The Ottumwa Courier

December 15, 2012

Public has opportunity to give input on 2013-14 budget

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The public will get a chance to provide input on the city’s 2013-14 budget Tuesday night.

Last year, only a few Ottumwans voiced their suggestions, which included turning one-way streets downtown into two-way streets, putting a concerted effort toward downtown revitalization and repairing a boat ramp that has fallen into disrepair.

Areas of concern include but are not limited to: street maintenance and reconstruction, park repairs and improvements, bus service, trail expansion and upkeep, economic development priorities, sewer separation and repairs, flooding and storm drainage, police and fire protection, building rehabilitation, building code enforcement, airport improvements, Bridge View Center, bridges and sidewalks.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the council will also discuss park shelter fees, Ottumwa Transit’s collective bargaining agreement and the appointment of three new police officers.

Parks Advisory Board members recommended 2-1 to the City Council that the rental fee of the Sycamore Park Shelter be increased from $25 to $35.

The council will also vote to approve an amended policy for waiving park shelter fees.

Joe Rush, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 230, is requesting a reservation of the Jimmy Jones Shelter for the four days of Labor Day weekend every year beginning in 2013.

All rental costs will be paid for by the union and the permanent reservation is only valid if there is an annual event held.

The union said it needs to be assured that the shelter will be reserved for them that weekend so they can plan the event in advance.

The council will also vote to approve the collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Teamsters Local 238, representing Ottumwa Transit employees for 2013-16.

The contract includes a 2 percent per year increase across the board on base salaries. This will bring all city contracts, with the exception of fire, in line for negotiations during fall 2015.

With the resignations of Dan Lentsch and Ruben Ross in September and the replacement of the parking attendant with a police officer, there are three openings for entry-level police officers at the Ottumwa Police Department.

The council will vote to approve the appointment of Nathan Wolff, Robert Schutte and Devin Yeager.

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at City Hall. The meeting will air live on GO-TV, cable channel 6.