FALLS CITY — The city of Falls City will deal with blocking vehicle access inside Michael Harding Park in phases.
Mayor Terry Ungricht said the least expensive option for keeping cars out of the park — installing precast barricades in the parking lot and large boulders along the street bordering the park — would still put a strain in the parks budget.
That could leave it possibly unable to pay for unanticipated costs such as repairs and addressing vandalism, he added.
Ungricht found $2,800 in the budget, including transferring all the money from the July 3 celebration fund ($2,000) and $500 from operational supplies and $300 from worker’s compensation insurance, which was over-budgeted this year.
Councilor Jenn Drill offered a solution: complete the project in stages, beginning with purchasing the barricades at about $1,000, and pay for the rest as the budget allows.
Community members, including one at Thursday’s council meeting, have pledged to help the city pay for the project.
Councilor Lori Jean Sickles said the city should consider a petition turned in Thursday with 100 signatures of people in opposition to closing off the park. She recommended holding a meeting to talk about their concerns before moving forward.
Drill made a motion to proceed with purchasing the barricades, which passed in a narrow vote with Drill, Gerald Melin and Tony Meier voting yes. Lori Jean Sickles and Dennis Sickles voted no.
In other business, the council:
• Approved a business license for a new business, Falls City Grow Supply, at 420 N. Main St. The outlet would sell hydroponic and other greenhouse and garden growing supplies.
• Will participate in a joint meeting of the council and Falls City School Board regarding future funding options for the Wagner Community Library is Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Falls City Community Center, 320 N. Main St.