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DeWitt water tower

DEWITT — As planning for RAGBRAI’s visit to DeWitt on July 30 continues to chug on, costs may accumulate.

The DeWitt City Council on Feb. 15 agreed to allow the city to eat those costs and be reimbursed later.

DeWitt City Administrator Steve Lindner said the city will be reimbursed for expenses once money from the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, including a $15,000 overnight-hosting stipend, and revenues from the actual event, come in.

Lindner said as the costs come to light, the council would be informed “so everyone is aware.”

City officials — namely Lindner and DeWitt Chamber and Development Co. Executive Director Angela Rheingans – are in the process of organizing volunteer committees to help develop the city’s plan to host RAGBRAI, the cross-state bike ride that will come through DeWitt by way of Lost Nation and Calamus.

Charlotte and Goose Lake are also along the planned RAGBRAI route.

The planning process, which includes the coordination of hundreds of volunteers, must go on, Lindner said.

We are going to incur some costs … the RAGBRAI event is bound to make (us) quite a bit of money to repay ourselves, but we have a timing problem,” Lindner said.

“We won’t have cash coming in until most likely this summer as we start to sell some permits, and then on the actual date of the event we are bound to make the most money.”

Lindner said the $15,000 from RAGBRAI — the arrival of which has not been determined — will not cover all the city’s expenses, Lindner said.

“That includes deposits for bands, beverages, and equipment,” Lindner said. “Deanna (Rekemeyer, the city’s finance director) will keep detailed notes of all of those and will make sure we request reimbursement for all of them.”

DeWitt’s hosting of RAGBRAI hinges on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. RAGBRAI officials are expected to announce whether the 2021 rendition of the ride will go on as planned — or be postponed to 2022 — in March.

DeWitt is locked in to host the ride’s penultimate stop even if it is postponed. It would mark RAGBRAI’s first overnight stop in DeWitt.

Nick Joos is the DeWitt Observer’s news editor.

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