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Council learns of Glenn Miller mural
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Council learns of Glenn Miller mural

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HJ - Glenn Miller Mural

A Glenn Miller mural similar to this concept image is being developed along Highway 71 south of Clarinda. The mural will be painted by artist John Cerney. Larry Bussard, a 1959 graduate of Clarinda High School, proposed the creation of the mural and is working with the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society on the project. Gary Alger of Clarinda updated the Clarinda City Council May 12 about the project and the fundraising efforts currently underway. (Image provided by Gary Alger)

Efforts are underway to create a mural honoring famed Big Band leader Glenn Miller along Highway 71 south of Clarinda.

Gary Alger reviewed the plans for the mural with the Clarinda City Council during its meeting May 12 at the Lied Public Library. Alger was representing both the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society and the Clarinda High School Class of 1959.

Alger said he was a member of the Class of 1959 and was contacted by his classmate, Larry Bussard, with the proposal for the mural. The mural will be located south of Clarinda on the east side of Highway 71 approximately 100 yards south of 238th Street.

Artist John Cerney, who is renowned for his work with murals, has been selected for the project. Among his other murals is one of legendary female pilot Amelia Earhart located in Atchison, Kansas. Cerney is also friends with Bussard.

“The artist is good. If you look at pictures of the people (in his work), you’ll see the face work is excellent,” Alger said.

The cost of the mural project was originally estimated at $10,000. However, with the rising cost of materials, that estimate continues to increase. Alger said fundraising efforts were underway. Hopes are to have the mural, which will be painted on plywood, completed by early July.

“We started working on this at least a couple months ago, but we couldn’t really push the fundraising because we had to get approval from the DOT to put this on land down south of town. The artist said that’s the best place to display it when people are coming into town. It will be about 80-feet back from the highway,” Alger said.

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People wishing to donate to the project may contact Alger or the Glenn Miller Birthplace Society for more details.

Also during the meeting, the council held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the current fiscal year. Since no oral or written objections were raised during the hearing, the council then approved the amendment.

Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon said the budget amendment contained the addition of $146,000 in revenue. This included $18,000 for grants received by the Lied Public Library as well as $128,000 in CARES Act grants received by the city.

Meanwhile, total expenditures were increased $102,000 for the current fiscal year. McClarnon said $62,000 of that was for culture and recreation. This included the grants received by the library because they have to be shown as both revenues and expenditures.

The repairs to the tennis courts at City Park were also added to the culture and recreation budget. McClarnon said those repairs were originally scheduled for last year, but had to be moved forward to the current year.

Under general government, McClarnon said he also added $40,000 for the remodeling of the new City Hall.

In other business, the council discussed a request to hold a 5K Father’s Day Run June 19, in conjunction with the Father’s Day Flight Breakfast and Air Show to be held at Clarinda Municipal Airport-Schenck Field.

Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers said the proposed route of the event would cross state highways on two occasions and would require approval from the Iowa Department of Transportation as well as the city council. Since there were questions concerning the event and the Clarinda High School student organizing the run was unable to attend the meeting, no action was taken Wednesday.

The council also approved a task order for engineering services for construction administration and observation services relating to the rehabilitation of runway 2/20, the runway turnarounds, connecting taxiway A and the terminal apron at the airport.

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