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City council makes decisions regarding logo, road projects

During Osceola City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting March 18, several projects were discussed and continued. Council members passed motions to continue with the branding project and downtown cityscape projects.

Branding project

Osceola City Council held a public meeting to openly discuss the next step in creating a consistent city logo. The next step is to create a committee to do more research for the project and present the information to the board.

“The idea now is that we’ll go back into committee form and begin doing the actual groundwork on this project, and then bounce it back to a public meeting,” said Ty Wheeler, city administrator/clerk. “So, there will be a series of public meetings, and then committee meetings where we’ll begin to develop the concepts.”

During the meeting, Bill Trickey, executive director of Clarke County Development Corporation, put forth $6,475, half the amount of the project, in the form of a check from the development corporation toward the branding project.

“Some, or all, of this was to present a kind of unified image and unified front for a lot of things, including things like industrial recruitment and looking at how you approach housing development,” said Osceola City Council Chairman Dr. George Fotiadis. “If nothing else, I’d even argue approaching the state or federal government in terms of even grant applications, that kind of a unified front. This is who we are.”

Council members motioned to accept the money and continue with the project.

“We don’t want anyone to think we’re jumping into this quick. We’re not,” said Councilman Dan Hooper. “Our next meeting is April 24, so there’s a good time lapse in between this meeting and the next meeting.”

More work will have been done on the logo before the next meeting in April.

“We’ve got a lot of things and ideas right now,” Wheeler said. “Consistency is the key in a brand, and you look at any good brand and you recognize it immediately. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Downtown streetscape project

More discussion was made on the downtown streetscape project, which came about after a light pole fell on West Jefferson Street, causing damage to a vehicle and bringing down Christmas lights and power lines.

The council voted to establish a committee to do research and create options for the council members to look at.

According to Wheeler, officials with Veenstra and Kimm, an engineering services company, said the “real successful projects that we’ve worked on have established a working committee to do the groundwork and to sort through different options and variables, that would then report back to the city council, in this case, with their findings and maybe a recommendation.”

A local appearance committee took notice of the cityscape project, and met with Wheeler to discuss what the project consisted of.

“Because there was discussion of financial participation in the project, I recommend, or suggest, that we entertain using these members as part of the downtown committee, given that they are already engaged,” Wheeler said.

Fred Diehl, mayor of Osceola, and Trickey were voted to be non-voting members of the committee. This means they will be part of the committee, but will be unable to vote.

“I think this group is going to see a lot thrown at them, more so than we would normally have when we were planning out a street project,” Wheeler said. “Talking street lights, there are probably a dozen different street light designs one could choose from. ... So, there are a lot of decisions above and beyond that need to be made here.”

Wheeler said the time stamp on a project like this will be more than a year.

Work on the downtown area will begin before the other work on trails because of safety issues.

Highway 152

Also during the council meeting, members discussed the transfer of Highway 152. During a January council meeting, it was decided responsibility for the roadway would lie with Clarke County Supervisors.

However, Osceola City Council had to take responsibility temporarily because part of the highway is within city limits. Therefore, Iowa Department of Transportation has to transfer jurisdiction of a section of the road to the city of Osceola.

“The county and the DOT (Department of Transportation) have reached an agreement,” Wheeler said. “However, after talking with the attorney general, the DOT said, ‘We can’t transfer this whole roadway to the county’s jurisdiction because part of it lies within the city limits.’”

According to Wheeler, the city agreed Clarke County would receive all the funding for the transfer of the roadway in exchange for roadway maintenance in its entirety.

Further action will occur regarding the transfer of the highway to Clarke County.

Board members passed a motion to transfer the jurisdiction.

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