MCRF board meeting

MCRF board members discuss recent development projects at Wednesday's board meeting at the Lacey Complex office.

Richard Rindt/The Herald

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation (MCRF) held their bi-annual executive board meeting on October 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lacey Complex office.

After the April 10, 2018 meeting minutes were approved, an annual financial report was distributed to board members which contained all 2019 checks and savings transactions to date, along with a banking summary which highlighted a total income of approximately $1,159,988 and total expenses of approximately $1,082,244.

Concession restrooms at the Lacey Complex have been completed, with the exception of a few doors that need to be replaced on the men’s side.

Oskaloosa Community School District Superintendent Paula Wright reported that the community stadium upgrades are continuing, with the completion of the track happening this week and there is now a walking area for walkers to use.

Wright also reported that the Community Recreation Center and Early Childhood Learning Center plans were approved by the city council, with groundbreaking expected in spring 2020 and completion by August 2021, pending all bids and funding.

MCRF Executive Director Sherry Vavra said MCRF received $80,000 from the city for improvements. That money will be used to pour concrete at the north and south end of the stadium. She also reported that the curve on Woodland Road between 7th and 11th is currently getting a sidewalk added for safety reasons. Walkers and trams will also be able to use the new sidewalk.

McKenzie McCarty reported that there is about one month left for tram service to be offered. Total donations for the Trail Tram May through September 2019 were $923.59.

There were 158 tram tours that served 1,158 individuals, and 24 of those were from 10 different states.There were 14 volunteer drivers who combined for a total of 395 volunteer hours. The oldest tram is now ten years old.

June was the best month for the tram with 37 hours and 292 people served. Overall, 1006 riders during the full season were from Oskaloosa, with 23% from the nursing homes. Both YMCA Day Camp and Conservation Center Day Camp brought riders for tram rides as well.

Volunteers who are interested in driving the tram are encouraged to contact the MCRF office. Full tours are approximately two hours long.

The board approved a committee decision on a discrepancy between a high school reservation and a USSSA reservation for the complex that ended up falling on the same weekend.

A separate quarterly progress report was shared that highlighted items categorized by recreation, community support, development projects, and upcoming events.

Mackenzie McCarty also reported that there were five tournaments with 151 surveys taken using an online survey format. There were more survey-takers staying in Oskaloosa than Pella for the first time during the survey period. Ninety-three of the 151 survey-takers were visitors to the area. Thirty-six percent of survey participants visited the complex for the first time and 21 percent were visiting Oskaloosa for the first time.

Guests can now also stream games through a streaming channel provided by Musco.

Nik Rule from the WPU athletics department shared that both men’s and women’s lacrosse is gaining popularity, and they are pleased to see so much potential in this new addition to their athletic program.

The meeting concluded with some discussion about video surveillance/security camera operations at the complex.

The next MCRF meeting will be the annual meeting in January.

Staff writer Richard Rindt can be reached at

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