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Park board engages in heated discussion over air compressor for inflatables at Big Blue pit (video)

Mason City Park Board: Frank Pearson, Don Nelson, Kyle Early, Trpy Levenhagen and Steve Diaz
Mason City Park Board: Frank Pearson, Don Nelson, Kyle Early, Troy Levenhagen and Steve Diaz

MASON CITY – Donald and Hillary weren’t the only ones squaring off Tuesday night, as the Mason City Park Board clashed over installing an air compressor for inflatables at Big Blue pit.

The idea was championed by park board member Troy Levenhagen, who passionately attempted to sway the board to approve the compressor, which would have cost around $1,500. He says that citizens who want an air compressor for inflatables installed at Lester Milligan Park (Big Blue pit) brought the idea to him. Acting on their wishes, Mr. Levenhagen attempted to get the compressor installed at the park.

However, as he clearly spelled out Tuesday night to his fellow board members, he was dealt a stiff dose of what he called “politics” as he could not convince the board to go along with the idea, which had drug on for weeks. Other board members had voiced concerns about the idea over that time period. Chief among them were Don Nelson and Frank Pearson. Both men cited safety issues as a chief concern. Especially Mr. Pearson, who said that he “could not live with himself” if a child took an inflatable out onto the pit and then fell off and drowned. There is a sign at the pit that says “swim at your own risk,” it was said at the meeting. Technically, city code forbids swimming in waterways, NIT also was told. The other board members seemed to feel that the air compressor would “encourage” swimming at Big Blue. Both Mr. Pearson and Mr. Nelson declared that if it were feasible, they would outlaw swimming at Big Blue, but they said it would not be practical to have police there enforcing that ordinance (which actually already exists).

Another concern from the other four board members were vandalism to the pump and its hose.

By a vote of 4-1, the board shot the idea down.

Watch the entire discussion:

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They wanted an air compressor to inflate the devices they shouldn’t be using in the first place? That probably should have been shot down before bringing up a $1,500 expenditure.

If you CANT swim there then they better put up signs.

Plus, why did they add all that sand to improve the beach if swimming isnt allowed??


According to park board member Frank Pearson the sand was put there for the benefit of people fishing, not swimming.

Troy, you are supposed to support the people , not yourself, break down and send your kids to the ymca, or to the city pool….Jim

Kindly remind Levey the Great, that people should use the Aquatic center when they are wanting to cool off in the water during the summer months. Isn’t that part of the parks? Maybe he should know what he is responsible for.

Didn’t he support pork plant – gross! Also, supports O’brien.

This is exactly why people who don’t understand law or liability shouldn’t be in any kind of public office. Imagine if someone drowned, the city would not be able to defend themselves by saying that swimming is not allowed and is posted if they also installed an air compressor for people to blow up swimming items. You may as well just add 25% per year to everyone’s property tax bills because that’s how much Mason City’s insurance premiums will go up after paying off a huge lawsuit.


More waste, easy to spend others $.

Nice idea but not practical. Unless the compressor was $100.00 and the enclosure to prevent vandalism/theft was $1400.00.

Plus, how would the 4th St. SW Kum and Go (excuse me, Yes Way!) make any money if they don’t have people spending quarters for the air machine to pump up their inflatables.

Well this is a no shit shirlock moment isn’t it, it’s not about politics at all. If technically swimming is banned then the City shouldn’t buy an air compressor. They might as well put up a slide and diving board but tell people they can’t use them to cover their liability. Not a genius idea Levenhagen

Ban blow up dolls from Big Blue!

anything on the soccer complex at big blue?

Not for the park system to supply a compressor. Government can’t do it all. People can buy their own compressor for less then 20 bucks. Levenhagen get real and stop grand standing let people take care of themselves.

While possibly a good idea, the concern about vandalism is real. Everything that is put in the parks is vandalized at one time or another.

Agree. Good idea, but hose would be cut, the compressor stolen, or damaged by meth heads.
Blow up your own floaty.

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