There's a half million dollar shortfall in funding for West Liberty's anticipated Downtown Revitalization Project.
The packet for Tuesday night's West Liberty's City Council meeting included a letter from the Downtown Task Force saying the project did not receive a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant award. But the council postponed hearing any further report or discussing the matter until a full complement of the council is on hand. Only Council Members Diane Beranek and Cara McFerren were in chambers Tuesday night.
Council Member Joey Iske participated via phone to constitute a quorum. Council Members David Smith and Robert Rock, as well as City Manager Lawrence McNaul, were absent.
Statue of Liberty
One West Liberty resident continued his objection to the removal of the Statue of Liberty replica from City Hall grounds.
"I am very bitter about the destruction of the Statue of Liberty," Chuck Newcomb told the council Tuesday night.
The statue had been removed and placed in storage because of irreparable damage to its base. Plans for its reinstallation haven't been finalized. Newcomb voiced his displeasure during the council's July 17 meeting. He continued Tuesday night, saying he hasn't seen any plans and hasn't been contacted about the matter.
"I've heard little discussion about this project," Newcomb said. "I cannot believe the statue had to be destroyed if the council had spent any amount of money on maintenance."
Mayor Robert Hartman assured Newcomb he would be notified of any meetings. "I can see your frustration," Hartman told Newcomb.
"You don't know the half of it," Newcomb replied.
West Liberty residents now have curbside recycling at their disposal. Recycling Manager David Lechuga reported the service started Aug. 1 as scheduled. "It went fairly OK," Lechuga said. "There were some hiccups."
"You're doing a good job from what I can see," Mayor Hartman responded. "I know everybody's appreciative. A lot of people have talked about it."
The council approved Pay Estimate No. 1 of $163,699 to Kalona Post and Frame for the new Recycling Center. And the council set a work session for 6:30 PM Aug. 21 to tour the facility.