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Council Bluffs neighbors hire lawyer in continue fight to keep street open

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 3:53 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (WOWT) - A group of neighbors in Council Bluffs are putting up a fight against city hall in order to keep a street open.

The city council voted to vacate Baughn Street in order for the YMCA to add more parking and a park. There are some neighbors who believe they can fight city hall and win.

“We found further facts we didn’t have before. We talked to an attorney from Des Moines who’s an expert in this field and at first, he didn’t know if we had a case and then he reviewed the law and according to him, the Iowa code says that if the street has value to the community, it can’t be vacated, said Tony Beraldi, Committee to Keep Baughn Street Open.

Tony Beraldi is leading the charge to Keep Baughn Street Open, the YMCA has already started sight preparation for additional parking and to build a new park. Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh says the city rejected YMCA’s first proposal to close the street and the city reconsidered when the YMCA made another offer.

“Then after that meeting, the Y came forward and said we will repay you for the cost of the street so we went to our public works department, talked to them about how much money we had in the street. Told the Y and the YMCA paid the city the cost of that,” said Walsh.

It would take the approval of two city council members to bring the issue back before the council. The mayor says right now, that’s not likely to happen but Beraldi says they will not give up.

“We have a core group of people that have formed a committee and then we’re contacting everybody in those neighborhoods in the next week or so and we’re hoping to get more and more people,” said Beraldi.

Mayor Walsh says if the council would reconsider its decision, then the process would have to start all over again and that could take weeks.

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