With the resignation of Osceola city councilwoman-at-large Missy Cline, the decision has been made to fill her seat by appointment.
Mayor Thomas Kedley reported that he currently has three interested candidates for the position, and will begin the process of vetting them, as well as anyone else who comes forward. Kedley told council that he would like two weeks to go through the vetting process before he brings two finalists before council for consideration and possible approval of one.
When questioned as to why a special election would not be held to fill Cline’s seat, it was explained that the timing with this year’s city election played a part. City administrator Ty Wheeler said that to hold a special election, the auditor would have to go through the same process as she would for a regular election. With city elections to be held this November, a special election would likely not be able to happen until late spring to early summer, at which point the person would have to turn around and prepare for the city election, if they so chose.
Cline was elected to Osceola city council Nov. 2021, with a term to expire Dec. 31, 2025; she resigned due to relocation for her husband’s job. The new appointee will have to run again in the November election this year to finish out the remainder of Cline’s term; if the appointee chooses not to run, or is not elected, the new electee will then serve the remainder of Cline’s term.
Council approved 3-0 (councilman Doug Gay was absent) the mayor’s reappointments of Brad Lampe, Walker Adams, and Laura Held to the golf course management commission with terms to expire Dec. 31, 2025. Kedley noted that Mel Miller had requested not to be reappointed, as Miller would like to focus his time and attention to his role on the Parks and Rec board. As such, Kedley is searching for someone to fill Miller’s spot.
In the interest of following state code, Kedley is looking for a female who is a city resident of Osceola, preferably with knowledge of golf, golf courses and management. If no one comes forward over the next couple of weeks, Kedley has a list of other interested persons.
The second reading of the amendment to Chapter 69.14 was approved 3-0.
The proposed amendment to the ordinance reads:
“5. The City Council may, upon receiving an application, issue a permit to authorize parking between the hours of 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM upon any street described herein. If a Snow Emergency pursuant to Chapter 69.12 is in effect, said permit shall be suspended until the street upon which the parking permit has been issued is fully open.”
The purpose of the proposed amendment is to allow for overnight parking on the square for guests of Airbnbs, where off-street parking is not available or easily accessible; currently, no parking is permitted overnight on the square. The request for overnight parking was originally brought to the council by Kim Jackson of Timber Ridge Country Market at the Dec. 20 meeting. Jackson had opened a short term rental above her store at 117 W. Washington Street, and needed a place for guests to park.
Wheeler updated council on the impact study to be done on Highway 69 in relation to the planned train loop at the United Farmers Cooperative. The train loop will accommodate a 110-car grain train, and will see increased truck traffic on Highway 69, primarily from the south and east.
The impact study will assess 10,000 feet out from Osceola , and include all of the Highway 69 corridor through town. Specific intersection points to be looked at will be McLane, Jefferson, Washington, Clay, and Shaw Streets, Townline Road, and Leann Drive. The study will help to address what impacts the increased traffic volume might have on Highway 69, with downtown Osceola being of particular interest.
“We don’t want to create any unintended consequences,” said Wheeler.
The cost of the impact study will fall on the city, who will have the chance to recoup the costs through the development process. The traffic impact study will be conducted by Veenstra and Kimm, and whose services were approved by council 3-0.
Other council items
Council approved 3-0 quotes from Mid-American Pool for pool renovation (20-year surfacing of the pool shell) and Carrico Aquatic Resources for the replacement of Variable Frequency Drives, strainer, and valves. Estimated costs will be $210,960 to Mid-American, and $33,295 to Carrico.
A public hearing has been set for Feb. 7 for the Community Development Block Grant project 20-HSG-021. The project is for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, and will benefit low to moderate income residents.
The next meeting of the Osceola City Council will be Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.; Feb. 7 will also be the monthly mayoral town hall, running from 5 to 6 p.m. The town hall gives citizens a chance to chat one-on-one with Mayor Kedley.
Full minutes of the Jan. 17 meeting can be found on the city’s website, and in the legal section of this newspaper.