Osky City Council Negotiates Site Plan With Fellowship Bible Church

The Oskaloosa City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, but a study session stole the headlines.

The study session involved a discussion on a proposed site plan for a 6,156 square foot addition for Fellowship Bible Church, located at 1000 A Avenue West.

The item came to a study session due to the church asking for relief from 9 of 11 points that the Planning and Zoning Commission gave to the church about the plan. These extra points would cost the church about $100,000 and would take their budget over its $1 million threshold.

The discussion began with thoughts from Council Members Tom Walling and Joe Caligiuri regarding city code. Caligiuri believes that the code needs to be looked at and changed, because the language does not seem to make sense for already-existing properties.

Walling stated that the church is trying to improve the city, and should be allowed an amount of time to complete each of the requirements, but unless the code is changed, the council should avoid setting a precedent by waiving the list of items.

The council initially agreed on giving the church five years from the issuance of the building permit prior to the regular meeting. When the study session resumed following the meeting, most of the council changed their mind to give only one year to complete the list. This notion was brought up by Council Member Steve Burnett, believing that it would be dangerous to waive city requirements because it would go over the project’s budget.

The council then agreed to add the item to the May 16th agenda for a final vote on the project. The council will allow one year from the issuance of the building permit for all requirements to be met.

In the regular meeting, housekeeping was the main theme.

The council renewed employee life and health insurance programs for fiscal year 2017. There was a budget amendment that allowed for the city to save money by redeeming loan notes, which was also passed unanimously.

The council also passed resolutions approving abatement of city assessments on 115 5th Avenue West and 612 5th Avenue West, which the city claimed as abandoned property. The council also approved a resolution for the conditional abatement of city assessments on 703 A Avenue East, which is also a property that the city has filed to title as abandoned.

In the reports from the council, members Tom Jiminez, Tom Walling, and Joe Caligiuri reiterated the need for adjusting the city code. The council also commended the city staff for taking care of abandoned properties and clearing them out to make the city look nicer.

The next scheduled meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council will be held on Monday, May 16th, in Council Chambers of City Hall. The meeting will be called to order at 6 PM.


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