John Coulter, Afton
Editor’s note: This opinion letter originally ran in Tuesday’s edition of the Creston News Advertiser.
I will, at the risk of upsetting you (Mayor Warren Woods), say that I am opposed to inviting RAGBRAI to Creston for next year or any year for that matter.
My reason is this, RAGBRAI comes at the same time as the Union County Fair. Having two major events happening at the same time would place a strain on the fire/EMS and law enforcement services for the entire county, not just the cities of Afton and Creston.
I have worked four RAGBRAIs, one as an EMT while at GRMC, and the others as the Union County Sheriff (two of those were to support another law enforcement agency as RAGBRAI passed through their counties). RAGBRAI requires an all-out effort on the part of fire/EMS and law enforcement for the entire overnight stay. And if RAGBRAI just passes through, it still requires an all-out effort during the time that the 10,000-plus riders and their support staff passing through the county.
I also have a concern that having RAGBRAI passing through the community as the same time as the county fair will take the crowd, and thus, income away from the county fair.
Thanks for listening to me.