City addresses parking for Poor House Tap

CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council will consider next week whether to allow Poor House Tap patrons to park in the city right of way.

Camanche City Administrator Andrew Kida said Poor House Tap used Triangle Park as overflow parking before it was Triangle Park, when it was privately owned. The city later purchased the land and turned it into a park.

The park board decided about a year and a half ago that it didn't want to allow parking on the grass, and the board put up signs reflecting that decision.

Councilman Danny Weller, who is the owner of Poor House, asked if the city could accommodate the business duringspecial events. The park board was receptive to the request as long as Poor House let Kida know in advance and Kida found no issues with the request.

"It was a gentleman's agreement that if there were any damages done, because that was the big concern, that cars pulling through there would create ruts and tear the grass up," Kida said. "That's what was happening before. Some people just pull straight up the hill and out onto Washington Boulevard.

"It was a problem," Kida said. "There was no oversight. So we created some kind of loose oversight."

According to Kida, Weller agreed to pay to fix the grounds if his patrons caused damage. Kida said that Public Works Director Mark Hilgendorf told him that there were rut issues due to parking and the ground being soft, making it difficult to mow for public works employees.

Kida notified Weller of the ruts and Weller had the land smoothened out, which is how the agreement is supposed to work, Kida said.

The use of the grounds has become more frequent than special events, Kida said, and the park committee has recommended that the city not allow parking in the park.

Most of the parking area used by Poor House patrons is part of the right of away and not part of the park, Kida said. The right of way is controlled by the city council, Kida said. The park committee has no control over the right of way next to the park.

"In order to prevent anybody from parking in that right of way anywhere, my opinion is the ordinance would have to change if council wanted to do that," Kida said. "If council wanted to continue to allow people to park there, the council could do that too."

Camanche City Attorney John Frey recommended that the city table discussion on parking in the city right of way because the council agenda said the council would discuss parking in parks, not parking on a right-of-way.

There had been no requests for overflow parking from Poor House before the next regular council meeting, which is scheduled for July 16, Kida said.