Future of Bunker Mill Bridge discussed Tuesday
KALONA—New committees were formed to help move forward the renovation process of Bunker Mill Bridge and its long-term future during a meeting Tuesday night.
Troy McMurray, who lives on the south side of Bunker Mill Bridge, asked the board members of the North Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA) who would represent the Kalona community on their board.
Julie Bowers, executive director of NSRGA, said Doris Park and Scott Allen were appointed to NSRGA’s board by the former board members of the Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge (FBMB) last fall. Because the former FBMB board disbanded, and new committees and representation were needed.
“That’s why we’re here tonight, Troy,” Bowers said. “We are in the process of how the citizens of Kalona can resurrect this group and move it forward. That’s where we are at right now.”
McMurray pointed out the lack of attendance at this meeting compared to the original meeting last September when the meeting was packed with people. He said he didn’t care what happened in the past and wanted people to refocus on the future of Bunker Mill Bridge.
“Everybody here needs to concentrate on getting this room full again,” McMurray said. “Just remember everybody’s here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s the bridge, and that’s the community, and to fill this room back up. So whatever happened, let it be. Squash it and let’s move on and move forward.”
He said the focus needed to get back to what is important, the Bunker Mill Bridge.
Raymond Tinnian, a former board member, attended the meeting Tuesday evening. He said he wasn’t told the board was disbanded by NSRGA but through word of mouth. He asked why Bowers said all of the former board members from FBMB resigned when he did not.
Bowers said the officers of FBMB resigned. NSRGA’s lawyer and board removed Tinnian and Suzanne Micheau before the officers resigned because of what she called harassment.
“And at this point we’re moving forward,” Bowers said, “so that there will be a new group moving forward.”
Josh Sadler, vice president of NSRGA, moved to close the discussion part of the meeting until after the rest of the business was taken care of. Diane Roth, NSRGA president, said she didn’t want to see the meeting become a battle, and ended the discussion there.
Committees were formed for the planning and researching what type of nonprofit status the FBMB group would need. Michael Riddle volunteered to be on this committee.
The bridge restoration committee will include Troy McMurray, Doris Park, Henry Altenhofen, Henry Swantz, and Scott Allen.
The access area planning will include Denise Herman, Swantz, Park; and the fundraising committee will include Riddle, Allen, and Bowers.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 22 at the Bunker Mill Bridge site.