The Ottumwa Courier

November 10, 2012

FEMA funds to support roof repair at Naval Air Station museum

City to submit application for grant to fund sewer separation on east edge of town

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Those working on the Naval Air Station museum will soon get a roof over their heads, thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

At the Ottumwa City Council’s special meeting Tuesday night, council members will vote to award the $25,635 contract for the NAS Ottumwa Administration Building roof repair at the Ottumwa Regional Airport to Bridge City Construction.

“As we went through the FEMA grant process, they have certain steps you have to complete before the next level of review, a requirement to pass each hurdle,” said Public Works Director Larry Seals. “The last step was during a historical review, they determined our project with the flood wall at the water treatment plant had or could have had a negative impact on a district eligible to be registered as a historic district, meaning the whole downtown area around the rail yard.”

That related to FEMA’s Historic Mitigation Project requirement — brick and mortar projects, Seals said.

“Some board members from the Naval Air Station showed up at the public meetings, and one suggested that they could submit an application, since they’re a nonprofit and a historic project,” Seals said. “FEMA chose to fund their roof project and the retrofit and repair of the fountain at Ballingall Park.”

Now, money raised by the nonprofit for the NAS museum can be used for their next project, following restoration of the roof and front porch: windows.

The council will also vote on the 2013 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for sewer improvements on Ottumwa’s east end.

The project will include separation of the existing combined sewer system in portions of the Riverview and Second Riverview Additions north of Main Street in the area of Waverly, Tacoma, MerRouge, Hughes and Hermann avenues and Echo Street.

City planner Nick Klimek said last year the city was awarded a similar grant through the annual program for sewer separation on Maple Avenue.

Typically, the award is granted in April or May, so the construction timeline will be 2013-14, he said.

The city had originally applied for the grant for the east end during the 2008 funding cycle of the CDBG Water/Sewer program but was originally denied.

“We reapplied for the same area the following year and changed a few things,” Seals said.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority came back to the project because it was funded with federal stimulus funds.

“They were looking for shovel-ready projects, but we had another on the south side ready to go,” Seals said.

The city received the award anyway and was allowed to transfer the funds since it was the same type of project because it was shovel-ready, the “buzz word” in that round, Seals said.

“But we still have three separate CSOs that dump into one main line [on the east end] and we still need to pull that off of the system at some time,” Seals said.

This grant application is requesting assistance not to exceed $277,900 with a local match of $262,900 from the city’s sewer revenue fund.

The council will also discuss:

• Approval of $13,675 to Bailey Office Equipment for 43 chairs for City Hall following several accidents with existing wooden chairs in council chambers and Room 108, where the chairs have broken apart when people sit in them.

• Adding another paratransit van to the Ottumwa Transit fleet to accommodate the needs of ADA riders. The 2012 Dodge Entervan from Hoglund Bus Co., Inc., of Marshalltown, will cost $38,211.

The council will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at City Hall. The meeting will air live on GO-TV, cable channel 6. The meeting would normally be held on Monday, but City Hall will be closed due to the observance of the Veteran’s Day holiday.