July 18, 2024

Save the cabin

As the Girl Scout cabin in McKinley faces removal this spring, some residents hope to restore it.

Tara Kinkade, a Creston resident, appeared during Creston City Council’s open forum to express interest in the restoration of the Girl Scout cabin in McKinley Park.

Kinkade told the council she’d been in contact with the Girl Scouts and Creston Parks and Recreation Board about the cabin ans shared some of its history.

“The Girl Scout cabin was built in 1925 by the Rotary Club with telephone poles from downtown Creston,” said Kinkade. “The poles that make up the cabin are close to 125 years old. I just don’t want to see this cabin, this historic cabin, destroyed in the spring of 2022.”

During its meeting Dec. 7, the board voted to remove the cabin. Creston Parks and Recreation Board Chairman John Kawa told the board the cabin has gone unused for five years and is too great of a liability to fix, citing it needs a new roof, concrete, flooring, doors and windows due to the extensive deterioration. He said a quote from two years prior was nearly $50,000.

Kinkade said she learned the board has plans to remove the cabin and replace it with a shelter house with donations from an individual in memory of his wife. While she did not discourage the building of a memorial shelter, Kinkade said individuals are trying to regenerate the interest and the funds to save the cabin.

“We’re going to need more time than the spring of 2022. One, with the weather there’s not a lot of construction stuff, residing it and things like that that can be done in the winter,” she said.

Kinkade said the process has started to evaluate the condition of the logs, or utility poles that make up the cabin, to see if they can be salvaged or repaired.

An account has been set up at Akin Building Supply for individuals who would like to make donations for material. A Facebook page, “Save the Girl Scout Cabin at McKinley Park” has been established, where details and progress of the project will be shared.

“We need all the volunteers, everything, we can possibly get,” Kinkade said

Kinkade said it the cabin can not be saved, the money generated will go toward the building of a new cabin for the Girl Scouts.

The project is expected to appear on the council’s Jan. 18 agenda.

In other news, Creston City Council:

• announced the following committee and board appointments: Jocelyn Blaze, Ward 1 representative, will serve as a liaison on the finance, law enforcement center and county planning coalition, and as alternate for the library; Matt Levine, Ward 3 representative, will serve as city liaison for the finance and historic preservation committees, and as an alternate for emergency management; Brenda Lyell-Keate, Ward 4 representative, will serve as a liaison for the cemetery board and law enforcement center; Steve WIntermute, Ward 5 representative, will serve as a city liaison for the Creston Chamber of Commerce Image Enhancement Committee, emergency management, and as alternate for the cemetery; Kiki Scarberry, at-large representative, will be the liaison for Creston Municipal Airport and park and recreation board, and as alternate for the landfill and water board; Rich Madison, at-large representative, will serve as liaison for the chamber’s image enhancement and finance committees, water board, and as alternate for historic preservation. He will also continue as mayor pro-tem. Mayor Gabe Carroll will serve as a liaison for Atura, finance, historic preservation, public funding, Union County Development Association, and as alternate for the landfill.

• approved fund transfers of $84,110.27 for sewer related projects.

• amended ordinance 22-05, raising sewer rates to $4.47 per 100 cubic feet, effective July 1. (Story to appear in tomorrow’s Creston News Advertiser).

• held a public hearing, which no one spoke in favor or in opposition, and adopted the new city ward redistricting plan and approved agreement for voting precincts with Union County.

• held a public hearing, in which no one spoke in favor or in opposition, for a Community Block Development Grant of $50,000 for Hot Air Brewing Company to be used for a canning, labeling, equipment, marketing services, billboard and delivery vehicle, to expand distribution. No city money will be used to secure a match or in general for the project. Southern Iowa Council of Governments was designated as the general administrator for the Creston CBDG Hot Air Brewing Company Microenterprise Project.

• approved $200,000 Community Attraction and Tourism Grant agreement for McKinley Park Aquatics Center phase 1.

• approved a service agreement with Veenstra & Kimm, Inc., who will serve as building official engineer.

• appointed Wayne Pantini as city representative to the Southern Iowa Rural Housing Association Commission. His term will expire April 8, 2025.

• reviewed bids for Lexie’s Puppy Patch. No action taken.



Sarah Scull is native of San Diego, California, now living in Creston, Iowa. She joined Creston News Advertiser's editorial staff in September 2012, where she has been the recipient of three 2020 Iowa Newspaper Association awards. She now serves as associate editor, writing for Creston News Advertiser, Creston Living and Southwest Iowa AgMag.