West Liberty, Iowa - Building Together

Building Together - August 2022 - With Guest Co-Host Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr.

July 31, 2022 Ken Brooks Season 1 Episode 2
Building Together - August 2022 - With Guest Co-Host Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr.
West Liberty, Iowa - Building Together
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West Liberty, Iowa - Building Together
Building Together - August 2022 - With Guest Co-Host Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr.
Jul 31, 2022 Season 1 Episode 2
Ken Brooks

Welcome to our August 2022 episode of Building together, a podcast about how community members, businesses, organizations, governments, and schools are working together to make West Liberty, Iowa, and surrounding areas a better place in which to live, work, learn, grow, and play.

We usually shoot for an hour long podcast, but this month is a bit longer because of West Liberty's action-packed summer, and we had to turn to a panel of experts to answer this month's "Ask the Podcast" question about Ice Cream. Be sure to stick around to the end!

Building together is produced as a service by WeLead,  West Liberty Economic Area Development, a 501c3 non for profit organization that is here to promote and sustain the quality of life in West Liberty, Atalissa, and Nichols, to enable growth, to promote business development, and to foster a healthy business climate. Special thanks to West Liberty Auto Parts and the West liberty Good Fellas for making this podcast possible. My name is Ken Brooks, and I will have the pleasure of hosting each episode of building together. Each month, I will also have a guest co-host. This podcast's co-host is Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr. ! Listen as Father G and Ken discuss the state of West Liberty, talk about upcoming events, and interview special guests! Check out this month's line-up:

0:00 Intro

1:26 Introducing Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr.

5:35 Dream Catchers

7:32 Father G and the Chamber of Commerce 

11:16 St. Joseph Church Events and World Famous Pupusas

13:39 Pro Wrestling and Cinema

16:15 New Strand Theatre 

17:09 Downtown Renovation: 115 E 3rd Street - Edward Jones, Liberty Public House, and new apartments

31:10 Changes at Dutton Park - 627 Training Facility - Indoor Batting Cages and Sports Training

33:14 Muscatine County Fair, Fair Parade and Picnic at the Park

34:10 Chamber Chat - West Liberty Chamber of Commerce with Charles Brooke

37:58 Music in the Park - West Liberty Arts Council - Monica Leo

43:06 West Liberty Children’s Festival

44:37 Great Plains Puppet Train Regional Puppet Festival

48:57 West Liberty Latino Fiesta - Latinos Unidos

54:09 Muscatine County Update

56:17 City of West Liberty Updates

1:01:17 West Liberty Community Schools Update - Jake Burroughs

1:09:11 Back to School

1:11:15 Ask the Podcast - When will West Liberty get an ice cream shop? (To submit your question to “Ask the Podcast” email podcast@weleadiowa.org 

1:14:46 The Great West Liberty Ice Cream Taste-Off

1:17:05 Acapulco Bakery

1:20:05 West Liberty Foods Market and Cafe

1:23:24 Giri BP

1:26:20 Wrap-up

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to our August 2022 episode of Building together, a podcast about how community members, businesses, organizations, governments, and schools are working together to make West Liberty, Iowa, and surrounding areas a better place in which to live, work, learn, grow, and play.

We usually shoot for an hour long podcast, but this month is a bit longer because of West Liberty's action-packed summer, and we had to turn to a panel of experts to answer this month's "Ask the Podcast" question about Ice Cream. Be sure to stick around to the end!

Building together is produced as a service by WeLead,  West Liberty Economic Area Development, a 501c3 non for profit organization that is here to promote and sustain the quality of life in West Liberty, Atalissa, and Nichols, to enable growth, to promote business development, and to foster a healthy business climate. Special thanks to West Liberty Auto Parts and the West liberty Good Fellas for making this podcast possible. My name is Ken Brooks, and I will have the pleasure of hosting each episode of building together. Each month, I will also have a guest co-host. This podcast's co-host is Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr. ! Listen as Father G and Ken discuss the state of West Liberty, talk about upcoming events, and interview special guests! Check out this month's line-up:

0:00 Intro

1:26 Introducing Fr. Guillermo Treviño Jr.

5:35 Dream Catchers

7:32 Father G and the Chamber of Commerce 

11:16 St. Joseph Church Events and World Famous Pupusas

13:39 Pro Wrestling and Cinema

16:15 New Strand Theatre 

17:09 Downtown Renovation: 115 E 3rd Street - Edward Jones, Liberty Public House, and new apartments

31:10 Changes at Dutton Park - 627 Training Facility - Indoor Batting Cages and Sports Training

33:14 Muscatine County Fair, Fair Parade and Picnic at the Park

34:10 Chamber Chat - West Liberty Chamber of Commerce with Charles Brooke

37:58 Music in the Park - West Liberty Arts Council - Monica Leo

43:06 West Liberty Children’s Festival

44:37 Great Plains Puppet Train Regional Puppet Festival

48:57 West Liberty Latino Fiesta - Latinos Unidos

54:09 Muscatine County Update

56:17 City of West Liberty Updates

1:01:17 West Liberty Community Schools Update - Jake Burroughs

1:09:11 Back to School

1:11:15 Ask the Podcast - When will West Liberty get an ice cream shop? (To submit your question to “Ask the Podcast” email podcast@weleadiowa.org 

1:14:46 The Great West Liberty Ice Cream Taste-Off

1:17:05 Acapulco Bakery

1:20:05 West Liberty Foods Market and Cafe

1:23:24 Giri BP

1:26:20 Wrap-up

Hey there. Welcome to building together a podcast, all about how individuals, businesses,organizations, and local government is coming together to make west Liberty Iowa and surrounding communities a better place in which to live, work, learn, play, and grow. My name is Ken Brooks and I have the honor of guiding you through this podcast journey each and every month.

Stay tuned in just a moment. We're going to introduce this month's guest co-host, but until then, thank you so much for joining us. Building together is a production of, we lead the west Liberty economic area development group and is brought you in part by west Liberty auto parts and the Goodfellows club stay tuned.

Welcome back to our August, 2022 edition of building together. I'm really excited to introduce this month's special guest co-host father Gimo Travino Jr. Father G, how are you this afternoon? I am great. It's a good almost great time before school starts and the parties and everything. So I'm very excited for everything coming well, happy August, we sure had a lot going on in July and we've got a lot on deck here for August, but For those who might not know you have been here in the community for a couple years and, and you're very involved in the community.

Can you tell us about yourself? Yes, I, uh, I'm 36 and so I've four years ago, uh, July one, I,I was in Davenport, but was asked to move here to west Liberty. And so now I've been a priest for seven years. So I've been in west Liberty longer than any other town. And so the, the more years I'm here, the more I get involved, my, my official title is of course, pastor here at St.

Fr. G.02:25

Joseph's west Liberty. Um, also pastor at St. Joseph's in Columbus junction and the chaplain at, uh, Regina, which can be fighting words around here, especially for football, which in September, we'll worry about that later. But, uh, I joke I'm a, I have three jobs, butmaster of none, and, but here in the community, west Liberty, It's um, having grown up in the quad cities, it's unique because, um, in the quad cities, while the priest, the church arethere, I feel in a smaller town like here west Liberty, the, the church and the community worked together.

And in hand, uh, one of my predecessors father Martin, who felt the church hall, it, uh, it was a combination of community funds as well. And with that, um, it become a communityorganization hall for, uh, the school uses it for CT testing. Um, sometimes, uh, for the Christmas gifts, the jackets, um, and Hansen used to do that.

And hopefully it continues with Marion Hart or whoever. And, and so the, the churches had a lot of things with the community. Um, even before I'd been here, but myself, uh, getting involved this past year, I was asked to join the chamber of commerce. Um, so that was something I never thought, but again, I learn a lot more business things, make new friendships and learn new things on how to run the church from a more business perspective.

Um, so I I'm learning lots myself, especially with the chamber of Congress and all its members. I, it serve on the dream catchers board. I am a dream catcher for here in west Liberty and that organization, mentors youth as a professional one to one thing. And I usually meet my mentor at the public library.

And so it's, um, two of the bigger things that I consider myself involved in there's others, but I think those two in the community, I enjoy, I went to the fair last week to cheer on one of our parishioners who through LULAC was able to be in the county fair candidate. And she wish I had lots of Funes going to school this Saturday.

Mount mercy, so excited for that and help support the kids and our community. So it's always interesting how all that. So myself, I never envision any of this, even now a podcastit's my first ever podcast. So I I'm always blown away every day. It seems something new, something more beautiful that I get involved with and things I never imagined.

So if those of you listening, you have any ideas want be involved, let me know. And if I'm available, I'm willing to help. Well that, I think that's the key. If you're available, right. You're involved in, in so much between dream catchers and then, and the chamber of commerce. Um, you know, not to mention your, your day job, which is more than a day job,it's a day and night job day, full time.

Plus as a pastor, not just one but two local parishes. And I can only imagine how busy you must be. I, I do wanna talk about dream catchers for a minute. It's such a wonderful organization that we have here in west Liberty. Um, an opportunity to match young peoplein the community with some, shall we say more experienced adults, uh, that can help guide them along their way.

Um, can you share any success stories you've seen come out of that program? Well, some of the dream catchers are now getting they're in college and, uh, some in high school do a for bound. So they've gotten to go to the university of Iowa to even spend a weekend there so they can experience where college it's life.

So, so that part is exciting that these kids get older. Um, the one I have like one kid he's gonna enter sixth grade and I have another one that's gonna enter fourth. And so we just go to public library, read some books and then, uh, play video games when they finish their homework. I tell 'em to try to incentivize, um, so I, I'm still a couple years from them going to high school and college, but the baby stuffs.

And I think that's what for the kids to see that anything's possible, whatever their dreams may be and, and that, so the dream catchers help support that. I think it's so important that as a community, we provide role models to our youngest generation so that they can see who they can become. Right. They can see their fullest potential and we, as the community can then equip them with the tools they need to achieve those goals.

And I think dream catchers does an amazing job with that. So thank you for all of our volunteers in that program. And thank you, father G for your time in doing that, uh, your, your other volunteer position, I, I think, uh, is perhaps even more unusual for, uh, a pastor or for a priest. Right. So I see the tie in to the mission of the church and, and dream catchers, but where does the chamber of commerce come in?

How, how did you end up there? So, so it's funny, again, one of my predecessors father deco, he said he joined the chamber cuz we get, um, a discounted rate for the picnic in the park event. So that's the only reason we were members of the chamber of commerce as a non for profit organization. And then when JJ Garcia.

Because people come off the board after so many years, he asked me and I, I was shocked. I like why me and he said, well, you go to a lot of the chamber events. There was this concert, uh, a Spanish man, a LAIs at the, at the fairgrounds. I was at that. And we participate at the tacos in the park event every year.

So he thought I'd be a, a good asset. And with the ministerial association, all the churchesin town, um, working together, we really haven't worked together as much as we should the chamber and the ministerial. So it was a in invitation to try and get the church in involved. And so it's true. I, cuz I tell my quantity friends and they all laugh.

Like no way how's that even possible. But I think again, um, you know, the, even though we're a non for profit, it's, it's always good to learn new strategies and learn, um, especially from our business professionals.  we had a talk, it's actually one of my parishioners Cecil word blogger. She gave us kind of a with, with websites and made sure that we have old stuff.

So immediately after she said that I went online, I made sure didn't have any old stuff. So little tips here and there that, uh, one can learn. So, you know, well, uh, at first I was like, why me? On the other hand, um, you know, I think it can be a bridge that, um, you know, business and non-for-profits the church don't have to be at odds.

Um, again, we're all in this for community, for west Liberty. And so that's, um, and that's why I accept it. And that's why I, I try when I can to, to be there. And, um, you know, with the, it was interesting this year was the first time as, as far as I know for St. Joseph's church, we we've never had a, anything in the parade, but a lot of people even non-Catholics were happy, cuz one, we threw candy.

But we were also throwing what would Jesus do? Bracelets and, um, Bible verses that on the back head information for religious education program. So, so people, you know, everybody wants, you know, and people were just happy. We were there. So that made us,I drove the truck. So that was something that ever thought do in my life.

And so through the chamber, one more thing. And through our youth that really pushed that they've been wanting to do it forever. We had never done it, but now we even participated in the parade. So that was another thing for, from the church part, for my faith and my boss to Pope, as I say, he always says, we gotta get out of our churches and go into the world.

That reality people aren't gonna go to church. So now we gotta go out and try that way. Well, I, I think you're, you're very successful in that regard. Um, and, and I think it's fun now. You've got to add some things to your resume. So in, in addition to, to priest and, and pastor now you've got chamber of commerce committee member.

You've got, uh, podcast guest host and truck driver. So I think you're well on your way to, uh, to future success. I think you're well equipped. Very cool. Well, does, uh, St. Joseph's church have anything coming up here in the next month or two that you wanted to highlight? So September 4th, we're still working out the details, but somewhere near the church, maybe a block over, um, 1 0 7 west sixth street here in town, but we're gonna have our parish festival and the famous food is the Posa by Maria Duran.

Uh, one of the school board members, Jake burrow says he'll travel anywhere for those Posa Posa central American dish salvo, a really good, and they say, Maria Duran, one of our parishioners makes the best.  as well as our, our church ladies. And we get people that come from Iowa city and usually they sell out within an hour at the festival, again, September 4th, one 30 to 6:00 PM, where, um, but that's why we're gonna move it.

Usually it was downtown west Liberty, but we're gonna do it right across from the church, because that way, if we run out, we can make more in the church and just go, that's a great and do it. So that way, cuz a lot of people that's what they come for is a Fu says we have other stuff. Um, I'm working with a parishioner from Davenport.

She has a special taco recipe and she also heads a Guadalupe dance group in Davenport. They'll have, we're hoping for four X I'm working the Guadalupe dancers and the quad cities, Davenport, my old parish in Davenport where I was my first three years. Of course our Guadalupe dancers, the led by ho Lopez, hoping to get them, um, that week.

And then working on maybe there's a group from Iowa. It's called, uh, Donatos there, they dress up like old people have these masks and just kind of a more traditional dancing. It's actually a bunch of young people, but they look like older people and, and hoping to get maybe one more group where we'll see, um, what we can do, but maybe one every hour on the hour.

And, uh, it of course a lot of good food, um, of course, and, and everybody's welcome. And so we hope to see you there again, September 4th, it's the first Sunday, right before labor day. That's always been the tradition, um, for the parish to have the festival. And we,we hope to see you there. Well, I've got it on my calendar and you should get it on yours folks.

That'll be here just over a month from now. So we're really excited for that. And, uh, if for nothing else come for the PaaS they're world famous. Yes. So, uh, father G I think there are two things, um, in your personal life that you're really famous for. Uh, one of them is your love of wrestling and the other is your love of movies.

How, how long have you been into those? Well, I joke about pro wrestling. It was before I was even born. My parents met at a pro wrestling, but in San Antonio, Texas in 1984. And so I joke, uh, you know, two years later after that I was born in 86. And so I, I joke, I liked wrestling before I was even born. And, uh, so that one, and it, um, as a kid, I watched a, what was called a Monday night ward, WCW, WWF, and then, uh, kind of in high school, grew away from it.

But recently, um, growing up in the quad cities, Molene, there's a wrestler from Davenport, Seth raw. Who, uh, became WWE champion. So that kind of got me back into it and now, um, been able to travel to three WrestleMania and, uh, some other events. I got to go back to San Antonio where I was born. There was a Royal rumble there a couple years ago and the rumor is it'll be there next year as well.

So my go back to, I was born where I joke it's, uh, that's in a sense, my, my birth ground, because before I was born, the wrestling is how my parents met. So wrestling. So always had a big place in, in my heart. And then the other one, uh, the movies, I I've always loved movies. The old blockbuster video, I'd walk up the hill just to go random movie those days.

Then there's a red box crew, red movies that way now with internet, but I, I still enjoy going to movie theater. Um, there's one in Moline. I go to a lot, but I also go here. The news strand. Uh, just found out the minions is gonna be there. And, uh, it'll probably be there a few weeks. You can check their website for details, but I saw a Thor there last week and, um, you know, we get, uh, we get the, the big movies at, at more of a reasonable price.

And there's a family from Iowa city, big Catholic family. They have five daughters. I told 'em, well, come over here, it'll be cheaper. And you can see that movie. So I, uh, but no, I I've enjoyed movies and pop culture and all that. And also enjoy going to comic cons. And so part to meet some of those famous actors and things.

That's really cool. And you know, you're right. We are so lucky that we've got the news strand here in west Liberty. And, you know, it's been here for, for a hundred years. Um, the, the historic theater, they've put a lot of time and energy and money into it and it, it's not playing historic movies. It's playing the news stuff.

That's out today. It's playing it for half price, what it would take in Iowa city or Devonport anywhere else. So it's a treasure in our community and, and we're really thankful for it. I have a friend in town, Scott Sealy. He, uh, sometimes he sees a movie, but some days he says he just buy popcorn and takes it home.

Cuz he loves their fresh club cord that's made. So you can even write snacks. And so if you haven't checked out the new strand theater, you should definitely put that on your bucket list. We have so many exciting things going on here in west Liberty, you know, with we lead, I had the opportunity this past year to write a grant, uh, through the Iowa, uh, economic development authority, uh, through a program that they have that's called the catalyst program.

And the catalyst program is designed to take underutilized buildings, especially in a downtown area. And really revitalize them. And we had just the opportunity to do that witha building here on third street, downtown it's one 15 east third street. And that was a building that had been set vacant. And, and actually it was condemned by the city at one point.

So two of our local investors, Frank and Emily came in and they have just transformed this building. We were really excited to be granted $100,000 from the state of Iowa through that catalyst program to give it a little bit of a jumpstart, but, uh, to tell the truth that a hundred thousand dollars is isn't, uh, well it's just to get the ball rolling.

There were a lot more dollars that were put into it, and we're really excited to have Frank Wagner here today to talk to us about that program. Frank, how are you? I'm fine. Thank you. So tell us about one 15 east third. Well, as you said, it was a building that had been condemned by the city. Uh, we acquired it a little over a year ago and it was in pretty rough shape.

And with a lot of, uh, hours of labor, we more or less took it down to just it's bare bones, removed quite a bit of, you know, centuries, a century worth of, of stuff that had been put in the building. And, um, today we now have two super nice apartments, uh, what we call studio hybrids apartments on the second floor.

And then the front half of the building, which is about a thousand square feet. We have a, uh, local financial advisor, Sarah settle check, who works for Edward Jones, moving in, and then the back portion of the first floor, also about a thousand square feet. We have. Started what we're calling the Liberty public house.

Um, it will be a wine and beer bar on Friday nights and an event space, uh, for rent to anybody in the community who would like to use it wedding receptions, uh, luncheons after funerals, uh, graduation parties. We also might actually try to open up, uh, for world cup games, world series, Iowa football games, things like that.

So it's really just a space for an additional space in west Liberty for people to get together.Yeah, absolutely. So I know from personal experience, Frank, that you do amazing restoration work, everything in that building and, and on your other projects too, are absolutely beautiful, but I'd like to highlight a couple things.

Um, can you talk to me first about windows? Well, actually, yes. So as is the case with a lotof. 19th century buildings. The windows usually don't make it that long. And so in this structure, we've actually had three different window vendors involved. So on the front facade of the building, the lower half we've replaced the single pane quarter inch thick plate glass windows with insulated glass windows, which replicate what the originals would've looked like in size, but they provide a much better insulation and also keep the glare down from the south facing windows that they are, uh, on the second floor on the front of the building, there were four, uh, arched topped, double hung windows that had been taken out.

Gosh, I'm thinking probably in the 1970s, we've had those windows replicated a, a company heirloom windows. Crawfordsville Indiana, uh, built exact replica windows of the ones that would have been in those spaces. Originally. In fact, we're using the original, uh,jams for those windows. Um, and they'll look quite stunning when we get those, uh, installed.

And then in the, in the back half of the, the back of the building, both on the rear apartment, second floor and the event space we installed, what are called H windows. They're designed in Norway and built in Wisconsin, and they really are striking, uh, in theirdesign. Um, and when I show people how they operate, it's quite impressive how they canalmost do a complete 360 degree turn to open them.

So. That for one, for cleaning purposes, it's quite handy, but we're also hoping in down the road, in the event space, we will have a patio at the rear of the building. And if we wereto ever have live music or something of that sort in the building, the windows provide sort of a, a, a way you can open them up completely.

So it kind of opens the inside to the outside. You said live music. I think he got fathered Nemo's attention over here. Well, I was, I think I remembering did I bless your property? I, Ithink through Scott Seeley's kids. Yes. Cause I remember so I was, I was just trying to remember, I think I know this property and I'm, I'm just envisioning, as you said, the progress.

Cause I remember when it blessed that yes, you, you came in with, with Scott and, and hissons, Peter and Gabriel were, have worked on the project and then they had, I was fortunate enough to be able to. Prior, at least five or six strapping, 20 year old, 23 year oldworkers to do the demolition on this project.

And the, um, blessing probably did help because only one person got injured and that was, uh, Peter Seeley, but he's kind of a wimp. Anyway, you can tell him that. I'll tell you this  good. Well, I'm glad we got all the bases covered in that project then. So, uh, remember for anybody doing any restoration work, make sure father Giermo is on your call list before you start.

Yes. So pull the correct city permits and, and call the church. Good point. You gotta make sure we check all those boxes. Yeah. Um, two other quick questions for you. Uh, so you said something really striking to me a couple months ago when we were talking about hardware and fixtures that are going in. So are, are these things that you picked up at home Depot?

No, actually we kind of wanted to take. Depth above what you normally find in rental properties. Um, trying to set the standard. So we went to a, for the event space for the Edward Jones space and for the two apartments, we decided to go with, uh, products thatare well sort of old fashioned in a way. They, uh, the, the faucets in the bathrooms, the faucets in the kitchens are 100% brass, Chrome plated brass.

There's not a piece of plastic in them. We went to a, uh, maybe some listeners would be familiar with a company called Chicago faucets. It's an, a very old company that makes commercial, industrial grade, uh, plumbing fixtures. We, we wanted to go along that route.And then we did go to Chicago in pursuit of these things, and we wound up finding a place called the faucet shop in on north Elston street in, in Chicago.

They kind of guided us in a way to find, uh, just some of the highest quality fixtures that you can get. And, you know, it's, they cost a little bit more than what you might pay at your regular big box store, but we decided to go this route because we are convinced they'll last longer. Um, not, not only will they last longer, they look amazing.

Yeah. They appear period. Correct? Yes. Which is phenomenal. But what really surprised me is you said, yes, they're more expensive, but they're not really that much more expensive than you're kind of high end stuff that you would get at a box store. Correct? Yeah. And that's the, the, the person we worked with at this place called the faucet shop.

Uh, it's a, it's a plumbing store and, and they sell replacement parts for all of your standard plumbing, uh, supplies. But they sell, they re he, he said the reason they have all these parts for the other ones is because people need parts for them. Whereas the equipment that we've installed, he said, you probably won't need any parts going down the road because they just don't fail.

And it's not just that. We've also included with the, the flooring, for example, on the, in theapartments, 100% solid hardwood flooring we installed, uh, the bathrooms have tile floor tile, shower install, uh, in surround and, and underneath the tile in the bathroom we've installed at radiant electric, radiant heat.

So, you know, just taking a little bit above, uh, you know, your standard rental renovation. Yeah. Well, you're, you're not sparing any expense for the quality here. And, and I appreciate that. You're really sending a high bar for what we've got in west Liberty. That's amazing. The final thing I'd like to talk about while we've got you here.

So, uh, our listeners, when they come in to check out Liberty, public house, they walk in off the alley. There they go in through those beautiful bag doors. And what is the first thing that's gonna greet them right in front? Well, , if they're looking straight ahead, they'llsee a seven foot high by 16 foot wide, uh, black and white image of 1911 third street, west Liberty.

Um, this was a, an idea that Emily and I came up with kind of trying to figure out what we could do to make the event space striking. When you walk in. And this had been a three inch by five inch postcard that we, uh, found at a lo a local, uh, friend of ours as Steve alt had it in his collection of all kinds of old stuff.

And we had that digitized and then blown up as a wallpaper. And what's quite interesting about it is you can see that the it's a dirt street, there's, uh, two horses on the street, maybe two or three people and a dog. And then you can also just see the north side of east third street of the block we're in and you can see our building and actually one other one that we've acquired in the past year.

And it just gives you a good sense of how beautiful the buildings were and kind of where we're trying to take them going forward. So, uh, if you get a chance to come in and look atit, it's quite impressive. Everyone who comes in stares at it for 15 minutes and asks all kinds of questions. Yeah. Not if you get a chance when you get a chance.

Yeah. So everybody come check out the Liberty, public house and, and, uh, Frank and Emily will take you around and, and you can look at all the fixtures and, and the plumbing . Yeah, yeah, exactly. It'll be great. Mm-hmm  maybe there's some holy water lift too. Oh yeah. There might be. Yes. Father G any questions for Frank?

It, uh, I guess, uh, you know, for those of us newer, like I've only been here four years, but, um, just, uh, how much, how many hours do you think you put into this? Um, you know, a rough estimate. And did you think it'd take more or less than what you had actually done? Well, you know, it's, I really only do older building restoration renovation, and I knew this would be a lot going into it.

I have done a building. I, I restored a building, which is across the street. Um, one 16, I think is the address. Um, oh, about eight years ago, very similar where we, you know, had to just take it down to the, the floor Jo and the studs and the, the brick walls. So I knew what I was getting into, but. Fortunately, I had a really, really good crew to help me tackle this thing.

I wouldn't want to have done it by myself. I mean, we had never less than five, you know, people working on this project at any one time. Um, I, it was just a lot of work. I mean, the entire building has been REPL, real wired, um, all new, pretty much everything is, is new. Um, so yeah, I can't, I think it's taken about what I thought it would take.

So in the end. Yeah. But I would, I wouldn't change a thing. I would do it again tomorrow and I'm afraid I'm probably gonna get talked into doing it again sometimes soon.  well, I, I think that's a good thing, right? Yeah, absolutely. Well, Frank Wagner, a huge thank you to you for coming in and thank you to, to you and to Emily.

Gerts for. All of the projects that you're working on in the community and, and thank you for making west Liberty a better place. You're welcome. Speaking of making west Liberty a better place, have you been out to Dutton park here in the last, uh, week or two father G? No, I haven't. Well, I encourage you to do that and I encourage everybody to drive by, uh, because if you haven't been out there in the last few weeks, It's going to look really different.

So Casey and Nick bell have been working on a project for about a year now. And, uh, the,the construction is nearly complete, but it's a very large facility right on the edge of Dutton park. And it's going to be called the 6 2 7 training facility. And inside of this, they're going to have indoor batting cages.

They're gonna have strength training equipment. They're gonna have everything that's geared towards, uh, young athletes and getting them prepared for their different sports. So, uh, we're gonna have some more details on that as they come. I know they're planningon opening this fall. Uh, the construction's coming along really, really quickly when I was out a couple weeks ago, the, uh, the outside was pretty well framed.

And, and when I drove by this morning, it looks like, uh, the they've got all the siding and the roof and, and everything up. So I, I don't think it'll be very long.  it sounds exciting. You know, especially usually we lose a lot of people go out of town, but this can keep our kids here locally to participate in all that.

Absolutely. I know with the school sports complex, uh, they're going to be including an element of indoor bed cages, which is really good, but I know that the, the teams are gonna be using those all the time. So having this available for the public to use is really exciting because not only can kids come and, and kind of practice on their own time, um, but you can, you can bring everybody from the family to get out no matter what the weather is outside to work on that swing or skill level for those of us that aren't that good.

So, well, we're gonna make sure you're you're there on opening day, father G. Yeah. See if you can knock one out of the park right now, father G at the beginning of the podcast, youwere talking a little bit about the fair that happened, uh, a couple weeks ago. I think that's a great tie in to all the amazing things.

First of all, that, uh, Kelsey Myers and the fair board did out there, I, I think they did a fantastic job, but, uh, the chamber of commerce also did a lot of really cool things, starting with the, uh, the big fair parade and the, the picnic at the park. How, how do you think that went really good? You know, it was, uh, you know, from St Joseph's we got to participate.

I lot of, lot of community interaction, we were right behind the puppet theater in the parade, and then seeing all the businesses at the picnic in the park also, you know, so no, it was good and very exciting to see all that coming together. Well, I think this is all comingat a perfect time. Uh, we now get to welcome back to the podcast, Charles Brook, the chief operating officer for the west Liberty chamber of commerce, Charles.

Welcome back. Thank you. Thank you for having me back. Well, I think everybody's favorite part of the building together podcast last month was the chamber chat. So we wanted to make sure to do that again. What's going on? Well, just like what you were talking about, we just ended two of our main events for the year.

Our, um, Muscatine county fair parade, which I've been told is one of the longest parades that people have seen. I think we did about a 45 minute parade. Um, but beyond that, our picking in the park was great. We had some amazing vendors, um, some great tacos from St Joseph's. Um, but other than that, our main focus now going into the rest of the summer is August 25th, which is our 18th annual, uh, chamber of commerce golf tournament at the west Liberty country club.

Our time that we're allowed to get out there is one o'clock, but tee off starts at 2:00 PM. And there's a dinner following after you finish your.  uh, nine holes at the country club. Okay. So dinner will be ready as soon as you're done as it should. Yes. Right? Because some of us might not take that long. No, it it's a scramble and all my balls are gonna end up in the water hazard.

So there's some people that are absolute golf lovers and there's some that are absolute business lovers and want to be out there to be with friends and gather. And, um, that maybe aren't the best golfers in the world. But Hey, we're out there as a group and having fun father G are, are you putting a team together?

Are you golfing? I don't really think my last name Travino, the great golfer from the seventies. Lee lit Trive, but I say I'm just as good of a talker as Lee, but he's a lot better golfer. And I think I might be volunteering if you didn't have a helper on that hole in one. Oh, I believe if, if you didn't have any one, I think I, cuz I wanna see a hole in one.

There's a big prize. Oh, we've got a big prize, big prize. So, and if they. If they don't get it, then I can just enjoy them fail and just kind of, but you can elaborate a little on father. I will put you at the whole number two for whole in one. Yes. Right. It's official. Yeah.  the, the prize of that whole is if you do get a whole in one is a set of eight clubs, that's still a good prize.

So it is a great prize. Um, but that's just that hole beyond the, once you break on the otherholes. . But other than that, there's, uh, I'm still working on multiple raffle prizes as well as some other prizes that are other holes. But, um, that is our big hole in one prizes, eight setor. A a pair or set of eight clubs, excuse me.

And bragging rights. I mean, it's not every day you do a whole in one, so yeah. Maybe I'll film it then. And, and nobody will ever doubt it because selfie father is there. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, hopefully a video is selfie and hopefully they trust me, but, okay. So how long do people have to get registered for the golf outing they have until August 5th?

Um, it's a Friday, but I do need to get numbers out to the country club by August 5th. So ifyou get them in next week, I truly appreciate it. Well, get those registrations in and I am really excited for some of the special events we've got this fall. So I I'm sure here next month for our September podcast, you'll have lots more information then.

Absolutely. We've got tons of planned in September all the way until our open house in November. Okay. Thank you, Charles. And we will chat again next month.  one of the really neat things about west Liberty is how we have so many different family friendly events going on all year long. And I think. You know, just coming off the fair now, uh, any other community would, would take fair than go immediately into back to school mode, but we're not done.

We have so many other things still on the docket before we're back to school. And one of those things is coming up every Friday night in August. And to talk about that, we have Monica Leo here, Monica, how are you? I'm just fine. Thank you. Welcome to our building together podcast. Thank you so excited to have you.

So what is happening every Friday night in August? Well, this is something that the west Liberty area arts council has been doing for the last probably dozen or so years. I can't remember exactly how long, but in August we hire really fine bands to play every Friday night in Rondi Ru park. And we try to have different styles of music each Friday night.

And. We F frequently, sometimes we have bands that we've had in the past that were really popular. Uh, this year we happen to have three bands that have never played here before. And I'm excited about that, plus a general favorite and okay. The first one, this coming Friday night will be flash in a pan, which is a wonderful bluegrass band from Iowa city.

And just on a side note, a personal side note, uh, the banjo player in that, um, band also plays guitar in apple seed, which is a show that my puppet company does. Um, the next Friday night, we'll have the Johnny kilowatt band, which is a jazz band. Uh, the third, Friday night, uh, we'll have deep dish divas.

That's a, a women's trio and, uh, they're delightful. And then finally, the last Friday night, we will have a local. Liberty do west day doing Latino music. That is really cool. So we've got four different Fridays. Mm-hmm with four different bands and four different genres of music. That's right. I think that might have been intentional.

And we do think, uh, we, we are grateful to those, uh, businesses that donate money to this and make it happen every year. Well, I think those donations are important because how much does it cost to attend? Well, it doesn't cost anything to attend, but we do have to pay the bands and we're paying them an average of about $800 in evenings.

Absolutely. We need a bit over $3,000 to make it happen. So thank you to the very generous contributions of our local west Liberty businesses. Uh, the arts council is able toprovide this to our community at no cost mm-hmm  for the attendees. I think that's amazing. Uh, which of these groups are you particularly looking forward to.

Oh, that's a tough call. I'm obviously looking forward to my colleague, Alex, playing with, um, flash in a pan and I've always loved the deep dish divas, and it's always fun to hear Lido west day. I have actually never heard the Johnny KWA band, but it comes highly recommended from our outreach director, Chris Eck, who also happens to be a musician.

Well, very good. I'm excited for all these, so I I'll be sure to be there father Giermo. What do you think it, uh, that, those three women, so very interesting. The picture I'm looking atthe flyer that, uh, will put, you know, there's something maybe different than we're used tohearing. Mm-hmm  around here. I'm always kind of a old school classical instruments, but liwest day, if those that don't know Spanish, it means west Liberty.

And so what a name for a band and Spanish. So maybe that one too, but they all look good and. Whichever one you can make, even if it's for an hour, you know, that's still an hour of music and culture and it can only help each and every one of us. So, and, and the timing is from six 30 to 9, 6 30 to nine.

That's right. Bring your lawn chairs. Of course, there's the bleachers and tables and chairsin, in rounded group park, but they have a tendency to get used. So, so what Monica where's what Rendez V park. Oh, Rendy V park is our charming little downtown pocket park, beautifully shaded with bleachers and tables and chairs and a stage.

And it is right next to the new strand theater. Exactly. So there's parking there on third street. Mm-hmm  or, uh, you can, you can get there there's access through the alley behindtoo, right? You can park on Calhoun or, or, um, Spencer or third street. It's easy to get to. So, uh, I encourage you to make an evening of it.

So grab your family, pick your favorite local restaurant. Mm-hmm  have dinner. And then, uh, when you're done at six 30 or seven pop on by for some amazing music, great idea. I love it. And get, carry out and bring it along. There you go. Carry out. That's a wonderful idea. Another picnic in the park, if you will.

Mm-hmm  okay. Well that's this month we got some stuff coming up next month that you might know a thing or two about too, right? Well, this year is our 25th. I can't believe it's been that many years. Our 25th west Liberty children's festival. And it will be on September 10th. That's a Saturday from 10 to three, there will be five different guest puppet troops performing in Ren Dabu park.

And we will have a lot of street entertainers, too puppeteers, of course, but also a juggler and some musicians and a balloon twister and a face painter plus lots of other activities, painting easels and. Various games. The community of west Liberty really comes through for this. And a lot of organizations put up, um, booths and with activities for kids.

And, uh, oh, Duffy de France always brings a lot of free books to give away. So if you needa good read, make sure you come and look at her table. Uh, there it's, it's a wonderful little festival and it has gained quite a reputation because ever since we started, um, beingable to hire puppet troops to perform at it, thanks again to, uh, local mover and movers and shakers who started doing the fundraising for us.

It's gained a national reputation among puppeteers too. And some of them will come just to enjoy the weekend, whether or not they're going to be performing. And this year it'll be a longer weekend because this. The children's festival is the centerpiece of our great Plain's regional puppetry festival that we've been asked to host for puppeteers of America.

Wow. This will be our third time doing that. And it was so popular the last two times that they asked us to do it again, uh, puppeteers of America as a national organization, actually more than national, because it also includes Canada and Mexico and, um, it's north America in other words. And, um, they hold every region holds a regional festival every other year.

Iowa is part of the great Plains region, which covers eight states and two provinces. And so we'll have puppeteers from many of those states. And also from other states, I know from at least a couple of people that are coming from California for it, and a few people from the east coast, uh, we'll have starting Thursday evening.

We'll have puppet shows and other and workshops every day between Thursday evening and Sunday noon. And I just found out that it looks as if our puppeteers from Kenya, that we have been holding our breath, wondering whether they'd get their visa in time, it looks like they're gonna get their visa. So it looks like we'll have crystal puppet theater from Kenya.

We are still waiting to hear from our Bulgarian guests, whether they will get their visas in time. So keep your fingers crossed. But in addition to them, we have a number of really highly regarded American troops from all over the country. Two coming to perform five of them will be a couple of them will be Friday during the day.

And we'll try to get a grade level of the, of school kids to come to each of those. But the public is also welcome. And Friday evening, if there will be a show and Saturday evening, and of course the five during children's festival. Sunday morning, there will be one last show. And on Friday there will also be quite a few workshops that, um, are basically mostly for the guest puppeteers that are coming, but local people that are interested are certainly welcome to attend those two that's.

That's amazing. And there's so much good news packed in here. So I, I knew that our children's festival was on the national stage. I did not know that. It sounds like the children's festival is world renowned.  well, it's getting to be that way. We've had a puppeteer from Argentina at it, and this year we'll have, and we've had a puppeteer from Turkey at it this year we'll have puppeteers from, oh, and from the first time we did the regional festival, we had a puppet theater from, um, from, uh, Indonesia that was actually supported by the state depart.

and the, the, the agent that the state department hired called us up and asked us, told us that they were looking for a quintessential American experience for their Indonesian puppeteers, that would be here. And, um, I said, well, you can't get any more quintessentially American than a diverse small town in the Midwest.

That's right. And so, uh, we had them here as guests and after it was all over with, we got a thank you letter on state department, stationary signed by our then secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Okay. Well, you know, uh, this podcast is named building together. PerhapsI missed the mark, perhaps we should have named it the quintessential American podcast.

oh, maybe we'll stick with building together. Okay. Um, too long of a, too long of a name. That's true. What? We'd lose points there.  so you gave us a lot of information and I'm sure people are gonna go back and listen to this a couple times, but where's the best place for them to go, to find out more about, uh, the children's festival and the workshop.

They can look at our, our website, which is puppets, puppets.com and their, and on our website. They'll also find a link to the great Plains puppet train website, or they can just find that on their own it's great Plains puppet train, which we named at that in honor of our local railroad and train history, railroad history here.

Very good. So one of the unique things about our children's festival is that when it's done in the early afternoon, the festival isn't done, is it, we that's for sure. We kinda have a little bit of a transformation and we go from our children's festival into our big Latino Fiesta.  so Ithink, uh, Monica, you might know a couple things about that.

Mm-hmm  and father Giermo. I know you've got some information. What can you guys tell us? I'm not sure what who's going to be playing yet, but I know that Francisco Martinez who organizes this, um, has some wonderful bands that he'll have playing. Uh, some of the things carry over from children's festival.

There's a little tiny train for the kids and there's a Mexican market. That's there all day. And most of the food vendors are there all day from 10 until 10. Um, but basically in the afternoon and evening, a lot of it is a street dance, which is just super fun. Yeah. I, uh, I know Francisco, um, for a long time, his nephews, one of my best friends, we both went toMullin high school together.

Oh. So when I arrived my first day in town, I already had credibility with Francisco cuz I knew his nephew. Francisco's been at this, we weren't sure how many years of the, the children's festivals, 25. He was estimating about 20 years. He's been added for the Latino, uh, festival and the Fiesta, um, under different forms.

He said he took a three year break, but Latinos will need thoses has done a lot in the community. Uh, you told me, I called him right before the podcast that expect a big surprise that he's still working on, on those acts, but he always gets big names. I remember my first year here in town, he got Las Anita, which is a big group, internationallyknown.

And then, uh, I remember a couple years ago he also got Los EZ, which was my father's favorite van. Nice when he was living. And so Francisco always, uh, so whoever he gets, he's still working on it, but he promised he'll, he'll have a big surprise. And so, um, just sometimes the negotiation and working things out.

I'm explaining that it's a, it's a big deal, but, uh, there's some history, um, in September, uh mid-September to mid-October Hispanic heritage months. Mm-hmm . And so there's alot of festivals. Um, literally the whole month of September, even part of October, as I mentioned, St. Joseph's the week before on September 4th and then this one for the community, um, September 10th, um, Mexico's independently is September 16th and some of other countries in central America, I believe it's September 15th, it's around thosedate.

So that's why there's so many things celebrating all these nations where, um, so many of our, uh, people are from. And so we put all that together into one giant Fiesta and the foodvendors that were mentioned, you know, they always, so you can try a little bit of everything and it, uh, so that's part of it.

What makes it good. Francisco said the group would be from Mexico. The big one has those. Um, he said that he's bringing ballet for Rico from Chicago, um, entertainment for children as was mentioned. And, uh, the money they use, uh, goes for scholarships, um, for young Latino youth as well. So, so it all goes to good cause.

And so, um, we have of the Latino community in Francisco Martinez and everyone behind the scenes that makes this such a great event every year. Again, save the date, uh, September 10th, three to 10:00 PM for that, um, Fiesta, but also the whole day, really with the children's festival. And it's a unique thing we have in our city that they share the same space and you can have fun the whole day.

We've been collaborating on that. I think 2016 was the first year that we talked to Francisco and decided that we would try collaborating on it and see how it worked. And I think it's worked splendidly personally. I, I think it's a beautiful illustration of. How our westLiberty community works. We have so many different types of people that at the end of the day, doesn't matter.

Uh, what, what ancestry they, they claim we're all west libertarians, right? Mm-hmm . So we, we come together and embrace the culture that is here in our community. And that is so, so neat. Um, and this is our opportunity kind of once a year, we get to do this where we're sharing that culture, not just amongst ourselves, but we really open up west Liberty to bring in people.

Uh, I know we've got people coming from Iowa city and, and the quad cities and, and evenDes Moines, Chicago, Chicago coming down for this, um, that, that are really just soaking up all of this amazing heritage. So, uh, if you have never been it doesn't cost you a dime, come down, check it out and, uh, spend the day with us in west Liberty.

All right, Monica. Thank you so much for your time. Well, thank you. Okay. Now it's time for some of our government updates. First of all, from Muscatine county, I just got off the phone with our friend Santo Salcedo and, uh, supervisor SA Sado gave me some bullet points to share with everybody. The county is going into what he's calling an APA dollars review.

Um, that's one of the opportunities that, uh, the county got some dollars from the federal government and they're asking the public, um, for the best way to spend those dollars to support the community. So if you have any thoughts on how they should do that, be sure to reach out to the county board of supervisors.

Muscatine county is looking at holding a joint economic conference this year, uh, with west Liberty Wilton and Musca team. I'm really excited for that opportunity. You know, each one of our communities is doing really well in growing independently, but when we can maximize our resources by working together as a team, I think we can accomplish a lot more.

I think history has shown that to be true. And, and I'm all for, uh, you know, the more brains the better. So we're looking forward to that opportunity. Muscatine county is looking at joining a 28 E organization for a veteran's mutual assistance program with Luisacounty. Again, when we've got Muscatine county and Luisa county working together, I think we're going to be able to accomplish more, to serve those who, uh, gave their all to support our country.

Finally Santos, let me know that there are several road and bridge projects going on right now in Muscatine county. So he and the rest of the board of supervisors appreciate your patience and your understanding as, uh, they're they're working to get these projects thatreally need to get done done. They just take a little bit of time, so I'm sure we'll all be able to enjoy those roadways when they're complete, but for now a little bit of patience goes a long way.

Thank you very much Santos for those notes. All right. Now some updates from the city ofwest Liberty, uh, the first has to do with golf carts and ATVs UTVs. So father G I, I don't know if you saw in the news a few weeks ago. Um, but the Iowa legislature passed a law, uh, that essentially makes it legal for ATVs and UTVs to drive on public roadways.

Did you, did you see that? I did. I did. What do you think about that? Well, as long as they have a license, I they'll drive over the speed of it. I'm fine with them. And I'm sure there are the, uh, proper safety measures that they all have to be equipped with, um, flags and, and lights and turn signals. And, and all of that, um, west Liberty for a number of years has had a golf cart, ATV and UTV ordinance where it allows people to drive them on city streets.

So this isn't new to west Liberty. Um, although part of the public law, um, the, uh, the state law is that with the ATV's UTVs, municipalities are no longer allowed to charge for permits for people to drive those. So west Liberty had done that before. Um, so they're looking at changing that local ordinance and the city will be having a public hearing here shortly about amending that.

Um, so everything is in alignment with the state code. Now that state code does not applyto golf carts, uh, but the city code currently does allow golf carts once they are, uh, permitted here in the city. What do you think about people driving the, the golf carts around town? Any thoughts? Uh, I see it a lot around all of Iowa and that would make sense because of the new law, but, um, I guess I've always seen it on the roads.

I've never thought anything differently, you know, as long as they follow the, the rules, I have no problem with it. And you know, it, uh, during the day, especially you could see 'emand everything and hopefully no snow, cuz I'm sure those vehicles might be a little harder to drive with more snow. Well, that's true.

Uh, I personally think it's a great idea, especially with the way gas prices are now. Uh, even if it's a gas operated golf cart, I don't think it'd take too much gas to kind of putter around to, to go from your home in west Liberty, to downtown, to grab something, to eat, for example. But if you've got a battery golf cart, that's even better, you can just plug that in and, uh, don't have to spend any dollars on gasoline.

So I think that's pretty neat. The, uh, city also reports that they'll be holding a public hearing, uh, for the storm water utility ordinance. Um, they're working to finish the urban renewal update for the, uh, old tire shop property. That's one that we got some state funding towards. Uh, Travis shields is going to be building a wonderful modern building there with some commercial space in, uh, several modern apartments.

We're really excited for that coming along, uh, city council's making plans, uh, to. Phil Councilwoman NICs position. So we should have a, uh, a new council person in that seat here soon. And work has started on the mini pitch project over at WAP park. Have you seen that? Have you heard about what's going on there?

No. So this is going to be a small, hard surface soccer pitch. Um, apparently this is a reallypopular thing, um, for some high speed, high action, uh, how do they call it? Uh, high speed load drag, right? Um, soccer there on arena football, maybe arena soccer, exactly. Half the field that and more intense. Right.

Well, I, and you know, on, on a hard surface and not on grass, so I hope they've got bleachers, cuz I'm gonna go and watch that. That sounds really interest.  also, if you're looking at working for the city, if you've got some medical training, uh, the city of west Liberty is hiring paramedics and advanced EMTs.

So check into that on the city's website, if you have any interest there, and if you haven't seen it driving around the city of west Liberty has a brand new rear loading garbage truck that's been out and about and in service. So check out that beautiful paint job. And, uh, next time you see a city employee, thank them for working so hard to make west Liberty, abetter place to live.

My last note here from the city was that a couple weeks ago, the city of west Liberty's police department was excited to welcome officer Derek Holmes to the department. So if you see officer Holmes walking around, make sure to go up and introduce yourself and thank him for his service. It's time now to check in with west Liberty community school district.

Hey, Jake, welcome to the podcast. Hey everybody. And thank you, Ken, for having me on your podcast. This is Jake burrows representing the west Liberty community school district as the school board president. Um, very excited to, to be a part of this and, and I think that's a fantastic thing for our community.

So thank you for beginning it. Um, couple updates, you know, um, we've got the early learning center, um, movement over towards the middle school, got the middle school, um, being repaired, added onto updated upgraded. We're gonna have better HVAC. We'regonna have new, uh, fire alarm systems throughout the entire complex, um, removing some of the old assets or, or, you know, um, building materials from, from the property that, uh, you know, wouldn't be quite as ideal as we'd like.

So really, really making great progress there. Um, hopeful to have that. Finished up in, in, in due time, we've got the groundwork done, got some electrical being done right now, uh,working on the tunnels and other inside work right now. So that's really, really making us happy with where we're at on those things.

Um, likewise with the athletic complex, it's another one, that's a, a hot topic, of course. And it's another fantastic addition to our, our beautiful community here. And I think it's gonna be a fantastic draw for businesses, for families, for everything it's gonna, it's gonnabe a, a really great addition, um, in a variety of ways, it's gonna really bring us up to up to.

With where we should be and, uh, prepare us for the future. Uh, right now, uh, looking at the west Liberty community school district website, it's indicating that we're at 1.3 million raised of the $2 million goal for 2022. It's fantastic. And it's really, really amazing to see the outpouring of support from the variety of community members, but also, um, people in businesses alike, uh, that maybe I wouldn't have wouldn't have thought would have, um,quite the connection to the district as, as you know, they do.

So it's really great to see people kind of coming outta the woodwork really, um, and, and opening up their wallets and, and, uh, seeing really the value in adding to, to this project. Um, the prices as we well know for construction and, and building materials have been notideal. We'll. And, uh, so the bids that we've received early on, obviously have increased over time.

We're working on finding cost, saving, uh, opportunities. We've got a group of what I would consider experts in the development and building, um, industry from our community here and, and the outside thereof, uh, helping us find ways we can do some things ourselves. Some things can be, um, cost mitigated otherwise, but then also we still want to ensure that we're maintaining a high quality expectation.

You know, we don't want to put it together and it'd be less than stellar, so we're gonna do it right. But we're also gonna make sure that we're being, um, very reasonable and, and, uh, smart with the money that's being spent. And, uh, it's great to know that we didn't have to raise taxes. We didn't have to add any sort of.

Sales tax increase throughout the community, any of those type of things to try to raise money for this. So it's, it's been really, really fantastic what we've been able to do with thefunding that we currently have. And then with the donations from community members, um, you can continue to donate. You can, um, reach out to Adam Maria or, uh, Lisa Wortz Boger.

Those are two fantastic connections, but then also on the west Liberty community school district website, there's, uh, a ton of information, updates, um, details, all that kind of stuff. So we, uh, the school board actually just approved in July the bid, um, the bid documentation, which is the specifics from our architecture group for creating the dirt work, um, and the layout for how we're gonna have the piping underneath all the facilit.

How things are gonna be laid out the, all the stuff that I am not the right guy to do.  so luckily we have them, um, doing that and being experts in that. And so they've sent that out to bid at this point, we should expect, uh, response and, and official bids from those organizations, uh, early August, early to mid August at the very latest, so definitely makingheadway there.

We're on track as far as I can tell, to have a 20, 23 track season in west Liberty, which is fantastic because that's something that we missed out on last year because of the quality or because of the state of our current track with the heaves in turn three and a variety of other issues. And of course, you know, we will have the eight lane track too.

So we'll be very excited to, uh, to show that off. That's gonna be fantastic.  uh, on the athletic side of things, a couple bright notes recently, the boys' baseball team conference runner up district champs, sub state finalists, and they had a fantastic season. The they'regonna be returning a bunch of these guys next year.

Um, it's, it's gonna be really exciting to see what they can do next. And then seeing what some of these guys that are, are graduating that are departing from the program this year of what they're gonna be able to do, uh, in their collegiate career. So it's, it's very, very fun, um, to watch that this season, likewise, the girls softball team won their first, uh, outright title since 1986 as conference champions.

So very, very proud of our athletics. Um, this spring summer, uh, soccer also did very well,um, competing very strongly at state. Um, the GSA group. That were nominated for an award, uh, called the character counts award. Um, that's gonna be actually, that should be, um, discussed and, and announced at an awards banquet at the end of July.

So we shouldn't should have some results by the airing of this. And then the comment open, uh, which is a, um, a golf tournament hosted by the district, uh, is August 20th out here in west Liberty at the golf course. And if you sign up by August 3rd, you will get your shirt. So, uh, I do believe you can sign up after that, but you would not be eligible at that point for a shirt.

So, um, great, great, great things going on in our athletics right now. Uh, even though we're not in the classroom right now, but there's plenty of things going on, uh, online registration, since we're speaking a little bit about going back to the classroom here, online registration is open to. You can go ahead and go online and make sure that you're all settled up for, for the coming year, 20, 23, 20 or 22, 23, excuse me.

And, uh, then you'll be ready to go for August 23rd, the first day back, which is a, uh, earlyout day, actually. So, and then the preschoolers of course, um, coming in on August 25th. So, um, just a quick update there and, uh, I really appreciate you having me. Um, and I look forward to participating in the future.

Thanks Ken. Thanks Jake. Come back anytime. Well, father G we have had a busy summerand we still have quite a bit in front of us here, but now that it's August, we do have schoolcoming up here in just a few short weeks. Do you have any advice for students that are getting ready to go back? Just, uh, hang in there again.

You can start. Fresh, you know, uh, stay up to date on your, your work. I remember my lastyear of school and I was a deacon in seminary. I knew I was gonna slack off cuz it was my last year. I knew I'd get ordained cuz I was a deacon, which was the first step of ordinationin the Catholic church. And so I, I did all my papers early and that way, when everyone wasstressed out at the end of the year, I'm like, well, I already did it.

I over, I looked at just to make sure everything was ready, but so know yourself to give it your role and for all the different sports and activities going on as well, just, uh, have fun and you know, be a team and it'll be a great school year and we wish you nothing but the best, you know, you, you make a really good point about fresh starts and I know come January and new year's some of us come in with, uh, new year's resolutions and, and clean starts.

But I think your advice can, can apply to more than. School students, right? Yeah. So with August new school, year, September, all our festivals and activities. So we can treat that as our new start to refresh and start, you know, the new school year in a good way with all these new things going on and letting the past go forget about it.

And let's just focus on all the wonderful things coming up. Yeah. Focus on the positive things that are ahead and focus on making life better for us, for our families and for our neighbors here in west Liberty. Very good. I like that. Well, to wrap up the podcast this week, we are going to end with a segment that we're calling, ask the podcast today.

We have a letter and it's an anonymous letter. I'll read the signature here in a minute, but itsays dear podcast and friends that we lead. When is west Liberty going to get an ice cream shop signed sweet tooth? Well, we have, uh, a lot of stores that sell ice cream. Um, I, I was kind of sad with Choco taco announcing that they weren't gonna have more Chocotaco.

So I bought 10 of them at Casey's. I, I saw this. So last week, there's something going around the internet saying that taco tacos are going to be discontinued. Right. And so youwent down the Casey's and you bought how many of them? 10, 10. So I have 10, I gave one of my secretary and I'm giving them the people that haven't had one before, and thenthe rest will take them, my mom and family in quad cities in a few days, but I ate one.

My secretary ate one, so I have eight left, but I was joking with the big mega millions drawing that I'll trade 'em for the degree in price. So if anybody is interested, but there's lots of little, um, businesses here in town that sell ice cream.  um, you know, the VP, they have, I think 20, some different flavors of us.

You just gotta ask. They have, uh, their own machine that makes their ice cream, you know, Casey's ice cream has that machine. And that's where I got the Choco tacos. Um, some of the restaurants in town as well have ice cream, um, little known fact with 30 foods has ice cream too. You just, the different flavors you just gotta ask.

And, and so different places we can go, well, not an official ice cream shop. We have different places, um, that, uh, somebody even at one of our Mexican restaurants in town has Mexican ice cream. And so, so no, there's lots of different places we just have to kinda, um, and while not officially ice cream, there's lots of sweet tooth and our bakery in town Acapulco, they get ice cream.

I believe it's from the Chicago area, but I'm not sure. And they even have a Ferro RO shareice cream chocolate. I've had. Uh, we're probably the most popular once the Hispanic community it's called a Mongo LA it's mango. It's got some, it's got a kick of some sort of spice and chili, uh, Chao. It's like a sweet chili as well.

And so my niece has a nephews, my mother, they love it. I'm, I'm not as popular with it, but we all have our taste. And so, you know, there, there's lots of places that have ice cream and we'll fill that sweet tooth. Well, that's an excellent point and, uh, sweet tooth and, and our other listeners here, here's my official reply to your, to your letter.

Um, I think our market right now can absolutely support an ice cream shop. Um, actually, especially if you kind of incorporate some other kind of, uh, quick service restaurant with that. Right. Um, but father G is absolutely right.  until we get to that point. We do have so many great options, but you don't have to take our word for it.

I think it's time that we find some experts and we see what they think. What do you think about that father? Jean? It sounds great. They know more than we do. Yes.

So the team here at we lead has put together a crack panel of some ice cream experts. And before we get started here with our ice cream experiment in west Liberty, I am gonna pass around the microphone and I'm gonna let all of our team members take a moment and introduce themselves. Hi, my name's Marshall and I'm in second grade.

And fun fact about me is I get in trouble a lot. And why are you an ice cream expert Marshall? Because they can taste all the different flavors. Okay. Fair enough. Thanks marsh. Uh, my name's Joseph, I am 13 going into eighth grade and a fun fact about me is that I travel to a lot of different states to play baseball.

And why are you an ice cream expert? I ice. Cream's probably one of my top favorite foods and I'm just good at tasting, I guess. Okay. Very good. Um, my name is Jalen burrows. I'm 13 going into eighth grade this year. Um, a fun fact about me is that my favorite sports are track cross country and dance. Um, I would say I would be a quote unquote ice cream expert because I guess, I don't know, I have a strong opinion and I can tell whether I like things or not.

And there's a lot of variety with ice cream. Okay. Um, my name is ADA and I'm 12 going to eighth grade. And the fun fact about me is I have a lot of siblings. And why are you an ice cream expert? Um, I guess I, well, I guess. Eat ice cream a lot when I'm, when it's in summer, so, okay. Thanks Ana. Hi, my name's Addison.

Um, I am 10 and I'm going to fifth grade and a fun fact about me is that, um, I do gymnastics and dance. And why are you an ice cream expert? Because I bake with my mom a lot and we always have to talk about the taste and like everything we bake. Okay, cool. Thanks Addison. All right. It's time to put our experts to work.

It's time for our first stop. Aqua PUCO bakery on Calhoun. Hi, I'm za Rena, and we're here at Acapulco bakery in west Liberty, Iowa, and here to talk about the selection of ice cream and paletas that we have. We have a good selection. Uh, they're all made homemade in the Iowa city store. Yeah. And they're really good.

Yes, they're really good.

Okay. So. Our group of taste testers is standing here outside of Al cap. PUCO they've had a few minutes to dig in. Let's go around and see what everybody got and what their thoughts are. Um, my name is Jaylen. I chose the Oreo flavored ice cream. Um, I would say it's good. It's definitely like what makes it Oreo flavored is just putting the cookie in it really?

Which melts with ice cream. I think it tastes really good, but I wouldn't necessarily say thatthe ice cream itself is Oreo. It's more just vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookies in it. Okay. Good flavor? Yes. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Okay. Well take a hundred percent. All right, Joseph, how's it going?

Good. How are you? Good. What did you choose? I chose butter scotch. I'd say it's a pretty good ice cream. The nuts kind of melt into the ice cream, which gives it mostly all its flavor. And I, yeah, I tr I'd get it again sometime. Okay. Awesome. Very cool. Now we've got an ice cream adjacent snack here. A. It's kind of like a Popsicle, right?

Marshall, what flavor is it? Do you know? Bubble gun and blue raspberry bubble gun and blue raspberry. What are your thoughts?

It's good. Thumbs up. Would you get it again? No. Okay. You were, I did. Very good. Okay. So it's good, but maybe we try different flavor next time. Okay. Addison, how's it going? Good. What did you choose today? Mango Chao. Okay, so we got the mango flavor, ice cream. What do you think? It's good. And it's kind of sweet, kind of sweet.

Like it's a little sweet or it's really sweet. A little, just a little bit. It's a beautiful kind of orange and red color. Do you have any other thoughts about it? No. No? Do you like it? Yes. You approve. Will you get it again sometime? Yes. Okay. Awesome. All right. And finally, At Al Capco, we have ADA and I think you're trying the mango too.

Right. What do you think? It's really sweet, but it's also a bit like, not salty, but I guess it's got like this tangy taste to it with cuz it's got the Chao and Taine in it, so it's not fully sweet, but do you like it? Yes. Would you get it again? Mm-hmm  awesome. Very cool. All right. Time to move on to our next spot

for our second stop. We are headed to west Liberty foods, market and cafe on east third street. Hello. I am Samantha Dre fall from the Westby foods, market and cafe. I'm the team lead. We have ice cream Monday through Friday, 10, 2, 5. We have vanilla and chocolate and a flavor and ice cream is hand dipped and it comes from Hines ice cream and I was city.

Okay. We're here at west Liberty foods, marketing cafe. Marshall. What did you choose? Vanilla. Vanilla. Okay. What do you think about it? Looks pretty good. Pretty good looks nice and creamy. Would you try it again? Yeah. Excellent. Okay. Joseph, what did you go for? My man? Uh, I got chocolate. I'd say it's pretty creamy and it act it's just basic and good.

Yeah. Would you try it? Uh, yeah, I try again. Would you recommend it to others? Yeah. Okay. Jaylen, you're up? What did you choose? Um, I chose the chocolate peanut butter caramel. I would say that I liked the flavor that I got at the bakery better than this one, but I would come here for ice cream because I don't know.

I like the chocolate and the vanilla. This one is more of just experimenting. I think there's just a lot of different flavors depending on the bite, which can be good. I guess it's just a lot of peanut butter, not a lot of caramel. Just a little bit of chocolate. I don't know. It's kind of like a mix, but I, I taste the peanut butter more heavily than anything else.

Okay. That sounds good. Now we're in west Liberty foods, marketing cafe. Tell me about where you're sitting right now. Um, well we're sitting at. Like kind of ice cream bar. I really like the area we have, like these Spinney chairs, which are always cool, um, is like a very vintage, like style, I guess, of decoration around.

It's definitely nice to see. Especially while waiting. Yeah. So a really neat spot to sit and eatyour ice cream. Yeah, for sure. Cool. Thank you very much. Okay, Addison, I see a waffle cone. What's inside, um, chocolate, peanut butter, caramel chocolate, peanut butter caramel. Tell me about it. Um, it tastes exactly like what, like you would probably think it tastes, you can taste the chocolate little, you can taste the peanut butter and you can especially taste like the caramel.

Do you like it? Yes. Would you recommend it? Yeah. Would you try it again? Yes. Okay. Very good. All right, ADA, what do you choose? Vanilla, vanilla also. And a waffle cone. What do you. It's good. It tastes just like vanilla, but, um, it it's like a basic flavor, but it's still pretty good. Really good quality. You'd say mm-hmm okay.

Um, we're at the west Liberty foods, market and cafe. What do you think about this ice cream bar? They've got set up. What do you think? It's really? It's nice. Good spot to hangout with friends that eat ice cream. Yeah. You can see everything.

Our third stop today is Gary BP here on Columbus street. Now Mr. Gary tells me that they've been serving soft, serve ice cream since 2007, but last year they bought a new machine that serves nine different flavors of ice cream. They also have eight different blizzards, milkshakes, Sundays, and smoothies.

Let's see what our taste testers think. Okay. We are here at BP. Uh, we're at Gary BP and everybody has had a chance to eat their ice cream. And here it's soft serve. Uh, Marshall, let's start with you. What flavor did you grab? Um, chocolate, but taste like coffee. Okay. So a little bit of a coffee taste. Your chocolate overall.

Were you a fan? No, not really. Well that's okay. Joseph, what flavor did you go with? Uh, I got vanilla. It's a lot creamier than the other places we went to. I definitely recommend, recommend this one over the other ones. Oh, so this one was your favorite? Yeah, by far. Oh, by far, listen to that. Okay. Jaylen, what'd you go for?

Um, I also got vanilla. I agree. It's definitely. Creamy and definitely one of the better made ice creams. I would say that I like the other places based off just being local and using like local stuff. Um, but this place is definitely like one of the better places that I would definitely choose to go.

Somebody asked. Okay. Very cool. I like that. Good feedback, ADA, what'd you go for? Um, I went for pina colada. Okay. Tell me about it. Um, it tastes like a vanilla, um, Maybe some pineapple in there, it tastes like P color, but also has more vanilla in it. Like it tastes more of the vanilla. Okay. Do you like it? Is it good?

Yeah, but I'd rather go for the mango at the, yeah. The bakery at the bakery. So you like the mango there at Al Capco bakery? Yeah. Very cool. Okay. Addison, what did you choose? I choose the, um, coffee. I usually get it like whenever we come here.  and like, youcan taste the coffee, but also you can kind of taste like some vanilla in it.

And I don't know. I like it. Would you recommend it to somebody else? I would rather have the mango. Oh, you like the mango? That was your favorite too. All right. So overall, uh, wehad really high regards here for BP and, and the ice cream here at gear BP. Um, I, I think, uh, we've collected some good data today, so thank you very much to all of our taste testers for putting on this experiment environment.

Well, it's official, you've heard it from the experts. We've got some great options for ice cream here in west Liberty. I'm not surprised. Are you surprised father Giermo? I am not. It's amazing what you can find just by just asking around. So feel free to ask us more goodquestions. It helps everyone learn more.

That's right. If you would like to ask the podcast a question, we would love to answer it for you for our next month's podcast. All you have to do is email podcast. We lead iowa.org that's podcast. We lead I w a dot O org G. Well, that about wraps it up for this month. That's August's addition of building together.

Want to thank father Giermo Travino Jr. For being our special guest co-host this month. And, uh, father, you are welcome back any month. It was a pleasure to have you. Great. Thank you. Anything that you'd like to leave our listeners with? Yeah. Just remember all them big festivals in September the fourth St.

Joseph's festival, the 10th, the children's and uh, Latino Fiesta. And there's probably evenmore things, uh, going around. So stay tuned and keep listening to this podcast. Wonderful. Well, building together is a production of the west Liberty economic area development we lead and is brought to you by west Liberty auto parts and the Goodfellows club.

Thank you for spending your time with us. We'll see you next month. Building together. Dream it. Plan it, build it.