Local eyesore cleared for walking trail



August 25, 2011 - 12:00 AM

It took more than 120 truckloads to clear away the last of the debris on property that will accommodate extending the Prairie Spirit Trail through Iola.
City crews finished the cleanup earlier this month, just in time for engineering to begin in order to extend the trail from Cofachique Park on North State Street to Bruner Street, just north of Riverside Park.
The land for years held surplus industrial equipment, old trucks and miscellaneous items owned by the late John Womack and had been the center of controversy for nearly as long.
The land was acquired by Iola’s now-defunct city commission in a land swap with Iolan Jack McFadden. The city acquired the 250-foot swath of land stretching from U.S. 54 to Bruner Street in exchange for 12 acres of farmland west of Iola, plus another $60,000.
Much of the equipment and scrap metal was sold in an auction in June.
The rest was left for the city to remove.
Thirty-six loads of trash and another 90 loads of construction-related debris was hauled to the Allen County Landfill before smoothing over the land.
The effort required 315 gallons of fuel, the city reported.
The results drew the praise of many Iola City Council members Monday, as well as Iolan Donna Houser.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Houser said. “The land had been an eyesore for years.”

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