Halloween safety

CENTERVILLE — The coronavirus pandemic will keep the Centerville City Hall closed another month, and keep the city from sponsoring Halloween activities.

Trick-or-treating won't be prohibited in Centerville on Oct. 31, however city administrator Jason Fraser said precautions should be taken.

"We would prefer if people would not go door to door," he said. "But we don't have the staff capacity to keep that from happening. We recommend everybody take precautions."

City hall will stay closed at least through the first part of November. Fraser said the continued spread of coronavirus in the community is among the reasons. The city hall also shares space with the Centerville Fire and Rescue Department, which heightens concerns to prevent exposing the service.

On Monday, the Centerville City Council passed a block of five actions as the city prepares to update its urban renewal plan.

Part of the plan would make good on an agreement with C&C Machining regarding their now-completed expansion in the industrial park. The agreement gives them a tax break in the form of economic development grants for the next 10 years, provided they meet job and other specifics. The break is worth up to $107,000, and would be entirely funded by the increase in property value of C&C Machining's expansion.

The plan, which draws off goals in the recently completed Centerville Comprehensive Plan, by striving to eliminate blighted properties and providing incentives and sites for economic development.

Besides the agreement with C&C Machining, the city anticipates further development agreements up to $500,000 would be available. The grants would be funded by tax increment financing, or funds from the increase in property valuation.

A public hearing will be held on Nov. 2.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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