Osky News sits down with City Manager Michael Schrock

Oskaloosa Iowa City Hall

City Hall - Oskaloosa, Iowa

Oskaloosa, Iowa- Earlier this past week, we had a chance to sit down with City Manager Michael Schrock and talk to him about a wide variety of municipal issues. We will be publishing several different articles about this interview. Our first story has to do with several different issues.

Much debate and discussion has been centered on the airport, however, talks and updates on the airport suddenly stopped a few months ago. You can read some of our previous coverage on the airport here. When asked about the airport and if Oskaloosa was still in talks with Pella, Schrock had this to say. “[We are] Still in discussions with Pella, having great discussions with them still. Nothing’s changed in that relationship, which is good. We’re still dealing with the FAA. It’s been difficult. I’d say that’s an understatement. Every time we seem to be making progress, we are provided with another road block.”

We also asked Schrock about the US 63 Coalition project and how progress on that was going. “I would say that we’re still moving forward and we’re pursuing the NEPA process. We’re looking at breaking it into three phases, three contracts or [inaudible]. The first contract we’re ready to move on, but we need to make sure that we iron out all of the details before we do that. And that contract’s like a $24,000 or something like that. It’s not a significant part of the study,” Schrock said.

Schrock continued, ” The expensive part comes next: Phase two and Phase three. Still reaching out to our partners. Montezuma, Poweshiek County and we are having discussions with them that are positive not negative. We’re meeting with them next week as a matter of fact over lunch.” Schrock acknowledged at the start of his comments on this issue that he was not the best person to talk to about the coalition project. “The chairperson of our coalition, Beth Danowsky, she is the best person to speak to on this.”

Recently, the city council received a presentation from a group of ISU students regarding a waste survey in the community. The group presented the council with several different recommendations. We asked Schrock if any of those recommendations had been acted on. “I think we would be kidding ourselves if we thought that all of those recommendations would be implemented. Right now, I haven’t done anything with that study at this point because we’ve had other issues. It’s an issue of a lack of available time to implement any of that stuff,” Schrock said.

Schrock continued, “Also, at this point, I haven’t had a real champion on the city council to say ‘we want to see these things done,’ And so if its not high enough on the

Oskaloosa Iowa City Council Chambers

priority list, it’s going to get dealt with later.” Schrock went on to cite Housing Department Budget Reductions, the city Golf Course, and the Regional Airport as some of the things that were higher on the priority list than the waste study.

Discussion has been ongoing about the future of the city golf course. Recently, bids were accepted to lease out the city course. One bid was received from Jeff and Lori Smith, owners of Harvest Point. Some people believed that since Lori is a member of the City Council, the bid may had an unfair advantage. Schrock said that bids for the lease of the course were advertised for over a month on the city website and on other sites. The bid was also seen on the local cable access channel. Schrock said that the Smith’s bid was the only bid received.

He also had this to say, “The city still operates the course and no decision has been made as to what’s happening with it. The council has asked me to, based on work session, the council asked me to look into a contract with Harvest Point, because they want to be able to react to it. They want to be able to say ‘Okay, what is the best offer that Harvest Point can give us? What would our responsibilities be? What would their responsibilities be?’ and then they would say ‘yes or no this works or doesn’t work or do better here’ or whatever. So no decision has been made. Should there be a decision soon? Absolutely. I am confident that we will have this in front of the council the second meeting of August. ”

Watch Osky News next week for an article about what Schrock had to say about the Housing Budget Reductions and the recent city roads study.

Posted by on Jul 30 2011. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

1 Comment for “Osky News sits down with City Manager Michael Schrock”

  1. […] to sit down with City Manager Michael Schrock. We spoke to him about a variety of issues. Our first story was published on Saturday. Today, we bring to you our questions with Schrock on the housing […]

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