Oskaloosa city council looking to fill two spots

by Dennis Sharkey
The city of Oskaloosa will enter the new year still looking for two members for the council.

At the city’s Dec. 15 meeting Mayor Mike Paavola said he thought at least one interested person he spoke with was going to attend the meeting that only this reporter attended.

“I’ve had two approach me and they’re very willing,” Paavola said. “But neither is here tonight.”

Paavola said the conversations have been positive so he hopes something develops.

“Nobody’s actually said ‘Ya let’s do it,’ yet,” Paavola said.

Paavola has said the past couple of meetings that he wants to fill the position quickly.

There are five seats on the council but only three current members. The council’s first meeting in December was canceled because only two members could attend. All of the current members have to attend the meetings for a quorum.

In other actions:

• Council meetings will no longer be held at The Little Red Barn. Instead meetings will move to the City Hall offices on Walnut Street.

The only concern of council members is the amount of space. Council members held a special meeting at the City Hall offices in August.

City Attorney Jan Hayes said if a big crowd shows up for a meeting the council can adjourn to another location.

The council’s next meeting is Jan. 5.

• A state planner that council members want to meet with about a proposed mitigation plan was not able to attend the meeting. However, Councilman Gary Bryant raised some more issues he has found with the plan.

Bryant said the plan requires the city to change the zoning regulations to require new home construction to have more regulations to prevent storm damage. Bryant said this could force the city to hire a building inspector which would be an added expense.

“In the mitigation plan it’s considered not very expensive,” Byrant said. “But it could be at some point.”

• Consequently no action has taken place with the emergency action plan. The plan coincides with the mitigation plan. Council members want to settle the mitigation plan before moving forward.

• The council will seek bids on services for a yearly financial audit. The city’s current firm has been performing the audit for several years. The proposed cost for next year is not to exceed $6,300. City Clerk Patty Hamm said all of the other cities in Jefferson County pay considerably less for their audits.

• The city’s new backhoe has arrived and is being fitted for snow removal equipment.

• Bryant reported that more vandalism is occurring at the city pool house. Someone is climbing on the roof and removing shingles. The city may look at installing a metal roof.

• The city approved the first payment to contractors working on the pool project for $28,800.

• The council made no decision about closing a portion of Sycamore Street from Warren to Hamilton. The street is located on the east side of U.S. Highway 59.

King’s Construction has requested that the road be closed. According to Hayes it is the third time that a request has been made.

Currently there are no dwellings on the road but property owned by another person could be developed. Hayes said the council should hold a public hearing if they consider closing the road. If the city were vacating the road they would be required to hold a public hearing. In this case the city could close the road if all landowners agree.

“I would consider this very similar to that because you’re closing a road to public travel,” Jan Hayes said.

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Posted by on Dec 29 2011. Filed under Government, Municipalities, Oskaloosa. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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