Yet those are the same factors stated as important 10 years ago. What's changed?
Well, said Scott, there have been some major changes that need to be taken into consideration when laying out residential areas, parks and acceptable planning ideas.
One change is the bypass, a change in where the highway passes through or around Ottumwa. A large school has just been completed on one end of Mary Street on the south side of town. And downtown has changed a great deal since the planners last examined the area.
"In fact, we just found out we got a grant to [redo] the facades on a block of buildings," Scott said, adding the beautification could lead to more buildings getting a makeover downtown.
The planners also noticed things about the people in the community, both through the latest census data, which shows an increase in the community Hispanic population, and through their own observation, where they noticed an increase of the number of recreational bicyclists and walkers.
So besides better facilities for softball, baseball and soccer, we may want to talk about allowing more than one way to get to school — or work or the supermarket.
"How do we adjust our streets so they are more multimodal friendly?" said Scott.
He and city administrators said there would be more meetings on the subject. A public design workshop is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. today at Bridge View Center.
If you ever find yourself wondering what reporter Mark Newman is thinking, his Twitter page is @couriermark