SAC CITY - What began as an effort by a group of friends to spruce up a few neglected properties has turned into a communitywide project to help make Sac City more beautiful.
"We started about a year ago when a friend and I decided to paint and board up a condemned property," said Scott Bundt, a Sac City resident and manager of the local Food Pride store.
Then newly formed Sac City Citizens In Action learned the town would be a stop on the 2012 RAGBRAI route and efforts to improve the town's appearance accelerated.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson
This Sac City building is one of several properties the Sac City Citizens in Action group has helped paint and improve in the past year.
"We spent the spring and summer cleaning up properties for RAGBRAI," said Bundt. "We did a lot of painting and cleaning up of abandoned properties around town. We pulled weeds, trimmed trees, painted the front of some buildings downtown."
Their efforts didn't stop after RAGBRAI. Since then, CIA volunteers have carried on.
"We just kept mowing, pulling weeds and cleaning up properties," Bundt said. "That's the kind of things we do."
Barb Bloes, Sac City mayor and CIA member, said the group also helps take care of properties whose owners live out of the area.
"We've worked with spraying and chopping weeds in properties where maybe the owners live far away," she said.
Now the group has moved on to a fall project intended to help local families make improvements to their own homes.
"We teamed up with Partners in Progress to get a paint grant from Diamond Vogel and we will be painting two homes this fall," said Bloes.
CIA held a spaghetti dinner during RAGBRAI to raise money to purchase painting equipment and is currently holding a paint drive. Residents are being asked to purchase paint which can be dropped off at Boyington Hardware, Keith's Interiors or Bomgaars.
"Families were able to apply for the paint, and we will help them paint their houses," said Bundt.
Throughout the spruce-up effort, the group has grown, and Bundt is happy with what has been accomplished so far, he said.
"Things really started to spring up for us this spring," said Bundt. "Now we all have matching t-shirts we wear so people know who we are and what we do. We have anywhere from 15 to 20 volunteers and they are a good, solid group."