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Ottumwa City Council votes on how to fill Stevens’ council seat

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the council looked at filling a vacant City Council position after Councilmember Skip Stevens announced his resignation last week. The council had two options: appoint someone, or hold a special election. As Stevens’ seat is up for election in November, City Administrator Phil Rath suggested going by appointment, to avoid concurrent elections for the future councilmember: “[It’s] to simplify things and to expedite the process, my recommendation is to have the position filled by appointment.”

The council also wants to fill the seat quickly. Councilmember Bob Meyers said he’d like to “move as quickly as possible.”

The 3 present councilmembers voted to fill the seat by appointment. City Administrator Rath and Mayor Lazio will be taking names until the end of the month. Then, the Council will choose a candidate and fill Stevens’ empty seat.

The public has the option to petition the council if they would instead to like to have a special election.

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Ottumwa Public Works is taking action to replace the Albia Road / Quincy intersection light with a roundabout. Public Works Director Larry Seals cited the two nearby roundabouts as projects he’s heard more positive comments on than negative. So he’s hoping to move forward with a new roundabout. It would be around the same size as the Ferry Street roundabout, with the goal to minimize car crashes that end in injury.

Justin Campbell, who designed those two nearby roundabouts, listed off the three highest reasons for crashes there: driving too fast, left turn crashes, and running traffic signals. “The top three problems can be solved with a roundabout”

Now, City staff will apply for a Transportation Grant to fund the project.

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And the City Administrator listed new details about the Ottumwa Town Hall being held in a few weeks. The meeting will take place at Bridge View on August 5th at 5:30pm. The City Administrator and the Mayor will take questions from citizens, as well as wanting to hear about what projects people would like to see pursued. “We have a few ideas, but we want to get some input from the public on that.”

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