American Legion building no longer for sale in Oskaloosa
by Dennis Sharkey
The next City Hall for Oskaloosa won’t be located in the American Legion Building.
Councilman John Norman reported last week to the rest of the council that the Larned Seagraves American Legion Post members met recently and voted to take the building off the market.
The council toured the Legion last fall with Legion members. At that time Legion members were considering the sale of the building.
Earlier this month the council made an offer to the Legion for the building. Details of the offer were not disclosed, however, the deal was going to allow the Legion to continue using the building.
The sale of the old Harvey’s Hardware building is still pending. Realtor Pia Friend requested an extension on the closing earlier this month because of delays with the financing.
Mayor Mike Paavola said there was not any news to report on the closing. The council voted earlier this month to extend the closing deadline to March 29.
The Jefferson County Memorial Hospital Foundation board has put in bid to buy the building for $65,000. They plan to occupy the entire first floor of the building with a full service pharmacy.
There have been discussions about leasing the rear portion of the building to the city for the police department, although discussions have not progressed much further.
Councilwoman Emily Malsbury, who is an associate of Friend, said she has heard nothing negative about the sale. Friend told the council earlier this month that there were no problems and that the process was taking longer than expected. The original closing was set for last month.
In other actions:
• The city’s pool is still set to open on time according to the contractors of the reconstruction process.
The council also learned that new federal regulations will not stop the city from being able to reopen the wading pool that is adjacent to the main pool.
The wading pool needs extensive repairs and the city received bids in the range of $60,000 to $70,000.
New American Disability Act requirements call for all wading pools to be ADA accessible. The logical and least expensive option is a sloped entry. However, the contractors said there needs to be at least 24 inches of depth for a sloped entry and the pool only has 12 inches of depth.
Councilwoman Kathy Griffin said she spoke with federal regulators and they said the city is in no danger of having the pool shut down.
She said the city must however recognize that there is a deficiency but must work toward correcting the issue.
The council awarded the bid for the work last August. At the time the city did not have enough money to fix the main pool and the wading pool. The cost for rehabilitating the main pool is close to $150,000.
Griffin said the council did not know there was an issue until a pool managment company pointed the new regulations out.
There is one issue with the main pool and the wading pool. Both pools are connected to the same filtration system. The pool rehabilitation project does not include any work with the plumbing system. Contractors recommend separating the two.
The pool work is scheduled to be completed by May 3 with an opening Memorial Day weekend.
The city is currently accepting applications for a pool manager and assistant manager.
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