The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 19, 2012

'Political bias’ argued at City Council meeting

(Continued)

OTTUMWA — Shelter rental fee increase shot down

The City Council did not approve an increase in the rental fee of the Sycamore Park Shelter.

The Parks Advisory Board had approved 2-1 a fee increase for the shelter from $25 to $35. The City Council did not approve the measure 2-3, with Councilmen Brian Morgan, Mitch Niner and J.R. Richards as the dissenting votes.

Parks Director Gene Rathje said parks employees spend more time cleaning this shelter after it’s used than other park shelters. The shelter was rented 67 times this year, he said.

“If you’re going to do that, I don’t know why you wouldn’t, Monday through Friday, lower the other shelters by $10 to encourage weeknight rentals,” Niner said.

When the item was first presented to the Parks Board, it was presented as an increase to $50, Morgan said.

“It looked like a money grab, just another way to make 25 bucks,” he said. “Then, after the fact, it made it, to me, look like,  well, we can’t get another $25 out of ‘em, let’s get at least another $10 out of ‘em.”

Rathje said one to two parks employees go out every Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning — on overtime — to clean the shelters.

City Administrator Joe Helfenberger said the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2013-14 will likely hold to the same amount as the prior fiscal year, with some adjustments for union contracts, fuel and energy costs.

William Jones, an Ottumwa resident, expressed his concerns about increasing taxes.

“My real estate taxes were $500 when I moved here, and I thought that was a little high,” Jones said. “But since that time they have increased 600 percent. That doesn’t say much for this community.”

Jones said Ottumwa will never attract new industry due to taxes and “union attitude.”

“It’s worse in Ottumwa than any place I’ve ever lived,” he said. “If we’re not careful, we’re going to be in the same position many other communities are in today, going bankrupt.”

Jones suggested cutting all department budgets by 10 percent and getting rid of the Ottumwa Fire Department, making it entirely run by volunteer firefighters.

“We don’t need it,” he said. “It doesn’t do anything but chase police cars and ambulances.”

Text Only
Local News
  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police to parents: check kids' online activities BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield police chief says the arrests of nine men in connection with sexting a teenage girl underscores the need for parents to keep an eye on their children online. Chief Shawn Armstrong said cases involving one or two people are

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT birthday rumble -T -M Age 106, still ready to rumble OTTUMWA — With the stories flowing, Celma Birdsall had the ride of her life Thursday. "She shared a lot of memories," said her chauffeur for the day, Dennis Parrish. Birdsall has built up a lot of stories over the 106 years she's been around. After h

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0725 OTT College Connections color photo -T -M IHCC eases transition to college OTTUMWA — When choosing a college that's just right for you, it is important to find one that works its hardest to ensure your success as a student. Indian Hills Community College is doing just that this week with a College Connections Workshop spons

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victim advocates: Helping families cope

    DAVENPORT — Family members of a slain Wapello County woman have someone to lean on — literally and figuratively — while they sit through a murder trial for the third time. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges of fi

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 OTT Five Things logo -L -T Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — There's a wide variety of activities to choose from this weekend in southeast Iowa. Get out and explore the countryside, find some new books to curl up with or help raise money for some great causes. The choice is yours — pick one or attend

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Jury begins deliberations DAVENPORT — The fate of a Wapello County man accused of killing his wife is in the hands of a jury in Scott County, which began deliberations Wednesday and will continue deliberating today.The jury began deliberations about 4 p.m. Wednesday in the ca

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • Pesticide use is not all bad OTTUMWA — When you pick up a grocery ad, it seems like every other page has a produce item stamped USDA Organic, meaning that those items were spared from chemicals including Glyphosate, the most common pesticide in the world. As the Organic Food Mov

    July 23, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook