Wapello County EMA recaps the last year of COVID, looks ahead at Tuesday’s City Council meeting

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Tuesday’s night City Council meeting began with EMA Director Tim Richmond giving a recap of the last year of COVID-19.

Now, the county has a surplus of vaccines, and Richmond says there’s around 24% of the county fully vaccinated.

He says looking ahead, as things return to normal, it’s time to focus on other emergency issues.

“There’s some things going on out there and you wonder, some of those things were issues before COVID, and what COVID did over the last year really made it all worse. So I really think we need to start putting some attention back to some of the other hazards affecting our community.”

And a bridge inspection will soon begin for Ottumwa’s 11 bridges.

A biannual inspection is required by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

A hands-on inspection of the Jefferson Street bridge means the bridge will be closed for around four days.

And the cleaning out of 131 E Main Street continues.

The historic First National Bank was abandoned by its previous owner, who left piles of objects behind.

The City Council approved a new grant to help rehabilitate the building.

Zach Simonson, who’s working closely on the project, says the cleaning is going well, even to the point where they can begin to show it off.

“We’ve been able to take some of the curtains and paper that look bad out of the windows, because it’s ok to let people look in now, because it’s more or less presentable.”

And Mayor Tom Lazio mentioned the city will be looking into President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and Job Bills, and how it can help the city.

“The RAISE grant, which is the Rebuilt America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity is a major opportunity for us.”

City staff will be diving into the bills to find grants to help the city.

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