By Sam Parsons
The Oskaloosa City Council met last night and received a presentation from a needs assessment that was conducted for Mahaska County E911/EMA.
The assessment came back with dozens of recommendations of changes to the way the EMA operation is conducted in the county. Those included, but were not limited to, ending the practice of telling certain 911 callers to hang up and call back, preparing a budget which implements the District Court’s ruling on January 5, 2023, sending a monthly report to the Commission and the Joint 911 Service Board, and opening conversations with other agencies, such as the city of Pella and the Marion County Sheriff regarding possible consolidation. No action was taken by the city, but the EMA Commission is set to meet tomorrow evening at 6pm at the Environmental Learning Center in Oskaloosa.
The city also received the results of its housing needs assessment. Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt talked about what the assessment does for the city moving forward.
Krutzfeldt said that the assessment mostly returned expected results and that the city is aware of the ongoing need for housing development. One of the statistics revealed from the assessment was that the city of Oskaloosa’s median home value is $93,000, well below the statewide average of $153,900, and the median year built was 1960. The statewide median year built for homes is 1971.
At the end of the meeting, the city went into a closed session to approve the 3-year collective bargaining agreements with all 3 labor unions within the city. The police department is receiving a 7% compensation increase this year, 5% increase next year, and 4% the year after. The fire department will see a 6% compensation boost this year and then 3% in each of the next two years. And the mixed group, which included the street department, library, and remaining staff, will receive a 5% raise this year, then 4% next year and 3% the year after.