The Albia Rotary Club, behind the leadership efforts of Kevin Crall, Tyler Boley and Wes Aeschliman, have been raising money to install a new restroom facility at the Reservoir Park.
The facility is identical to the restroom placed on the south side of the park, across the road from the old Waterworks plant.
The club has been developing the top of the hill on the north side of the lower lake, building a shelter there with plans for a playground at some point.
Boy Scouts have further developed the area with a fire pit and tree planting.
“We thought a nice restroom facility would make this area of the park really usable for people wanting to picnic,” said Crall.
The area has a sand volleyball court used often for Fourth of July activities. The work the club has put in coincides with a master plan created by the city’s park board years ago when the late Larry Johnson was on the council.
About $27,000 has been raised for the project and the club has met several hurdles. The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to get the semi-truck carrying the facility, along with a crane that is needed to set the 20,000-pound restroom, to the building site.
The bridges in the park that allow cars and pick-ups to access the north part of the park are not rated for kind of weight needed.
The club gained the cooperation of landowner Pat Wynn to cross a hayfield and open a fence to get into the park without using the bridges. Son-in-law Matt Stocker is also helping with the crossing and site preparation.
Everything has fallen into place except for one piece...the weather.
After Wynn had taken his first cutting of hay off the field, it had finally dried up enough to set a date (last Friday) to make the installation happen.
That’s when a near two-inch rain fell accompanied by 70 mph winds.
“We really wanted to surprise the community with the new restroom on the Fourth of July,” said Crall. “That just didn’t work out. Our next window of opportunity will be near the end of July, after the second cutting of hay. Surely July will bring us enough drying days to get the heavy equipment through the field and onto the site.”
The club continues to vision for the park. “We’re looking into the possibility of bringing water and electricity to this side of the park,” said Crall. “We’ve also talked about developing a small playground and perhaps adding a second shelter house. We’ve had great cooperation with the city and I think we’re all on the same page when it comes to the park’s development.”