The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

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
Ottumwa
  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth

    OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National