December 08, 2022

Council approve ATVs on streets; pursue title of building

The third reading of the proposed amendment to the ordinance pertaining to UTVs and ATVs was approved at the Oct. 4 meeting of the Osceola city council. The amendment will allow registered ATVs to operate on Osceola city streets, same as registered UTVs.

The allowance of UTVs on city streets was approved at the state level by Gov. Reynolds on June 13 with House File 2130, and went into effect July 2. At that time, locally, ATVs were only authorized on Osceola city streets as permitted by Iowa Code.

A public hearing was held on Sept. 6, at which time it was presented to council that it might be beneficial to allow ATV usage on roads now, instead of possibly having to amend the code at a later date depending on state decisions.

Now, registered ATVs follow the same rules as UTVs as outlined in Osceola Code 75.05 Operation of ATVs and UTVs. Both are allowed to operate on city streets in accordance with section 321.234A of the Code of Iowa, and as regulated by the city of Osceola. ATVs are subject to all applicable traffic and parking regulations of the city. Neither may be operated in parks or city-owned property without permission, on sidewalks, or driven in an area considered parking. See Osceola Code 75.05 for full code.

Osceola code defines an ATV as “a motorized vehicle, with not less than three and not more than six non-highway tires, that is limited in engine displacement to less than one thousand (1,000) cubic centimeters and in total dry weight to less than one thousand two hundred (1,200) pounds and that has a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.” (75.02)

Dangerous building

In July, city administrator Ty Wheeler sent a notice of dangerous building to Siwan Jeetsun, owner of the building at 101 W Washington Street.

The notice stated Jeetsun had 90 days to either demolish, or make appropriate plans to take care of his building, or the city would step in.

The city of Osceola code regarding dangerous buildings can be found in Chapter 145, and has a general definition of unsafe as:

“All buildings or structures which are structurally unsafe or not provided with adequate egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life, or which in relation to existing use constitute a hazard to safety or health, or public welfare, by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation, obsolescence, or abandonment, are, for the purpose of this chapter, unsafe buildings. All such unsafe buildings are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal in accordance with the procedure specified in this chapter.” (Chap. 145.02)

The building was destroyed by an overnight fire on April 5.

With no action taken by Jeetsun after the notice sent in July, the city is moving forward with filing a petition to get the title for the property; the process can take a minimum of 60 days.

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.