A memorial fountain in front of Decorah City Hall will be removed.

The Decorah City Council authorized its removal at its meeting last week. It also approved landscaping work to be done as needed afterward. The fountain has been settling to the north and the concrete is flaking, according to City Manager Chad Bird.

Council member Randy Schissel, chair of the Council's Public Safety Committee, reviewed several proposed improvements for City Hall last week. His committee and the Council's Property Committee have been reviewing improvements to the area over the past six to nine months. In addition to removing the fountain, they include replacing steps to the firehouse, repairing the basement/foundation under the firehouse and road and parking changes in front of City Hall.

The committees also have discussed replacing the fountain with an electronic sign, landscaping and a bench with a plaque, to recognize the memorial currently on the fountain.

City officials also would like to eventually close the street that cuts the angle from Claiborne Drive to Heivly Street, while allowing for emergency or short term parking there.

There also is a proposal to remove the pine trees to the west of the firehouse to allow for a concrete parking area for the cars of volunteer firefighters responding to calls for service.



Phases

Council member Gary Rustad said he liked the concepts proposed, but questioned whether the street work should be done with a Heivly Street project, which has not yet been scheduled.

Bird said the work could be done in phases.

"We don't have the money this fiscal year, but staff needs direction for at least the removal of the fountain, which is settling out in front of the (City Hall) basement," he said.

The Council unanimously agreed the fountain should be removed.