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City of Ottumwa looks at building improvements and amending solid waste city code

Updated: Jul. 6, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Tuesday night saw a second reading for a proposed changed amendment to the city code.

To avoid “unsightly” dumpsters in alleys and parking areas, City leaders are looking at allowing downtown businesses to place their dumpsters on public-owned parking lot property.

It would add an amendment to the solid waste portion of the code to allow for this. The City Administrator says they’ll decide in the future which specific public lots will be used for these dumpsters.

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Town Hall meetings are back. An informational meeting - not a council meeting is planned for Thursday, August 5th, at 5:30 pm. The location has not been determined. City Administrator Phil Rath outlines what citizens will be able to do there: “It’s an opportunity to share with myself and, I believe, the Mayor, any topics or areas of concern that you have, what you like that’s happening in the city, what you want to see more of, there’s an opportunity for that.”

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The City council is looking at vast improvements to city hall from minimum improvements to be code complaints to full-on renovations to the interior. I

It’ll be up to city leaders to decide how far they want to go.

The overall price tag sits at $5.2 million. With about $1.6 million of that going towards contingency, something the architect says most likely will be needed.

“Right now, with the volatility of construction costs that we’ve been seeing in other projects...you will probably need every bit of that.”

But city leaders say, while they’re interested, they’ll have to find a way to fund the project. At the end of the presentation, Mayor Lazio said they’ll talk internally.

“I guess we’ll ask our administrative team to explore some options for funding because at this point we don’t have that kind of money to do it without the outside help.”

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The flood wall along the Des Moines River by the Hydro Dam is reportedly deficient in freeboard. To address this, the council is looking at a removable floodwall system to raise the river wall during floods. The wall panels will get purchased from Flood Control America for $142,000. These panels will be removable to allow people to continue fishing over the wall.

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