Water Department Looks For Office Changes

 

Oskaloosa City Hall

by Amy Langdon

The Water Department is asking the city to make some decisions about a deteriorating building.

At Monday’s city council meeting, the Oskaloosa Water Department requested permission to spend money on fixing its building at 213 South 1st Street. According to a recent site inspection, the building, which is owned by the city and houses the water department as well four pieces of large fire department equipment, has significant deterioration. Water Department Manager Chad Coon said it would cost about $13,000 to repair the building.

The money that would potentially be spent to either repair the building or rent a new space would come of the Water Department’s funding, which is separate from the city of Oskaloosa.

The city has recommended the department vacating the building for safety reasons and moving its office to work out of available space in City Hall. Coon said he’s hesitant to move into the lower level of City Hall because he wants his entire staff in one location. He said his service would be better if the office and distribution staff were at the same place.

Council Member Jason Van Zetten recommended waiting to spend any significant money until a study on the Oskaloosa Water Department is completed. The study was ordered to determine the next steps the department should take and should be completed in a few months.

Coon also discussed moving the office to an off-site modular home. He said moving there would cost a few thousand dollars.

In the end, the council voted against giving permission to the water department to spend money to fix the building. The discussion will continue at next Monday’s Water Board meeting.

In other city business:

– Award of Longevity plaques were presented to Dave Christenson (30 years), Scott Howard (30 years), Jake McGee (25 years), Russ Van Renterghem (25 years), and Amy Miller (20 years) for their multiple decades of service to the city of Oskaloosa.

– The city council approved payment of $440,000 to Cornerstone Excavating for its work on the North Green street paving project.

– Council Member Aaron Ver Steeg gave a report on the Agency on Aging and said funding is improving thanks to the hard work of volunteer Margaret White.

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