After attending City Council meetings, it is my understanding that there is a wonderful project going on to improve the once-booming downtown area of Ottumwa. In years past, downtown Ottumwa was very family friendly. There used to be Woolworth’s, Brown’s Shoe Store, Younkers, Brody’s Store, Spurgeons, Kresge’s, Osco Drug, Sieferts and Poling’s Store. At present, millions of dollars are being invested into the remodeling and renovation of downtown Ottumwa. However, if strip clubs and night clubs continue to remain there, it will never promote family-oriented economic growth.
My fellow residents of Ottumwa, what would you prefer? Drunkenness and fowl language coming from a night club or strip club OR potentially the fresh aroma of Starbucks, the refreshing taste of Cold Stone Creamery, the cozy atmosphere of Smokey Row Coffee Shop, locally owned family restaurants or a locally owned market. The main investors of these enhancements of downtown Ottumwa would really like to see a family-friendly atmosphere to dominate in the upcoming future. Above some of the existing businesses is available square footage for quaint downtown apartment living. I, for one, wholeheartedly believe that their desire is well within reach IF we get the “adult entertainment” establishments to move to a different location. You have a voice, and it is high time to use it.