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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chamber may ante up start money for RAGBRAI

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Piece-by-piece the puzzle of what the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) will be in Le Mars is being solved.

The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce has proposed to the RAGBRAI advisory board that the Chamber would front $10,000 for expenses, then share profits equally with the City of Le Mars and the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society (fair board).

At Monday's meeting, Bill Young, a RAGBRAI director and president of the Chamber group, said last year's starting town, Onawa, made about $13,000 in profits from the ride, which is expected to bring between 15,000 and 20,000 people to town the weekend of July 24.

"Once we get the budgets from all the committees, then we'll know what we're looking at," said George Wagner, one of the three overall chairpersons.

One of the complications in Le Mars is using the fairgrounds for thousands of RAGBRAI campers and support people when the fair starts its first-ever five-day fair later the same week.

"The fair board has bent over backwards to be a good partner in this," said Wagner.

According to Wagner, the RAGBRAI committees are "pretty close to being on time with most things."

With the selection of Scott Vandersluis to chair the sanitation committee, with Chris Harms as co-chair, all of the committee leadership posts have been filled.

KLEM was designated the official radio station for RAGBRAI in Le Mars.

Monday's discussion included theme, entertainment stages, vendor fees, Beverage Garden location, long term parking, Saturday and Sunday church services -- both Catholic and non-denominational, preparation of a special city ordinance related to RAGBRAI, contents of an informational handbook, bike shipping destination, street routes and shuttles, and showers, among others.

For the most part, no decisions can be made until individual committees prepare their budgets and plans. In the meantime, committee chairs and co-chairs are looking for volunteers to help with the community effort.

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