The Ottumwa Courier

January 5, 2013

Touch-ups coming to parks, pool, City Hall

Park’s stage curtains, wave pool painting, City Hall conference room renovation to be considered

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The city of Ottumwa will see a lot of sprucing up in the coming weeks.

The Ottumwa City Council will vote to approve side curtains for the Central Park stage, remodeling of a heavily used conference room in City Hall and painting the wave pool at the Beach Ottumwa at their first meeting of the new year on Tuesday.

Conference Room 108 in City Hall sees a lot of traffic, and the remaining $9,950 in the City Hall fund would go toward the project.

Parks Director Gene Rathje said since it’s a small project, his staff will be able to take care of it as they’ve done with past City Hall projects.

“We just helped city electricians with installing all new lighting at City Hall, which was over $50,000, and probably more when you figure in labor,” Rathje said. “Then parks staff also put insulation in the City Hall attic.”

The conference room renovation will take approximately a week, and Rathje said staff plan to begin on Jan. 14 if it’s approved.

“They’re going to take out most of the back wall and expand the room by 15 to 20 percent,” he said.

Plans include the installation of an energy-efficient window, new carpet and a new conference table that could facilitate phone conferences and projection equipment. Staff have also researched the possibility of purchasing a SMART Board in the future.

“It’s been needed forever,” Rathje said of the renovation. “It’s one of those things that was just overlooked,but [City Administrator Joe Helfenberger] came up with a great idea to expand the room because the room behind it is just unused space, so we might as well utilize it.”

A public hearing will also be held on plans for painting the wave pool at The Beach Ottumwa. There is $25,000 in the aquatic park budget to paint the wave pool, which would be done in March or April.

The Beach was built in 1992 and the last time the wave pool was painted was in 2006 by Beach staff.

“They’ll use two coats of epoxy paint and that’s the best you can do,” Rathje said. “You just hope for the best. What makes it wear off is the wave action. If you go down and look at it, it’s worn off the walls more than the floor.”

The council will also vote to approve the purchase of retractable side curtains for the Central Park stage from Ottumwa Tent and Awning for $9,520. The project was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Wapello County Foundation.

“There’s no lull in the parks department,” Rathje said. “If it’s not snowing then there’s time to do these types of things. We’re always out trimming trees and other projects when there’s not a foot of snow on the ground.”

The next “aesthetic” project for the parks department this year will be reviving the Ballingall Park fountain, since the money to complete the project has been raised.

Out of the $63,000 raised, half came from a FEMA grant, $23,000 came from the Fahrney Foundation and $10,000 came from the Wapello County Foundation.