City Council Unanimously Approves Tentative Fire Union Contract

Oskaloosa City Hall

Oskaloosa City Hall

By Eduardo Zamarripa, CRI Weekly News

Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Tuesday night, the Oskaloosa City Council unanimously approved a tentative union contract agreement with the Oskaloosa Association of Professional Firefighters.

The agreement includes wage increases of 2.5 percent, 2.75 percent, and 3 percent over three years, and a 30-cent increase to the “acting” pay for fire fighters when serving in a captain role after a specified amount of time. The settlement avoids arbitration with the fire union. The city council discussed the agreement under closed session.

In other agenda items, the council denied the revision of site plan requirements on a five-to-two vote for the Tuscany Village housing development located at 1510 Edmundson Drive. Brian Booy requested a waiver from the site plan’s sidewalk construction stipulation.

Councilmen Jason Van Zetten and Aaron Ver Steeg voted in favor of allowing the revision. Ver Steeg said that in the past the council has allowed similar revisions.

“(There’s) absolutely no reason to put a sidewalk in now,” Ver Steeg said.

The revision did not pass, which means the sidewalk has to be constructed.

The council unanimously approved a resolution for approval of plans, specifications, contract and cost for the First Avenue East sidewalk project. Stephens Concrete Inc. submitted the lowest bid for the project, estimating a construction cost of $94,478, and a design cost of $30,600. The project includes the following:

  • New 10-foot wide concrete sidewalk
  • New curb and gutter
  • Composite pavement
  • New street lights with underground electrical connections
  • Intakes and storm drains

The project is located on the north side of First Avenue East from North First Street to North Second Street, and along the west side of North Second Street from First Avenue East to the law enforcement parking lot. The total cost of the project ($125,078) will be shared by the city ($87,156) and the property owners ($37,922). The property owners will pay for the concrete sidewalk.

If the project is approved, then construction is set to begin on April or May depending on the weather. The approximate completion time is 30 days.

The council also discussed possibly including in the project three 30-foot streetlight poles, and two 15-foot pedestrian poles.

“We’ve asked to receive quotes on adding decorative poles,” said Oskaloosa City Manager Michael Shrock.

The estimated cost for the five poles is $47,600. No decision has been made on the poles.

The council unanimously approved the second reading, and unanimously waived the third reading, of an ordinance to rezone the south portion of the property located at 1115 South 11th Street from R-3, multiple family residential district, to LI, limited industrial district. Additionally, the council unanimously approved pay request No. 4 to DeLong Construction Inc. in the amount of $45,600.76 for work completed on the West Area Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project.

Michael Collins and Jennifer Rice were also unanimously re-appointed to the Oskaloosa Municipal Housing Agency on a two-year term. The agency meets quarterly.

The next city council meeting is on March 3 at 6 p.m.

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