April 17, 2021

Prairie City Bike Nights are back

Bike Night is back in Prairie City. The Prairie City City Council approved the street closure for April 16, the first Bike Night event of the 2021 season, along with alcohol permits for Whiskey Barrel and Wilkie’s Garage during a special meeting March 25.

The organizers of the event had submitted their insurance and street closure forms but the city is still waiting on their park rental agreement paperwork. While discussing the agreement, the topic of weather-related cancellations brought up questions on the rental payments.

“If it rains and they cancel, are we still going to charge them for the park?” councilwoman Ann McDonald said.

In the current rental agreement, language states in cases of cancellation the renter must give the city a written request for a refund 30 days prior to the proposed rental date, interim city administrator Jodie Wyman told the council. While the council doesn’t want to get into situations where people rent facilities only to cancel and leave it empty when others were interested in the space, it also recognizes last minute weather events, especially at outdoor venues are a different situation.

“If we do noon the day of that way, you know how the weather changes in Iowa, it could be horrible Thursday night and then move through,” mayor Chad Alleger said. “Carl (Van Der Kamp, public works director) said by noon is when a decision would have to be made on whether they are going to have it or not.”

The work discussed is putting up barricades to block of areas of the street where Bike Night takes place. Also involved is the police department and police chief Mike German said he would discuss the timing and options with his department.

“Another thing to keep in mind is if we agree that, it rains and they cancel for this event, we need to prepare to go forward doing that for every event. If somebody rents it and there is a weather event and they decide not to do it, I think we have to be prepared to give everybody’s money back,” councilwoman Dianne Taylor said.

Alleger said Garden Square Park isn’t rented that often and he doesn’t even remember a time when a refund has been requested due to weather. With the annual fire department car show, no refund is needed due to it being a city event.

“I think weather-related cancellations last minute are different than I just changed my mind and I want to go somewhere else,” councilwoman Deb Townsend said.

The council and city staff will continue to work on the language for the permits prior to approval of the rental agreement. Six Bike Nights are scheduled for the 2021 season.

In other business:

The council approved posting the Summer Recreation Director position for the city. Applicants must be available approximately June 1 through July 9, Mondays through Thursdays. For more information contact Prairie City City Hall.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com