Monona Cuts Ribbon on New Pool Parking Lot

Article from the Clayton County Register 
By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The city of Monona held a ribbon cutting Aug. 27 officially celebrating the completion of the new Monona Family Aquatic Center parking lot. 

The project used concrete permeable pavers, which fit together like Tetris pieces, to collect the water that flows through those cracks in order to control its release. 

“Nothing goes through the pavers. All the water goes through the joints,” explained engineer Jon Biederman with Fehr Graham. “There was no control before. Now, it’s holding [the water] and you can control the rate of discharge.” 

The paving job went a long way in improving what Biederman called a “disaster area of a parking lot,” now allowing 45 cars to fit in the space, which once held 15 at best. 

The lot, said Biederman, is also more aesthetically pleasing. Since the pavers come in different colors, white ones were used to make parking stripes and handicap designations, which will eliminate the need for yearly painting. 

“It’s a great concept, and a great addition to the community,” Biederman added. 

While the parking lot is great for the community, it’s also helpful in controlling water release to the Turkey River watershed, of which Monona is a part. 

The project was funded by the interest from the city’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan for the wastewater project, essentially allowing Monona to complete two projects for the price of one. 

“It’s not free money,” explained Patti Cale-Finnegan, SRF coordinator with the Iowa DNR. “You use the interest you would have paid to the SRF on this.” 

Cale-Finnegan commended the city for making the initial investment, then for being proactive enough to take advantage of using the interest funds, which is a new concept for the SRF. Of the roughly 30 other communities taking advantage of similar situations, she said Monona is the first to complete a project. 

Pictured are some of the participants of the ribbon cutting, including city admininistrator Dan Canton, councilwoman Randee Blietz, watershed planner Ross Evelsizer, deputy clerk Linda Gullickson, Eric Palas with Clayton County SWCD and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, swimming pool board member Pam Havlicek, councilman Andrew Meyer, mayor Barb Collins, Tracy Scebold with the Iowa Finance Authority, engineer Jon Biederman, Tiffany Wilson Lillard with the DNR, Corey Bacon of Bacon Concrete (partially hidden), councilman Dan Havlicek and Nick Jensen of Culvers Lawn and Landscape.

Pictured are some of the participants of the ribbon cutting, including city admininistrator Dan Canton, councilwoman Randee Blietz, watershed planner Ross Evelsizer, deputy clerk Linda Gullickson, Eric Palas with Clayton County SWCD and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, swimming pool board member Pam Havlicek, councilman Andrew Meyer, mayor Barb Collins, Tracy Scebold with the Iowa Finance Authority, engineer Jon Biederman, Tiffany Wilson Lillard with the DNR, Corey Bacon of Bacon Concrete (partially hidden), councilman Dan Havlicek and Nick Jensen of Culvers Lawn and Landscape.

“You came in with a well-thought-out project,” Cale-Finnegan said to the city officials gathered at the ribbon cutting. “I’m excited to see the level of community support and organizational involvement. Everything came together with your hard work.” 

The ribbon cutting included a number of people: city officials; people with the SRF program, Iowa DNR, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development; and representatives from Bacon Concrete and Culvers Lawn and Landscape who completed the project. The parking lot wouldn’t have been possible, said Allen Bonini, of the DNR’s Watershed Improvement Program, if not for everyone working together. 

“There are different layers of commitments and resources that collectively can make some real progress in improving water quality,” he said. “If everyone does their piece, we all benefit.” 

Following the ribbon cutting, councilmen and firefighters Andrew Meyer and Dan Havlicek tested out the system, dumping 2,000 gallons of water in the center of the parking lot. Minus a large wet spot that signified where water was dumped, no water was seen on the lot’s surface.