should remove the bricks in front of his store fronts on West 3rd Street.

Rank was prompted to ask for removal of the bricks when he observed the city remove them from in front of the Tama Civic Center recently.

Article Photos

At least some property owners feel the old paving bricks which line downtown sidewalks are dangerous and make snow and ice removal difficult.

News-Herald/John Speer

Zimmerman reported Rank believes since "the city paid to put them in, it should pay to take them out." The mayor suggested the council consider sharing in paying one-half the cost of the removals with property owners who want the bricks taken out.

The bricks line the curbs along 3rd and 4th streets and extend 30 inches from the curb line into the sidewalks.They were the original street paving bricks re-purposed when the downtown area underwent a revitalization project in 1979.

This prompted Council member Steve Baier to say he was surprised they have become an issue after being in place for more than 30 years. He also said when a storm water intake was recently replaced by the city at 4th and McClellan, the bricks were put back in .

Council member Crystal Kaufman, who operates a beauty shop in one of Rank's storefronts, said she recognizes the problems with the bricks.

"Cleaning off ice and snow can't be done because the bricks are so uneven," she said. Zimmerman said a customer had fallen in front of Rank's store two years ago apparently because of the bricks.

Dan Wilkens, owner of the parking lot at 3rd and Siegel, also removed the bricks along the west side of that property when he paved it this summer.

Council member Kenny McAdoo said the Tama-Toledo Frateral Order of the Eagles Club had removed the bricks at their East 3rd street club location with permission from the council several years ago.

Burial Fees Hiked

Council members voted 5-0 to raise grave opening-closing fees at city-owned Oak Hill Cemetery. In recommending the increase, council member McAdoo said the charges had not been increased since 1996.

The new costs are (current fee in parerethesis): weekdays - $400 ($300 and $350- winter); weekends- $600; cremation- $100 ($50).

Council member Robert Tyynismaa asked if the new charges would cover costs which McAdoo assured him they would.

In other business the council:

voted 5-0 to file a municipal infraction notice for removal of the remains of a trailer house owned by Dan Batling on East 4th Street. The nuissance abatement action comes after police reported their contact with the owner had not resulted in any action.

decided installing reflectors and a move of a dead end road sign to near the Jackson Street- Business Highway 30 intersection could be used to mark the intersection. A resident asked for consideration of a street light at the corner.

appointed Phillip Filloon to the Planning and Zoning Board.

approved City Clerk Judy Welch and Assistant Clerk Nancy Carlson to attend the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers meeting in Des Moines on Oct. 16-18.

approve a liquor sales license and outdoor service permit renewal for the Tama-Toledo Country Club.

heard a call from Mayor Zimmerman for bills payable by the city to be submitted on a timely basis to avoid a last-minute heavy workload in the City Clerk's Office.

heard some Homecoming revelers were somewhat over the line during the week.



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