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  • John Kruse
  • Thu July 14 2016
  • Posted Jul 14, 2016

CASCADE, Iowa — The mayor’s proposal to add safety features to Cascade’s trail project was met with skepticism on Monday by some City Council members who questioned whether they were needed.

During their meeting Monday, City Council members discussed purchasing a safety rail and chain-link fence to be placed along a large culvert alongside the trail. The 0.6-mile trail will run along First Avenue, from the city fire station to Brothers Market grocery store. The project had been estimated to cost about $360,000.

Mayor Marcus Behnken said he proposed the additions after touring the trail project, which is nearing completion.

“If someone was to fall or trip while passing that culvert, there could be a serious safety hazard,” he said. “I figure something should be done.”

He said the engineers who joined him on the tour also noted the possibility of the culvert posing a safety hazard. Officials with Eastern Iowa Excavating & Concrete, which was contracted to work on the trail, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.

Council members, however, were hesitant to approve the purchases.

“I think there was some skepticism, from all the council members, whether it was necessary or not,” said Council Member Bill Hosch. “We want to make sure this is a good investment.”

City Administrator Deanna McCusker said the chain link fence is estimated to cost about $4,020 and the safety rail, $7,260.

Behnken said the cost would be a sound investment if it prevented future costs related to possible injuries sustained by trail users.

“I think it will cost less to build these precautions than pay for the damages when an accident actually happens,” Behnken said. “It’s just a way of keeping it safe.”

Council members decided to table purchasing the additions until they could examine the area to determine if any safety additions are necessary.

“We’re not against anything,” said Council Member Ed Recker. “We just want to get out there and see for ourselves if there is a need for this.”


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