Oskaloosa City Council Votes to Improve Market Street Alley

The Oskaloosa City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening and a project in the alley on the Market Street side of the square was the major topic of discussion.

A group of local residents, who call themselves the “Alley Katz,” had a proposal to decorate the alley in between Smokey Row and Bridal Dreams on the west side of the square. The project would cost roughly $40,000, but will all be privately funded. The group said there was roughly $10,000 already pledged.

During the community comments portion at the beginning of the meeting, several business owners and citizens showed support for the project, while the property owner of the Bridal Dreams building had concerns about the residents living above the business and their convenience and safety if the alley were to be closed off for a gathering place.

After a presentation and discussion, the council voted 5-1 in favor of the project with Aaron Ver Steeg the lone vote against. The group hopes to have the alley open for seating during the summer of 2016.

Prior to the regular meeting, the council had a study session to discuss the Sheriff Avenue Pavement Construction Concepts. After a presentation, the council seemed to be in favor of pushing the project back past the targeted 2018 start time, and rather focus on other roads in poor shape, such as South 7th Street. No official motion was made during this session.

The council also split a vote which would have authorized City Manager Michael Schrock to submit an application to the Mahaska County Community Foundation to provide funding for a fixed transit bus route. The vote was split 3-3, as council member Doug Yates was absent. The deadline for the grant from the MCCF is March 31, and a new vote would need to take place before the deadline to apply for the grant. This would require a special session called for by the council prior to next Thursday.

In other business:

  • The council also approved a resolution which sells unused sections of public right-of-way lying between 1216 and 1302 Green Street, between 816 and 902 South 12th Street, and adjacent to 600 6th Avenue East. The land was split between adjacent landowners.
  • The council approved a request to direct city staff to study parking restrictions on C Avenue East between North 11th Street and North Park.
  • City Manager Michael Schrock reminded the council that Residential Clean-up days in Oskaloosa will be coming up, and there will be notifications of the days and quadrants that will be addressed in the next couple of weeks.

The next scheduled meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council will be held on Monday, April 4th, at 6 PM in Council Chambers in City Hall in Oskaloosa.


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