Forging ahead

Wilson Brewer Park Committee approves next stage of renovations for council consideration

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Wilson Brewer Park Committee Chairman Gary Groves presents a possible future layout for Wilson Brewer Park during the committee’s meeting Tuesday morning.

The Wilson Brewer Park Committee approved plans and specifications for the Wilson Brewer Park cabin foundation at their meeting Tuesday morning. These plans will be presented to the city council on Monday, Dec. 4 for possible approval.

The committees’ recommendation is to complete the foundation for the two cabins on-site. The cabins are the committee’s first priority to get moved and rehabilitated. The second phase in the cabin project is to move the two cabins on the grounds east to where the new foundation is set. The cabins may be moved as early as next spring, pending council approval and financial readiness. Once the cabins have been moved, the contractor can begin rehab and chinking on the historical structures.

“We have a three-phase operation that has to go through the city council in reference to the cabins,” said Groves. “We’re not going to recommend to the city and nor are they going to approve any of this work without making sure they’ve got the funds.”

According to Groves, as far as the cabins are concerned, there is $40,000 that the city has ear marked for the cabins, $25,000 from H/M Tax Grant monies and roughly $20,000 from the families of Wilson Brewer and Jackson Groves.

Groves, who has family ties to the cabins, noted the importance of keeping the history of the park alive through care, conservation and efforts from the community.

The committee discussed what repairs are needed at the Harmony Center School, which is one of the buildings that graces the Wilson Brewer Park grounds.

After discussion, it was decided that Schlotfeldt Engineering will provide a detailed line item cost estimate for the school for the next meeting.

“Work must be done on the park according to city procedures,” said Groves.

Groves shared a power point presentation about Wilson Brewer Park with attendees. The goal of this power point is to create a vision statement for the park and project in its entirety. Groves will be presenting this information to the city council at their Dec. 4 meeting.

Dennie Webb, lead committee member for the courthouse on the grounds, informed the WBP committee that the courthouse committee has four individuals who have agreed to serve on the committee. They are Denny Hagenson, Julie Krusemark, David Hilton and Ketta Lubberstedt-Arjes.

Kim Anderson, lead committee member for the depot building, noted the depot group has met once. However, due to the fact that no work is project to be done on the depot until 2019 at the earliest, Anderson suggested delaying future meetings for the sub-committee.

Darlene Dingman asked permission to loan some of the mannequin parts that are stored in the depot basement to the Jane Young House/Women’s Club.

“We have vintage clothing at the Jane Young House and we’re going to enhance our clothing display so that we can bring in more visitors, bus tours and locals to come into the Jane Young House and see what a gem we have there,” said Dingman.

There were no objections by committee members. As the mannequins are city property, this will have to be done through the city or Kent Harfst.

The committee accepted donations from the Women’s Club and Dick and Patricia Trueblood. The Women’s Club donated folding chairs. The Truebloods donated a large map and certificate.

Committee members Lindsay McCormick-Welch and Jay Talbot were not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

The next meeting of the Wilson Brewer Park Committee will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. in the council chambers.