Councilmen differ on how to move forward with City Hall in Oskaloosa

by Dennis Sharkey

All six members of the Oskaloosa City Council agree that a new City Hall is needed. However, there are differing opinions on how to get there.At the council’s last meeting Councilman Gary Bryant reported that if the city were to look at the site on the northeast corner of Washington and Delaware streets it would cost about $5,000 for the city engineer to prepare a report that would include core samples of the ground.At the meeting held July 5 the council came to a consensus to begin talking with the engineer about a possible project.

However, at the council’s regular meeting held last Thursday, July 19, Councilwoman Emily Malsbury said she didn’t think the council approved anything and said she was confused by the story in the Independent.

“By the way we did not approve anything,” Malsbury said.

The story also reported that the council was not set on any location yet and that other locations may still be a possibility.

Bryant said last week that the council should develop a plan for where they would want buildings to be placed before having the engineer move forward. Another location could be acreage the city purchased in 2009 on the east side of U.S. 59 Highway.

Most of the council including Mayor Mike Paavola agreed the next step would be to develop a plan and move forward with core sampling.

However, Malsbury objected and said the city already has a lot of information on the ground. She pointed to a comment Paavola made that most of the city is on top of water. Paavola said it’s just a matter of how far down the water is depending on where in town the digging takes place.

“What’s the point in doing a core sample if you know water is there?” Malsbury questioned.

Paavola said the city still needs to know exactly what’s in the ground.

“I think we need to know what we’re getting into before we get started,” Paavola said.

Malsbury said she would go and speak with City Engineer Joe McAfee herself about the ground.

“It sounds like we’re asking him to blindly go look at a piece of ground,” Malsbury said. “We have plenty of information on this ground.”

“No matter where we build we’re going to need a core sample,” Councilman John Norman said in response to Malsbury’s opinion.

Malsbury responded by saying that spending a bunch of money is unnecessary.

“He would tell us that,” she said. “He’s not going to say, ‘Give me $5,000 before I give you my opinion.’”

“Then why do we hire an engineer?” Bryant responded to her assertion.

The council agreed to let Malsbury speak to McAfee and report back at the next meeting.

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Posted by on Aug 4 2012. Filed under County Commission, Government, 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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