City Preparations for Winter Weather

Winter weather will happen – ready or not – and it’s never too early to remind everyone “Ice and Snow…..Take it Slow.”

The Oskaloosa Police Department reminds citizens when winter weather conditions become severe with freezing rain, sleet, ice or snow fall which cause difficult travel conditions, the City Manager has the authority to declare a snow emergency within the city. The announcement will be made through the City’s website at www.oskaloosaiowa.org and local media outlets, such as KBOE/KMZN, and will give the date and time the snow emergency begins. Citizens can also sign up to receive e-mail or text alerts when a snow emergency has been declared. Go to the city’s web page and located on the lower left-hand side of the front page is a “Notify Me” button. Fill out the necessary information and an e-mail/text alert will be sent when a snow emergency has been declared. One can also log onto www.kboeradio.com and click on the “Closings” button on the top for all the latest weather delays, closures and emergencies.

When a snow emergency is declared, no on-street parking is allowed. If you leave your vehicle parked on city streets during a snow emergency, you may receive a $25 parking ticket and/or your vehicle could be towed at your expense. Citizens who do not have off-street parking available to them may park their vehicle(s) in the city parking lots within the central business district. Once the street is plowed you should remove your vehicle from the city parking lot so the street department can plow the lots. On-street parking is allowed again
only after the full width of the street has been plowed, or the snow emergency has been cancelled.

The City of Oskaloosa has prepared a brochure for residents which is available on the city website and through City Hall – 220 South Market Street, Public Works – 804 South D Street, or at the Mahaska County Law Center – 214 High Avenue East. The brochure contains frequently asked questions along with important information for citizens. Remember when a snow emergency is declared, no on-street parking is allowed until the full width of the street has been plowed or the snow emergency is cancelled.

Eventually, winter weather will arrive, prepare now and remember “Ice and Snow….Take it Slow”.

Oskaloosa City Council Discusses Golf Cart Ordinance

The Oskaloosa City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening and discussed a few items that had little or no opposition.

Prior to the regular meeting, there was a study session regarding an amendment of the city ordinance regarding golf carts.

City Manager Michael Schrock explained that the city requires golf carts to be registered and insured to operate on Oskaloosa roads. He also said it has been an administrative burden and isn’t doing anyone any good since there have not been citations and has been difficult for some residents to get the proper insurance on their golf cart.

The ordinance has been in the city code since 2011 and there have not been any issues with golf carts on the roads and trails in that time frame. Currently, the state requires operators of a golf cart on city streets to have a driver’s license, a slow moving sign and an orange flag on the rear of the vehicle, and the cart can only be operated between sunrise and sunset.

The council agreed they could eliminate the city ordinance and adjust their traffic laws to include possible citations for violations with golf carts in the future.

In the regular meeting, the council heard from Jerry Bottenfield of Sheriff Avenue, who was concerned that the city council was not being as transparent as they should be with the proposed reconstruction of Sheriff Avenue.

Bottenfield explained that the residents on Sheriff Avenue have not been notified of the reconstruction project, nor do they want any sidewalks on their street. Bottenfield also produced two petitions with every resident along Sheriff having signed them.

After the meeting, Council Member Tom Walling explained that they were just in the beginning process of determining what they were planning to do with Sheriff Avenue, and the project was at least still two years away. He said that the public would have had plenty of opportunity to speak about the project prior to it being implemented in the future.

In the regular agenda, the council also discussed a proposal from Council Members Walling and Aaron Ver Steeg to add a Loading Zone to the west side of the square for truck deliveries from UPS, FedEx, and other companies. These trucks either use the alley on that side of the square or parked their truck in the middle of the street to still allow for two-way traffic.

The alley has been approved for a recreation project and can no longer be used, and Ver Steeg explained that it is a safety issue for traffic with the truck sitting in the middle of the road on Market Street, which is also Highway 63.

This item was simply to have the city staff look into a study to determine what parking space could serve as the Loading Zone, for what times the space would be unavailable to regular parking, and other items. This passed on a 5-2 vote, with Council Members Steve Burnett and Tom Jiminez voting against.

The next scheduled meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council is set for Monday, April 18, in Council Chambers in City Hall. The meeting will be called to order at 6 PM.


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