The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

December 12, 2012

Parks board hesitant to make unalterable changes

Shelter fee increase approved, city receives $28,000 in donations for Central Park stage

OTTUMWA — People enjoy the parks system for its serenity and open areas, Parks Advisory Board members say, and a large sports complex doesn’t fit into that atmosphere.

At its Tuesday meeting, the board began reviewing the Parks Master Plan, which was crafted in 2006, to see if any improvements or changes need to be made.

They began by reviewing Ottumwa Park, which has seen a lot of changes since the plan was made, including ID signs, a nature observation blind, wetlands, hard-surface trails, sand volleyball courts and more playground equipment.

But a lot of the review could depend on what the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation plans to put money toward regarding a possible sports complex, said board president Bob Beisch.

“But even if it’s Legacy’s plan, that doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to go,” said Councilman Brian Morgan. “I’m excited by what I see in Legacy’s plans, but what I’m not excited about is going into the parks, moving the campground around, filling in ponds.

“You think Bridge View tore this town apart ... you just wait.”

ORLF has suggested that a sports complex should be constructed somewhere within the city parks system, preferably close to downtown.

Councilman Bob Meyers said people enjoy the passive areas in town, and there are certain areas that should not be developed.

“People like their parks in this town,” Beisch said. “They really, really, really do. It’s one of the pluses of this town. Not everything needs to be built up.”

This original plan was the result of a months-long process that drew in expertise from several different organizations, Beisch said.

“We have this as our base,” he said. “So where are we at now and what do we want to do in the future?”

But he also noted that if the city is forced to make budgetary cuts next year, the Parks department is more vulnerable compared to public safety, for example.

The Sycamore Park shelter opened on May 23, 2011, and has been rented nearly every weekend since, Rathje said.

He said it’s the city’s best shelter and second-largest next to the Jimmy Jones Shelter. The rental fee is currently $25, but he wanted to raise it to $50 due to the amount of time Parks employees spend on setup and cleanup of the shelter.

Board member Robert LaPoint said raising the fee would cut out some who would like to rent the shelter.

Parks charges $50 for six hours or $100 for an entire day at Jimmy Jones and $25 for an entire day at the rest of the shelters.

The board approved a recommendation to the City Council to raise the shelter’s daily rental rate to $35 on a 2-1 vote, with LaPoint as the dissenting vote. The fee hike would take effect Jan. 1.

Wapello County Foundation has donated $10,000 to the city for roll-down side curtains for the Central Park stage. The heavy-duty, white vinyl curtains will also provide shade for performers. The Fahrney Foundation also donated $18,000 to the city to replace the broken tiles at the park with engraved monuments behind the stage.

The monuments will lie on the ground in a concrete bed at a 5-degree angle.

1
Text Only
Ottumwa
  • 0805 OTT Sports Brok Hopwood mug Three Bulldogs receive all-conference honors OTTUMWA – Brok Hopwood continues reap the benefits of his terrific season at catcher for the Ottumwa baseball team. Hopwood, who recently was named First Team All-South Central District, was also named a First-Team All-CIML Metro Conference selectio

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National