A study session highlighted a busy night for the Oskaloosa City Council on Monday. The major topic of discussion was the Sheriff Avenue Improvement Options.
This project has been on the minds of the council and city staff for the last few years, as the short, but high trafficked road between Oskaloosa High School and Market Street has been deteriorating.
The discussion this time around was to see if the council could come to a consensus on what to do with the road. The discussion went back and forth, with residents who live along Sheriff Avenue stating they believe the road needs fixed, but overall, they were against installing sidewalks.
Sidewalks have long been an issue with reconstructed roads and newly owned properties in Oskaloosa, as the City Council and City Staff try to have full connectivity of all sidewalks in town. Although there is typically a lot of support overall from the council for sidewalks, the majority in this instance agreed with the residents that the sidewalks should wait on Sheriff for the time being.
This decision was made primarily because of the recreational trail that runs behind the properties on Sheriff Avenue that safely allows pedestrians to cross the busy Market Street, and the council does not want to funnel foot traffic toward Market Street, where there is currently no connector sidewalk.
After nearly an hour long discussion, the council agreed to go with a full reconstruction of the road, including new sewer and storm system, and insert sidewalks along North 3rd Street between the high school and the recreational trail.
The item will officially come for a vote at a meeting in the near future.
In the regular meeting, the council took care of several items in quick order.
– A resolution approving the vacation and sale of the east-west alley adjacent to 402 4th Avenue West
– A resolution approving a contract for the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Plant Generator Replacement Project with Van Maanen Electric
– A resolution approving a contract with DeLong Construction for the Sidewalk Improvement Project along D Avenue West, North L Street, and Green Street
At the end of the meeting, the council discussed an idea brought up by Council Member Aaron Ver Steeg to have a specific loading zone along Market Street on the square for delivery trucks during the day.
After a study into the issue, City Staff recommended to not take any action at this time, seeing that there was no real issue and property owners along that block voted 4-1 against the idea of taking away two parking spaces for several business hours.
Ver Steeg clarified that he was looking at only using the zone for one parking space and for the hours of 9 AM and 12 PM on weekdays. He cited statistics, which show that nearly half of all UPS accidents occur when parked on a street or backing into an alley, which are the only options currently available for the trucks.
After a short discussion, the council voted 5-2 against taking any action at this time, with Ver Steeg and At-Large Council Member Tom Walling voting against.
The next scheduled meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council is slated for Monday, June 6, at 6 PM in Council Chambers in City Hall.