Local News
JV Softball Canceled
Thursday, 13 June 2013 06:38

Home JV Softball game vs. Keokuk scheduled for Thursday, June 13 at Huston Field has been cancelled.

Iowa Avenue Project Approved for Ottumwa
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 06:39


Iowa Transportation Commission Approves Grant for Ottumwa 

The Iowa Transportation Commission approved a Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy (RISE) Immediate Opportunity grant application submitted by the city of Ottumwa. Up to $1,172,195 will be made available to assist in the construction of a right-turn lane on U.S. 34 and reconstruction of approximately 2,500 feet of Iowa Avenue from U.S. 34 north to Kay Avenue located on the east side of town. This project is anticipated to be completed by August 2014.

The improvements are necessary to provide improved access to Cargill Meat Solutions and will support the creation of 120 new jobs along with nearly $96 million in associated capital investment. This company is a producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

The improvements will also provide improved access to more than 36 acres for future manufacturing and industrial development.

The application was approved for up to $193,689 from the county share of the RISE Fund and $978,506 from the city share of the RISE Fund or up to 80 percent of the total RISE-eligible project cost, whichever is less.


IDNR-Operation ReLeaf a Success
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 06:37


Operation Releaf adds nearly 2,000 trees to Iowa this spring

  The spring 2013 Operation ReLeaf events were a great success! The Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau, Interstate Power and Light Company, an Alliant Energy company, and local partners teamed up to offer eight residential tree distribution sites throughout the state this spring, selling more than 1,950 trees to homeowners who utilize Alliant Energy.

Operation ReLeaf is a residential tree planting program that promotes long-term energy and natural resource conservation funded by Alliant Energy and administered by the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau with assistance from local municipalities, county conservation boards, and county extension offices. Through the program, Alliant Energy residential customers may purchase high-quality landscaping trees for $25 each. These trees typically retail from $65 - $125.

With the trees in the ground, the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau has a few reminders about tree care:

·         Water the tree during the entire summer. Unless you get an inch of rain in a week, apply 3- to 5-gallons water directly on the root ball 1- to 3-times per week. Increase frequency during hot and dry periods. Watering tip: drill a small hole in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket, fill it and allow the water to slowly seep directly onto the root ball area.

·         Remove all tags, packaging, and bamboo. The tree can grow around and into the bamboo if left in place, which can eventually cause decay and early mortality. 

·         Trees do not benefit from staking if it can stand on its own. If the base of the tree is blowing over and unable to hold in place, staking will help the roots be established. If you are considering staking visit, extension.iastate.edu/ forestry/tree_planting/stake. html

·         Continue to mulch the trees each year. Make sure mulch extends all the way to the drip line of the tree in the shape of a donut, 2- to 4-inches deep. Too much mulch around the trunk can cause the bark to decay. Instead, pull the mulch back a couple inches from the trunk. 

·         Only prune when necessary. You should not prune your newly planted trees for the first 2- to 3-years unless correcting for a central leader or removing damaged or crossed branches. Remember, the more leaves, the more energy the tree can produce for growth. Once the branches are approaching two inches in diameter, prune to train for a terminal leader or to remove lower branches when they approach two inches in diameter. Never remove more than a third of the canopy when pruning. For fruit trees, follow specific instructions. Only prune oak trees from November through February, to prevent oak wilt. For more information visit,   treesaregood.com/treecare/ resources/Pruning_YoungTrees. pdf


Mistrial in Ward Case
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 07:08

A mistrial was declared yesterday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa, by U.S. District Judge James Gritzner, in the trial of former Ottumwa Transit Authority Director Pam Ward. Ward is accused of inflating ridership numbers on Ottumwa Transit Buses between the years 2007 and 2010, in order to gain Federal Grant and subsidy monies for the Ottumwa Transit System. No word yet as to whether a new trial will take place. Jurors involved in deciding the outcome of the trial deadlocked on a verdict, and notified the judge of the impasse.

City Council Work Sesion Highlights from Monday
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 06:38

The Ottumwa City Council met in "special" or "work session" mode last night at 5 P.M., in the Council Chambers at Ottumwa City Hall.


Under "work session" items where no votes are taken by the Council, Council Members did agree that a little more refinement and "tweaking" of the proposed Nuisance Ordinance will be necessary before the matter is brought before the Council for a vote. Areas to be re-visited and refined include: yard sales in Ottumwa; the parking of vehicles on unimproved areas of residential property; the use of so-called "decorative" planters such as tires, toilets, and bathtubs in front yards of residential areas; placing small inflatable swimming pools in front yards; and distance set-backs for the use of electric fences in residential areas.


The City Council also reached a consensus that more research is needed before committing to the purchase of a new snorkel fire truck for the Ottumwa Fire Department. Cost of the new vehicle is estimated at slightly under one million dollars. The current snorkel fire truck is a 1977 model that Fire Chief Tony Miller says needs replaced. City Officials will also have to figure out just how to pay for the piece of equipment, if purchased.


And, residents learned a little more about how the new Market Street Bridge will look when re-constructed in the City in the near future. Public Works Director Larry Seals told the Council that the bridge will have only 1 walkway, 8 feet wide, on the downstream side of the bridge. Also, Seals said, there will be NO BUMP-OUTS for anglers, tourists, and sightseers to stop on the bridge and fish or sit. Seals said the cost of the bump-outs is too expensive. There will, however, be decorative lighting, similar to the lampposts in Central Park. Also, there has been some discussion to prohibit fishing from the bridge, for the safety of pedestrians. Cost of the bridge project is estimated at around 3.5 million dollars.

Ottumwa Levee Maintenance This Week
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 06:36


 Crews are clearing brush and applying a herbicide to control weeds on the south bank of the Des Moines River, from the hydroelectric dam to the Jefferson Street Viaduct this week.   Brush and weed clearing is scheduled to take place Tuesday, June 11.   A herbicide will be applied on Wednesday, June 12.  This work will occur as weather and water conditions permit.    Controlling vegetation is an important part of regular levee maintenance. 

Persons who fish from the bank along that section will be asked to fish elsewhere during this work.  Use of the trail on the levee may be temporarily interrupted by workers or equipment in the area. 

For more information about this project, contact the City Engineering Department at 683-0680.



Campers-Geode Modern Camping Closed
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 06:35


 The DNR’s park staff were forced to close down wastewater facilities at Lake Geode State Park after sewer problems over the weekend.

Sections of the sewer line plugged up, and wet weather prevents contractors from reaching or fixing the lines. Park visitors can use portable restrooms and vault latrines, but restrooms, shower facilities and the dump station at the campground are closed.

Until crews can televise the sewer line, determine the extent of damage and make repairs, the campground will operate as a non-modern campground. Non-modern camping fees will apply.

The DNR is contacting campers who have advance reservations through the first week of July to provide options on their camping stays.

Until a contractor determines the cause of the sewer line blockage, the DNR cannot predict when campground facilities will reopen.



Special Council Meeting Tonight
Monday, 10 June 2013 06:30

The Ottumwa City Council will meet in "Special" or "Work Session" mode tonight at 5 P.M. at Ottumwa City Hall. According to the "tentative" agenda, the Council Meeting will take place in room 108 at City Hall, as opposed to the City Council Chambers.


Items up for discussion WITHOUT a vote by the Council tonight include:


     1. Proposed Changes in Ottumwa's Nuisance Ordinance.


     2. A Fire Truck for the Ottumwa Fire Department.


     3. The Future Market Street Bridge Re-Construction Project for Ottumwa.


     4. A Citizen's request for changes in the Ordinance for certain Downtown Ottumwa Businesses serving alcohol.


The City Council Meeting tonight is open to the Public.

Landfill Announces Free Disposal of Flood Debris
Monday, 10 June 2013 06:29


 The Ottumwa/Wapello Landfill is offering free disposal to aid in local flood recovery efforts.   The landfill will waive disposal fees for flood damaged household materials.    Individuals with flood related damages must be pre-approved for free disposal.   Contact the Wapello County Supervisors office at 641-683-4630

The free disposal is intended for items damaged by recent flooding such as damaged wall materials, insulation, carpet, furniture and household goods.  All loads going to the landfill must be covered or tarped.     Household appliances, also known as “white goods,” may be disposed of at no charge at the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center, with prior approval. 

The Landfill cannot accept hhousehold hazardous waste like paints, stains, garden chemicals or petroleum products.  Those materials may be taken to the Regional Collection Center at the Ottumwa/Wapello County Recycling Center for disposal at no charge.  Hazardous waste is accepted by appointment only.  Call the Recycling Center 641-683-0685 begin_of_the_skype_ highlighting to schedule a drop off

The Ottumwa/Wapello Landfill is open 7AM to 4PM Monday through Friday, and 7AM until Noon on Saturday.  The facility is located at 13277 165th Avenue.  Drivers can head out of town on West Second and take the first paved road on the right off the Eddyville Highway.



Ottumwa School District Recognized
Monday, 10 June 2013 06:27


The Ottumwa Community School District was recognized as a patriotic employer on behalf of the Iowa and National Committees for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve - which is under the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Superintendent Davis Eidahl accepted the award on behalf of the district.

The district was nominated for the Employer Support Freedom Award by MAJ David Harper, 224 Engineering Battalion and principal at Evans Middle School.  Harper is retiring from the Iowa National Guard this month after 24 years. The award is the U.S. Government's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. The Freedom Award is particularly significant because only members of the National Guard and Reserve or their family members are eligible to nominate their employers for the award.

“The Ottumwa Community School District as well as the Ottumwa community has a tradition of honoring and supporting our military personnel,” said Eidahl. “This award is especially relevant as we see our 833rd deployed for the third time in seven years. This is one of the many ways we show love and support to our service members and their families.”

The award was presented by Don Lane, a representative of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. “This is a reflection of your leadership, dedication and relationship with your employees,” Lane said during his presentation. “On behalf of the National and Iowa ESGR committees, I thank you for your past and continued support of your employee/service members.”

Harper was also present for the presentation. “I appreciate the tremendous support I’ve received from the district,” he said. “It’s employers like this that are force multipliers for the Iowa National Guard by allowing citizen soldiers to serve their country and state.”


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