The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 17, 2014

Community involvement helps Ottumwa shine

OTTUMWA — Citizen involvement is helping educate the community about Make Ottumwa Shine projects.

Planning and Development Director Jodi Gates updated Ottumwa City Council members Tuesday night on two committees that are helping educate the community as well as deal with nuisance issues.

The education committee, she said, is hoping to get an education piece together to place in the city’s water bills as well on the city’s website and Facebook pages, as well as having a booth at Ottumwa’s Home Show in the Spring.

The nuisance committee is focusing on reviewing the city’s code. One of the items they are proposing is lowering the grass height from 12 inches to 8 inches and prohibiting vehicles from parking on the grass in the front of the yard. It’s their intent to have draft ordinance suggesting changes to come before a City Council work session.

Besides hearing about citizen involvement, the council also OK’d all items on the City Council’s consent agenda despite J.R. Richards casting a dissenting vote.

After the meeting, Richards explained why he voted against the consent agenda. “I feel we shouldn’t just automatically reappoint people to boards and commissions. We should open it up to other citizens who might want to apply before reappointing someone automatically,” he said of the mayor’s reappointment of Pete Rich to the Water Works Board of Trustees for a term to expire on July 22, 2020.

In other business, council:

n Approved the appointment of Karen Whitte as a full-time transit driver.

n Approved beer and/or liquor licenses for Champion Bowl and the Recovery Room, pending final inspections.

n Approved plans and specifications for the Iowa Avenue reconstruction project between Highway 34 to Main Street.

n Approved plans and specifications for the 2014 South Loop Trail improvement project.

n Authorized the transfer of $300,000 from the local options sales tax fund to street projects fund for the Quincy Avenue reconstruction project.

n Authorized the transfer of $287,000 from the Local Option Sales Tax fund to the Street Projects fund for the West Main Street reconstruction project.



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