The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 9, 2014

Work session or special meeting?

OTTUMWA — Construction payments, demolition contracts, machinery purchases and the discussion of hiring an assistant city engineer, were among the items approved and discussed during the special city council meeting on Monday.

While the meeting was to address necessary engineering projects, Councilman J.R. Richards questioned whether the projects were an emergency or if a decision could wait until the regular council meeting next week on Tuesday, June 17.

However, Richards' questioning drew the ire of Councilman Bob Meyers as he asked why Richards felt the need to “admonish staff” on whether the projects needed urgent approval.

Richards fired back, noting work sessions have now become nothing more than another council meeting and the public was raising questions. “Let’s put it out on the table,” said Richards. “The point is we don’t have work sessions. It’s gotten worse and worse and worse. The council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month and we are to have work sessions on second and fourth Mondays.”

By not sticking to policy, Richards said the council was sending the public mixed messages.

However with the amount of projects the city has on its plate, Mayor Tom Lazio said, the city is trying to make accommodations to make certain city projects on time. Thus, he noted, special meetings needed to take place prior to the work session.

During Monday night’s meeting, the council approved:

• Cleaning and tuckpointing of the Edgerly Gate in the Ottumwa will be the responsibility of Dan Davis Masonry. His bid of $6,487.68 was approved by the Cemetery Board on June 4.

• Tim Skinner Trucking and Excavation as the successful bidder for the demolition of structures at 414 North Wapello St. The lone project bidder will remove the property for a contracted price of $9,424.50.

• Rock and sand products for the coming fiscal year will be purchased from two vendors. Winning vendors were Winn Corp. (doing business as Wapello County Sand and Rock) and Douds Stone LLC. Both businesses are based in Ottumwa.

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