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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The gaga ball pit that will be donated by the Colfax Cub Scouts will be located in Iverson Park.
The parks committee met July 14 and agreed the gaga ball pit should be in Iverson Park rather than at the Colfax Fairgrounds, said Jeff Prince, village trustee and chair of the parks committee, at the Colfax Village Board’s July 25 meeting.
Iverson Park is located east of the intersection of First Avenue and Evergreen Street along Eighteen Mile Creek.
Gaga ball is a non-contact game played in an octagonal “pit” that is described as a “kinder and gentler” version of dodgeball.
Players start inside the pit touching the sides, and the ball comes into play after it is thrown into the air and comes down on the second bounce.
The players can “swat” the ball, but they cannot throw it or kick it. If the ball hits you, you are “out,” and the game continues until there is one person left.
When the Colfax Village Board accepted the donation from the Cub Scouts at the July 11 meeting, board members were leaning toward putting the gaga ball pit at the fairgrounds.
Because of the vandalism that takes place at the fairgrounds, parks committee members agreed that Iverson Park would be a better location, Prince said.
The gaga ball pit is a donation to the village, and after it is built, it becomes village property and will be maintained by the village, he said.
Iverson Park will provide “a better eye in the neighborhood,” Prince said.
The fairgrounds would be the best place for the gaga ball pit, but there is vandalism at the fairgrounds, said Gary Stene, village trustee and also a member of the parks committee.
Iverson Park is on a residential street, and there is less opportunity for vandalism, he said.
Some of the vandalism at the fairgrounds has been in the restrooms, which are located on the north side of the park.
Someone driving on Railroad Avenue would be unlikely to see someone committing vandalism at the restrooms, but even someone driving through the fairgrounds on S.A.F. Park Drive might be unlikely to see anything if someone is vandalizing the inside of the restrooms.
Amy Horchem, representing the Cub Scouts and their parents, said the parents had held a meeting and agreed to do the work August 8 to August 10.
During the meeting, parents measured out 15 feet and 20 feet as a size for the gaga ball pit, and 20 feet seems more realistic to accommodate the number of children who might want to play the game, she said.
Stene suggested that the Cub Scouts and their parents coordinate the building of the gaga ball pit with Rand Bates, director of public works.
“Everybody is on board on our end,” Horchem said.
There are quite a few children who live in the neighborhood around Iverson Park, noted Margaret Burcham, village trustee.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved Iverson Park as the location for the gaga ball pit donated by the Colfax Cub Scouts.
In addition to Burcham, Prince and Stene, Village President Jody Albricht and Village Trustees Carey Davis and Jen Rud voted in favor of the motion.
Village Trustee Anne Jenson was absent from the meeting.
After the motion had been approved, Stene asked if there would be room in the gaga ball pit “for a guy like me.”
People of all ages enjoy playing gaga ball, Horchem said with a smile.
The Colfax Village Board also approved at the July 25 meeting signs along the all-terrain vehicle routes advertising businesses in Colfax.
The signs will point toward the location of the businesses along the route.
The Colfax Rolling Hills ATV/UTV Club will pay for the signs to advertise businesses and will pay for the village employees’ time to install the signs, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved allowing the signs to be installed.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Kirsten Shaw (Outhouse) from July 25 to June 30, 2023.
• Approved a transient merchant license from August 10 to November 9 for Brison Tuschl, who plans to go door-to-door offering window-washing services.
• Approved a pay request from Skid Steer Guy LLC out of Mondovi in the amount of $139,041.51 for work on Dunn Street. The manholes on Dunn Street are too low by half or three-quarters of an inch, but bringing them up to the proper height would require cutting out the new pavement that was just installed and laying down more pavement, said Gareth Shambeau of Ayres Associates. Shambeau said he would talk to the owner of the company to see if the company would take a certain amount off the contract as compensation for work that does not meet the specifications.
• Approved a pay request for Skid Steer Guy LLC in the amount of $8,212.35 for the hydrant repair at the corner of Balsam Street and Railroad Avenue.