The Ottumwa Courier

February 17, 2014

Public hearings headline City Council meeting

By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Ottumwa City Council in Council Chambers of City Hall will be chock-full of public hearings.

To begin the meeting, councilmembers will vote to approve the consent agenda. Among other items, councilmembers will be voting to set March 4 as the date for public hearings on several of the topics on the agenda.

To go along with setting March 4 as the date to discuss the Ottumwa Park Playground Equipment Project, councilmembers will also be voting to set that as the date for public hearings on the proposed adoption of the Fiscal Year 2015 City Budget and to obtain public input for changes in transit services within the city.

The public was invited to hearings on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3 to discuss what should be included in the city budget, but no one took the stand at the meetings. The budget then went through two workshops, and at the meeting on Tuesday, the date for a public hearing on its adoption will be set.

Also included in the consent agenda are the mayor’s appointments of Brian Morgan to the Park Advisory Board, Rev. Mark Eigsti to the Cemetery Board of Trustees and Connie Stater to the Historic Preservation Board. Morgan and Stater’s terms will expire in 2017, while Eigsti’s won’t expire until 2020. Each is being appointed due to vacancies in their respective boards.

During the public hearing portion of the meeting, many of the city’s construction projects will be highlighted. The Hangar Fire Detection System Replacement Project at the Ottumwa Regional Airport, Contract Two of the 2010 Flood Protection Mitigation Project and South Ottumwa Sanitary Sewer Separation Project are all set for public hearings. The public is welcome to discuss the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost of each project with the council.

Another item in the agenda that is sure to create plenty of interest around the community is awarding the contract for the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction Project.

The project includes a full reconstruction of Pennsylvania Avenue from Brentwood Drive to Jefferson Street. There will be a center turn lane created for the full-length of the project, changing sewer lines, increasing the storm sewer capacity and adding a right-turn lane on Elm Street.

Once a bid is accepted for the project by the council, City Engineer Dan Sturm hopes to have another meeting with the community members who will be affected by the project, according to a past edition of the Courier.

The city council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend, and the meeting can also be seen in its entirety on GOTV.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh