City Council Approves Proposed 2014-15 Budget

Oskaloosa City Hall

Oskaloosa City Hall

By Eduardo Zamarripa, CRI Weekly News

Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Monday night, the Oskaloosa City Council unanimously approved the proposed 2014-15 budget.

However, the budget will not be finalized until after the public hearing. The council set the public hearing for March 3. After that hearing, the council will then vote again on the budget.

If the budget gets approved as it stands, then the city plans on contributing $100,000 to the Forest Cemetery, $50,000 over the next three years to contribute to a new animal shelter, $15,000 for the removal of ash trees, and $15,000 for park maintenance among other things.

The city is also dropping its levy by 15 cents to approximately $13.86 (13.85816).

In other agenda items, the city council unanimously approved a resolution for preliminary approval of plans, specifications, contract and cost for the First Avenue East sidewalk project. 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 preliminary engineer and construction cost is $112,036, and the design cost is $30,600. The total cost of the project ($142,636) will be shared by the city ($95,281) and the property owners ($47,355). If the project is approved, then construction is set to begin on April or May depending on the weather.

The bidding for the project will open on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.

In addition to that, the council received a Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation (MCRF) annual report presentation by MCRF Director Sherry Vavra. Vavra said spectator and player participation increased by 19 percent this past year. She also said RAGBRAI brought an additional 22,000 visitors and over $18,000 in profits for MCRF fundraising activities.

“We were a partner with RAGBRAI, and we all know that was a key event. That went really well,” Vavra said.

Vavra also added that volunteer hours exceeded 3,600, and donations exceeded $460,000, this past year.

“We had lots of volunteer help, so we appreciate that,” Vavra said.

The city council also unanimously approved the first 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. The council held a public hearing on the ordinance as well, and no comments were made.

The next city council meeting is on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.



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