The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 5, 2014

Public invited to discuss city's goals

OTTUMWA — The future of Ottumwa, at least for the next few years, will be center stage Thursday during a city goal-setting meeting at the Bridge View Center.

Starting at 5 p.m., the Ottumwa City Council will be discussing the goals Ottumwa currently has and the best way to reach them. It will also give community members a chance to see where resources are being used in the city.

“The public is strongly encouraged to attend,” City Administrator Joe Helfenberger said.

The meeting will begin with a presentation by Jeff Schott, director of the Institute of Public Affairs for the University of Iowa. He will be discussing some of the best practices Ottumwans need to focus on in order to reach the city’s goals.

After Schott’s presentation, the City Council will open the floor for discussion between the public and the different city departments. Helfenberger said they will focus on identifying the current city goals, some of the past goals, ongoing concerns and how the city can be successful.

He said that the night will mainly focus on seven categories: economic development, housing, recreation, user friendliness, pride in the community, airport development and streets and sewers.

The meeting could last a few hours, Helfenberger said, because they want to give ample time to figure out the best ways to reach the goals of the city.

“We are trying to give it the time it needs,” he said.

Since the meeting could last a significant amount of time, food and drinks will be provided. Helfenberger said he hopes to see a strong showing from the public so everyone can see where the city’s resources are going.

“Everybody is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend,” he said. “It’s a chance to see where the resources are being allocated.”

In order for Ottumwa to continue to grow, the input of the public is vital. The city goal-setting meeting is a great way for community members to interact with the City Council members and to learn about where the city is going in the future.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh

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