September 27, 2022

Sidewalk project nears completion

At the Aug. 2 meeting of the Osceola City Council, City Administrator Ty Wheeler updated council on the Iowa Department of Transportation sidewalk project that has been taking place along Highway 34.

Wheeler said the project on the north side of Highway 34 will end at Delaware Street, and was anticipated to be completed by either last week or this week. Once the sidewalk project is finished, the DOT has a variety of smaller items to complete, including grouting and sealing retaining walls and replacing prior railing.

The railing is experiencing delays with the manufacturer, but will be replaced when available. The DOT will also seed this fall in the areas that need it, and return in the spring for touch ups.

Wheeler also informed council that sometime later this month, the DOT plans to hold a stakeholder meeting with the counties and cities along the Highway 34 corridor. At that time, a discussion will be held to discuss the possibility of converting Highway 34 into a Super-2 highway.

A letter from Iowa DOT officials published in the March 21 Creston News Advertiser explained a Super-2 Highway as:

“A Super-2 highway can include advanced design elements including wider paved shoulders, geometric improvements, left- and right-turn lanes, acceleration lanes, and climbing/passing lanes. This maximizes the benefits of two-lane roadways through improved safety, capacity, and mobility, while reinforcing the growing importance of lowering construction and maintenance costs. In other words, a Super-2 improvement can provide many of the benefits of a four-lane corridor without the excessive cost and impact on ag land acquisition.”

Concerned citizen

During the citizens’ opportunity to address the council, Osceola resident Renn Reed told council she has witnessed several instances of cruelty to wildlife, specifically waterfowl, over the past few years at both East Lake and Grade Lake. Reed said that this summer on multiple occasions, she had seen people around Grade Lake “chasing geese with brooms and swinging at them.” Reed asked council what could be done help remedy the situation; council discussed looking into having signs placed regarding respect of wildlife.

Other items

Council approved a special events permit for “Jeep Fest,” scheduled for Aug. 20 to take place around the courthouse square.

A public hearing was set for the Aug. 16 council meeting to discuss an amendment to the current city code regarding the keeping of mini pigs in town. Council also approved the grant agreement for the Iowa DOT Bridge project to take place on Kansas Street inside corporate city limits.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Aug.16. Council minutes are available on the city’s website: osceolaia.net.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.