The Oskaloosa City Council met Tuesday night, instead of Monday night due to President’s Day on Monday.
Before the meeting, a study session was held at 5 pm to go over the fire station plans, and the council also discussed the Local Option Sales and Services Tax, or LOST. The Council was told that if county residents vote no during the election and city residents vote yes, the city can still collect funds from the county inside the city if the Council wishes to do so.
As 6 pm drew closer, the Council Chambers became packed with citizens ready to speak in the public hearing to be held later that night.
During the Public Comments portion of the meeting, representatives from Mahaska Community Development Group, and One Mahaska both urged the Council to vote yes on the ballot language for LOST.
The major topic of the night was the rezoning of areas around Mahaska Health Partnership. Multiple citizens spoke up during the public hearing stating that they are against MHP being allowed to rezone 416 North 11th Street, 1201 C Avenue East, and 1265 C Avenue East. Residents of the neighborhood said they don’t want to see a parking lot outside their bedroom windows, and they don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by the beeping noise of snow plows backing up.
The biggest concerns of the residents were the fact that MHP doesn’t have a plan laid out as to what it wants to do with the properties, and property value going down once the hospital goes through with its plans.
4th Ward Council Member Steve Burnett countered the claims of property value going down. He said he researched property values of the area around MHP for the years between 2011 and 2015, and found the properties in the area actually went up in value.
When it came time to vote on the issue, Mayor David Krutzfeldt stated that a super-majority vote needed to happen in order to pass the issue. The locations of 416 North 11th Street and 1201 C Avenue East both were not passed due to the vote not being super-majority. 1265 C Avenue East was unanimously voted no.
Other topics discussed in the meeting:
- Resolution requesting submission and calling for an election for LOST with 75% going to an early childhood and recreation center and 25% going towards infrastructure, which passed 6-1, with Ward 1 Council Member Aaron Ver Steeg the lone no
- Sidewalk replacement
- Water treatment
- Fire station renovation and expansion
The next scheduled meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council will be held on March 7th, in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Story provided by George Henry