OTTUMWA — The first meetings of the new year bring no shortage of business for both the Wapello County Board of Supervisors and the Ottumwa City Council.

The city council will go through four public hearings in its first meeting of the year Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting will also be live on the city's YouTube channel.

The council will conduct a public hearing and be recommended to approve the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost for the Apron Improvement Project at the Ottumwa Regional Airport. The estimated cost of that project is $350,000, with an Iowa Department of Transportation grant covering 85% of the project. Bids will have a deadline of Jan. 28 at 2 p.m., with recommendation scheduled for the Feb. 16 council meeting.

Also, there is a public hearing scheduled to approve plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost for the Marion Street Reconstruction Project.

The project will reconstruct Marion Street from Fourth Street to North Court Street, and requires replacing existing sanitary sewer and adding a storm sewer. Marion Street has seen extensive damage from water main breaks, and a new water main has been installed. There will also be sidewalk replacement and ADA-compliant ramps installed.

The estimated cost of the project is approximately $785,237, which came in almost $15,000 under budget. The bid deadline will be Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., with a recommendation scheduled for the council's meeting Feb. 2.

Among other items on the council's agenda:

• Since late October, only one proposal has been received to be Fixed Base Operator at the airport, and city administrator Philip Rath will recommend rejecting it as it came in "much higher than anticipated." After visiting with other parties who were interested, but didn't submit a proposal, Rath will recommend a new qualifications-based request-for-proposal that outlines the framework of desired services, but allows entities to provide a recommended scope and associated price. The airport board would recommend an vendor and the city would approve it, with final contract and cost negotiated by the city and vendor.

• The fire department has a pair of items on the agenda, one being a remodel of the kitchen at the central station, which was built in the early 1960s, and cabinets and counters haven't been updated since then. An estimated cost of the remodel is $19,666.

Also, the department plans to replace a 16-year-old Pierce Apparatus with a new pumper apparatus through Sutphen Fire Apparatus for a cost of $550,850.52, after negotiating with two manufacturers. The purchase is approximately $40,000 less than the cost of the apparatus purchased in 2005.

Wapello County Board of Supervisors

The supervisors kick off the new year with a rare Monday meeting to appoint the board chair and vice chair for 2021. They will also reappoint county department heads, reappoint members of the compensation commission, and make other appointments and reappointments for the calendar year.

The county will also reappoint The Ottumwa Courier as its official newspaper for 2021.

There will also be personnel changes, with Brody Slack hired in the sheriff's office, and Allison Salter moving to the motor vehicle department.

The supervisors meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor courtroom at the courthouse. The meeting is available on Zoom and will be live-streamed on the supervisors' YouTube channel.

— Chad Drury can be reached at, and on Twitter @ChadDrury


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