Community Outlook: Gladbrook Mayor Keith Sash

Winter is almost over and spring is supposed to be here this week and I finally got around to writing one of these letters. I did see about six robins this last week and the snow is almost gone. Some spring flowers are coming up and I think the eagles are on the nest at the lake so maybe we can get on with a new year and get over 2020.

Like all towns in Iowa, Gladbrook had its share of troubles the last year starting with the virus. It caused businesses and schools to be shut down. Spanky’s was closed to in house dining and did mange to survive on carry out meals. They were good but I still like to be able to see people when we go out to eat. They are open now and Mandy is getting good crowds. It is nice to see people from the surrounding towns coming back. Thanks to Spanky’s carry outs and Hometown Family Foods for delivering groceries and being open during the shutdown. The Sons of the Legion, American Legion and churches have had fundraisers during this time that were carryout only. They all had good turn outs and good food.

A loss due to the virus were the schools being shut down. Many kids had to take classes virtually from their homes. I think that is not nearly as good an education as having daily contact with all our good teachers. The kids also lost out being with their friends. When the schools did finally open, most lost out on having friends and family at their school events because of limits on attendance. This affected all ages from kindergarten to high school, from Little League, musicals and to proms and graduations. Hopefully that is all over and we are off to a new and better year.

The other big event of last year was the derecho with wind speeds of well over 100mph. Our town had a lot of tree and roof damages. Our city guys along with Hatch Construction, several tree services, a lot of carpenters and with help from local citizens got the mess cleaned up. You couldn’t find a street in Gladbrook that wasn’t blocked. Mark Lowry and Scott Humphrey put in many long hours, days and weeks getting us back to normal. The city’s total bill for clean up was $330,000. Luckily with insurance and FEMA, we got a lot of help. The cities out of pocket expense is around $30,000. That is still hard on a town of our size but would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for all the great help from our local citizens, surrounding neighbors and friends. Thanks to each and every one of you! The city is moving along well. We did have a couple of water line breaks that Mark had to take care of and some roof damage because of the storm that he is working on.

Jo and I started off this spring with the famous Gladbrook St. Patrick’s Day parade. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a block long parade sponsored by Mark and Linda Lowry. Like all good parades it has cars, floats, tractors, golf carts, horses and lots of candy. I know the kids sure like it along with the crowd of all ages. Thanks Mark and Linda – it was fun and a great way to start off spring.

Looking ahead to April 1, Matchstick Marvels will be opening, April 16 the theatre will be opening, April 11 is the Corn Carnival fundraising dinner at the Peace Church. This year Corn Carnival will be June 16-20. Hope to see you there!

I would like to congratulate Conner Murty for placing third in the State Wrestling Tournament. Congratulations on all your hard work and skills.