The Ottumwa Courier


June 13, 2013

City, water works troubles water under the bridge

OTTUMWA — The formerly rocky relationship between the city and Ottumwa Water Works and Hydro is now a cooperative, collaborative one, say city officials.

Communication between the two entities was strained last year after an argument at a City Council meeting led to accusations that the water works board of trustees was difficult to work with and its staff unprofessional. This prompted city and water works staff to organize more frequent meetings to re-establish lines of communication and strengthen the relationship — and it's worked, both sides say.

"I would say from a relationship standpoint, it's quite a bit better off than it was a year ago," said water works general manager Mike Heffernan. "We had a couple pretty significant issues a year ago last winter. We got by those and right now it's business as usual."

Debates about a water main by the Kohl's development and the transfer of control of Black Lake put some strain on the relationship.

"The city didn't want to relocate the water line [on Wildwood Drive]; they just wanted to cover it up when they put the new street in," Heffernan said of the Kohl's development. "Right now I think it's buried 10 to 15 feet deep and we thought it should be 5 to 6 feet deep. When they raised the street, we thought they should raise the water line up, too."

Water works also struggled with the decision to transfer control of Black Lake to the city to later be used by John Deere Ottumwa Works for its sewer separation project.

"We really didn't want to give up control because it is our third source of water, but the board did finally agree to go ahead and transfer Black Lake," he said.

Text Only
  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

AP National