Keota prepares for arrival of RAGBRAI riders

By John Butters, The JOURNAL


KEOTA ? As RAGBRI is set to cycle through Keota, the city council conviened Monday night to discuss plans for the event.

Bicyclists are scheduled to arrive on July 27, the sixth day of the event. Council members reviewed street vendor assignments and discussed opportunities to provide entertainment. The community is hoping to get the riders off their bicycles long enough to purchase food and other items before pedaling on down the road.

One of the promotional events in the works is a wrestling demonstration by an Iowa-based professional wrestling company, Central Empire Wrestling. The event would be set up on the green space on the corner of Broadway and Fulton.

The ?College Spirit Day? ride will start today in Sigourney and end 57 miles later at a planned camping stop in Iowa City. The day?s route includes visits to the communities of Keota, Wellman, Kalona, Riverside and Hills.

In other business, the council nixed a bid from Paddock Pools for a $1.7 million facility. Council members said they wanted to not only see more cost estimates, but visit pools at neighboring communities for design ideas. Council members voted to close the Keota pool for the 2018 season due to a lack of applications received for lifeguards and also safety concerns with the current state of the pool. The council will take this season to look into options for the future of the pool.

Council members reported that they received good comments from the tractorcade that recently visited the community. The drivers described Keota as ?very welcoming? and one of the best stops on their route.

Councilmembers have reviewed estimates for the construction of a community day care building on the east side of the 200 block of North Davis Street on a lot owned by the city. Cheryl Rice, a representative for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), met with the city council in March 2017 to discuss funding for the project through the USDA. One program that could help, she said, is the Community Facilities Program.

No decisions have been made as the council is continuing to review funding options.

Council members view the availability of child care within the community as an economic advantage for Keota. Plans call for he city to own the building but contract out for childcare services.