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Tama garden plots to be ready May 1

April 28, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tama's community garden plots will become available on a first-come - first-served basis on Thursday, May 1. City Council members approved 5-0 Monday night the use of a vacant lot at 505 Harmon for 12 spots and the rules to govern them.

Those wishing to sign up for one of the 10 ft. x 20 ft. areas can sign up at the City Clerk's Office, but not before the May 1 date. A $50 refundable deposit is required and a $10 fee must be paid for tilling and maintenance. The deposit is refundable in the fall if the plot is cleaned up according to the rules.

Council members Mike Carnahan and Doug Ray compiled the regulations based upon those used in other cities along with suggestions made here. Set forth are requirements to maintain the plots through the entire growing season and keeping them free of weeds.

Article Photos

Site of Tama Community Garden in 500 block of Harmon St.
News-Herald/John Speer

Planting needs to be completed by June 1 and the plots must be cleared by Oct. 31.

Gardeners are encouraged to donate any surplus crops grown to the South Tama Food Pantry or a similar organization.

Carnahan and Ray will act as coordinators for the project and will be available to answer questions during the season.

Article Map

New Fire Truck

Council members approved the purchase of a new fire truck from Toyne, Inc., Breda, Iowa. The 1,500 gallon-per-minute pumper will cost $274,577. The other bid considered was from Heiman, Inc. Lyons, S.D. for $272,443.

The new truck will replace a pumper which will be 30-years-old at the time of delivery of the new truck.

Fact Box

Show Us Your Green Thumb!

Help us create a Tama Community Garden

at 505 Harmon St.

Plots are 10 ft. by 20 ft. and can be claimed starting

May 1 at City Hall

$10 fee plus $50 deposit due at time of signing up.

Deposits will be returned at end of season.

Only 12 plots available, first come first served!

What benefits would we gain from having a community garden?

- Garden plots are offered to citizens of Tama who enjoy gardening but may not have the space at home.

- Opportunity for positive social interaction both at the site and in the neighborhood.

- Opportunity to grow and donate fresh produce to the

Tama Food Pantry or other organization.

- Establish an educational, recreational, and beautiful landmark in Tama.

Want to get involved? Give input? Have Questions?

Contact Mike Carnahan at 484-7530 or (515) 689-6176

Or Doug Ray at (641) 485-0389 for details




Fire Chief Paul Ellenbecker said extensive study of the bids by firefighters resulted in recommending the Toyne purchase although it was slightly higher in price. He said bids were sought for a standard cab rather than a custom cab result in a savings of an estimated $40,000.

He said factors including sectional, stainless steel construction, fire hose storage at a lower, more accessible level and a two-hour distance from the manufacturer for repairs opposed to eight hours from the other bidder all contributed to the preference.

Council member Steve Baier noted both trucks were bid with Freightliner chassis and questioned the Tyne salesperson who was present why his bid was $811 higher for what appeared to be the same truck. The reply was there might be some difference such as an AM-FM radio included. In a lighter moment, Baier admitted he'd "tried three times" to get the salesperson to match the other bid but wasn't successful.

Delivery of the truck is expected in about one year.

In other business Monday the council:

approved a $25,000 Downtown Revitalization loan for Hardons, Inc. for the commercial building at 131 W. 3rd St.

approved the appointment of Mike Wedmore to the Board of Adjustment. it was noted the board remains two members short. Interested applicants are invited to contact and council member or city official.

approved the promotion of Police Officer Jason Bina to Sargeant effective April 26.

approved sponsoring two men to enter the Iowa Law Enrobement Academy Training Program at their own expense.

accepted the bid of D& S Lawn Mowing for mowing, trimming and weeding the Tama-Toledo Family Aquatic Center property at cost of $90 each time.

approved hiring Loren Willey beginning May 1 and Donovon Horne beginning June 2 for summer help. Each will be paid $10 hourly.

approved waterproofing and exterior repairs for the Tama Watter treatment Plant exterior by Schoonover tuckpointing, Vinton, at a cost of $9,286. A bid for similar repairs for the Lousie and Lucile Hink Tama Public library at a total cost of $24,848 was tabled for further financing study.

learned in a report from Jake Jacobson and Matt Zmolek, independent Insurance representatives the cost of city insurance for buildings, contents, vehicles and equipment was down about $4,000 to $47,000 for the yea.r however, the city is still paying for a year of bad workmens compensation experience three years ago with a rating resulting in a policy cost totaling $136,698. If the city continues with a zero loss rating as it has in the past two years, the cost is expected to drop next year. Workmens comp is calculated on a three-year experience basis Jacobson said.

approved closing East 2rd street for the Eagles clun and Siegel between 4th and 5th for events during the Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival on May 17.



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