An idea for a roller skating rink is in the brainstorming stage.
At Tuesday’s Parks Advisory Board meeting, Jody Bresch presented her proposal for the rink after discussion generated on the Facebook page “Ottumwa, we love Ottumwa.”
“People are nostalgic and sentimental about the old skating rink by the [Ottumwa Regional] Airport,” Bresch said.
The proposal suggested either an outdoor skating rink in one of Greater Ottumwa Park’s shelter houses or raising enough funds to build a shelter house designed specifically for this idea.
Since the Facebook post began, though, discussion has turned to both a roller skating rink and an ice skating rink.
“In my opinion, we can have as little or as much as we are willing to invest the effort to develop something,” Bresch said.
The board debated that using one of the park’s shelters would not be feasible considering how much they are used for class and family reunions and the Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races.
“The weekends are pretty well shot,” said Board President Bob Beisch.
Parks Director Gene Rathje suggested building a separate facility that could house ice skating in the winter and roller skating in the summer.
Beisch’s main concern was whether there was enough community interest and whether a rink would even be used if one were to be built.
Councilman Brian Morgan suggested board members take a few trips up to the Spinnin’ Wheels Skate Center in Oskaloosa to observe its size, how it functions and how often it’s used.
Other ideas presented were to section off the multi-purpose exposition hall in Bridge View Center, one being used for roller skating; or to put a rink just east of the Ottumwa Skatepark that could be used for both roller skating and ice skating.
The board told Bresch to organize a committee before the next board meeting and Rathje said he would research the idea further.
The board will recommend to the Ottumwa City Council to establish an ordinance that while motorcycles and ATVs are not allowed in the park system, they are allowed on bodies of water other than the Ottumwa Park pond, the larger pond that contains the lighthouse.
Rathje said the ponds will see ice fishing all winter after the trout stocking Friday, but the water has dropped to extremely low levels due to dry weather.
“There are lots of exposed rocks and underwater mounds that I’m concerned about,” Rathje said. “They could cause injuries or cause the motorcycles or ATVs to flip. It’s not smooth ice all the way around.”
Board member Sarah Sels said having fishermen and ATVs on the same pond is an “accident waiting to happen.”
Rick Canode, owner of RJ Performance, spoke up, saying he would like to see rules established as to where motorcycles and ATVs are allowed.
If the ordinance is approved, motorcycles and ATVs would still be allowed on the two oxbows and the stretch of water under Wapello Street.
Councilman Bob Meyers said many people enjoy walking through the parks, as well, and “don’t want to be dodging ATVs.”
Board member Sarah Sels said signs also need to be erected at the pond establishing who is and is not allowed to use it.
“What we want to do is help everyone enjoy the park without stepping on the rights or safety of others,” Sels said.
The board also reviewed a revised policy regarding how the city accepts gifts and donations.
The item that drew the most discussion was “Gifts and donations that appear to be controversial because of association with a particular group, object or segment of the population may be rejected by the Ottumwa Parks Advisory Board.”
Because of the peace pole dedication on Sept. 11, Beisch said “we’ll never please everybody.
“We’re never going to get a consensus on some of this stuff. The problem with the peace pole is that it tapped into religion.”
Morgan recalled when it was voted that Central Park would be renamed Pac-Man Park for a period of time and how it offended military veterans because of the presence of the war memorial.
The discussion of the final location of the peace pole was tabled.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 8.
An idea for a roller skating rink is in the brainstorming stage.
- Local News
- Iowa is third best-run state OTTUMWA — The good news is that Iowa was recently ranked in the top 10 best-run states. The question remains, however, where this part of Iowa stands compared to the rest of the state — or even other states on the list. Besides things like budget and
- Party time for needy children OTTUMWA — Possibly the greatest joy for any child during Christmas is getting presents. But for some, presents aren’t part of their holidays. At the Workingman’s Christmas Party, to be held this year at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Eagles Club in Ottumwa, v
- Red Cross responding more often in cold weather OTTUMWA — With all of the good that comes from this time of the year, it has to be equaled out by one thing that is just downright terrible: house fires. As noted in previous Courier articles, Ottumwa has been far busier than usual in 2013 with struc
- Bright Ideas grants will help local nonprofits OTTUMWA — Many nonprofit organizations are doing amazing things in Ottumwa and the surrounding area, and the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation has recently helped several of them reach new goals. ORLF has released the 16 new grants from the Bright I
Interactive: Firefighters' busy year coming to an end
OTTUMWA — This year has been unlike any in recent memory for the Ottumwa Fire Department. Over the course of 2013, Ottumwa firefighter have handled 40 separate structure fires. Chief Tony Miller said that is more than any other Iowa city this year on
Reindeer cam draws holiday viewers
NORTH POLE — Want a sneak peek at the reindeer as they prepare for their big day? Try the Reindeer Cam.
- Preparing taxes from the heart OTTUMWA -- This volunteer opportunity is different than the traditional "helper at a soup kitchen." For one thing, volunteers can't be afraid of computers. Or numbers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is sponsored by the United Way
Snowman sculpture raising money for OFD program
OTTUMWA — Usually Christmas tree decorating comes with lights and ornaments, not a chainsaw. But thanks to some creativity and a great cause to donate to, one log was transformed into a snowman, and it is helping to raise money for the Ottumwa Fire D
- Board rescinds secondary roads employee hire KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County Board of Supervisors Monday approved a motion to rescind the hiring of a secondary road department employee, after that employee declined to take the position. The board rescinded the hiring of Tom Yochum in the secon
- Unanimous approval given for confinements resolution KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved renewing a construction evaluation resolution (master matrix) for livestock confinements during the board’s regular meeting Monday. Confinements in counties that file the reso
- More Local News Headlines