"American Pickers" TV star and LeClaire businessman Mike Wolfe returned to LeClaire City Council chambers to draw city leaders' attention to the poor condition of the historic downtown's sidewalks.
"Obviously, it's been a really rough winter," Wolfe, the owner of Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, said during the council meeting Monday night. "A lot of it is snowplow blades and salt (damage)."
Showing a number of photographs of deteriorated sidewalks, crosswalks, curbs and other problems, Wolfe said the issue needs to be addressed before something serious happens.
"The point I'm trying to make is we spent $3.2 million to $3.5 million down there," said Wolfe, who served four years on the LeClaire council. "The industry we are is tourism. ... This is our calling card."
But he said the condition of the sidewalks are a "Class A trip hazard."
"Now we're talking about a second phase (of streetscaping), but we really need to maintain this," Wolfe added.
He recommended the brick pavers — installed for their historic look — be removed or mudjacked. "To me it needs to all be torn out, the hell with the pavers."
Fellow LeClaire businessman Rodney Collier, who recently sold his Grasshoppers shop, invited the council to join him on his daily walks downtown.
"Someone will fall and the city will be sued one day, and that's not what we want," he said.
City council members said they have been told they cannot replace any of the sidewalks unless they replace them all in order to keep in ADA compliance. In addition, the crosswalks on Highway 67 actually are under control of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
"They're not saying we can't fix it, we have to fix it with strings attached," Mayor Ray Allen said.
On Tuesday, City Administrator Ed Choate said if the city makes more than a 50 percent repair or improvement to any of the ADA structures, it has to bring them all up to current-day standards.
"That is expensive," he said.
City Engineer Leo Foley was directed to look into the matter with the Iowa DOT.