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New sidewalk to take shape at courthouse

Thanks to the efforts of a Montezuma businessman, a new sidewalk will soon become a part of the landscape on the west side of the Poweshiek County Courthouse.

The Poweshiek County Board of Supervisors approved moving forward with the bid process and construction of the sidewalk at the Monday, July 27, board meeting.

“This isn’t just for the kids, but for the people who use the courthouse,” said Ron Hensel, owner of Ron’s Barbershop on the west side of the square.

Since opening his barbershop last year at 114 S. Third St., in Montezuma, Hensel said he has been watching area youngsters walking in the street behind the cars as they passed by the west side of courthouse. He felt that something needed to be done.

Hensel approached the Montezuma Community Boosters with the idea of a sidewalk in May. In early July, Deb Ver Meer, secretary of the Montezuma Community Boosters, met with Hensel about setting a date to bring the sidewalk issue before the board. The rest is history.

“I would hate to see a youngster get hit because there is no sidewalk,” said Hensel. According to the supervisors, the new sidewalk will run from the veteran’s monument to the south sidewalk. It will sit back from the street and run along the east side of the light poles. A grassy strip will divide the sidewalk and the street.

“It will look nicer and be easier to maintain,” said Supervisor Lamoyne Gaard of how the sidewalk will lay. A cost estimate or timeline on the project was not available, but Supervisor Ellie Snook said the county is currently seeking bids on the project and is hoping to obtain a Poweshiek County Alliance grant to help pay for the new sidewalk.

“I hope it is helpful for the kids,” said Hensel.

Tree plantings

In other business, the board amended the county policy regarding tree plantings on the courthouse lawn, following a request by the Montezuma Community Boosters to plant a tree in honor of Don Fahlenkamp, the long-time director of the Montezuma Light and Power, who died earlier this year.

Fahlenkamp, an employee of the City of Montezuma, gave so much to the county by decorating the courthouse with lights during the Christmas season. The type of tree or location of the planting on the lawn has not been determined.

In addition, the board said a magnolia bush has been planted on the north side of the courthouse between the two monuments in honor of the late David Gorsuch of Montezuma. Gorsuch once served as county sanitarian. Gorsuch’s wife, Kathy, planted the bush.



UPDATED August 4, 2009 1:16 PM

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