Ottumwa City leaders unveil its 2040 comprehensive plan

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 10:58 AM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) -Ottumwa city leaders rolled out it's 2040 comprehensive plan

Its a look ahead to the next 20 years and what city leaders hope to accomplish.

But it was also a chance for the public to weigh in and share their ideas on what areas the community could be improved on.

Ottumwa's city Planning and Development Director Kevin Flanagan says

"Basically brings everything together for a community to identify what they feel are our biggest challenges and also to define goal sets and objectives as a way to address them."

One of those challenges is raising property value. City leaders say about one third of the structures in the city were built prior to 1950 and they are deteriorating.

Flanagan says one way to revitalize some them is through development incentive programs.

"Saying to ourselves. We've been so successful with our incentive programs in our downtown areas. We have about three or four of those. Can we mimic that success in our single family housing stock, which is aged. But has a lot of quality structures there potentially. With just a little assistance and incentiving, we feel like we can help personal property owners the same way we helped downtown owners."

Another item up for discussion, developing the riverfront. City Administrator Phil Rath says he's hoping to bring more people to the downtown area.

"We're looking at developing around the center of the train station and getting some new upstairs living development, housing opportunities, apartments. And also then some commercial development in that area as well."

As the city moves forward, city leaders say the plan could change significantly depending on how the public weighs in.

“This isn’t a plan developed for city staff or council to say here’s our goals and what we want to do. Something that the community can get behind and making sure that we keep It active and vibrant and at the forefront of everyone in the community.

You still have time to offer your input. Go to and let them know your feelings or ideas.

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