Tri States Public Radio Staff
Grand Avenue, Recreation, Business Expansion
Mon January 16, 2012
Keokuk to consider street project, recreation opportunities.
Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says the city council needs to reach a decision, soon, on whether to rebuild about 12 blocks of Grand Avenue.
He says the design work is complete so the next step is to put the project out for bid so work could begin this year.
Marion says moving ahead with Grand Avenue will not impact the surfacing of several streets around Wells-Carey Elementary School.
These streets have been gravel for more than a year to allow some subterranean sewer work to settle.
Keokuk borrowed about $3-million to rebuild Grand Avenue several years ago.
When the bids came in high, the city council chose to repay the money and put the project on hold.
Marion says Grand Avenue will come up during budget negotiations, which are now underway.
One member of the Keokuk City Council wants to see a few recreational opportunities discussed during budget workshops.
The city has been approached on several occasions about expanding the skate park in Tolmie Park.
1st Ward Alderman Mike O’Connor wants to put the idea back on the table.
“I know that we don’t have a lot of money,” says O’Connor, “but something like that could be done incrementally.”
O’Connor says the city could approach local contractors for assistance in adding new concrete structures.
He would also like to see the city council look into establishing a dog park.
O’Connor says some potential locations are Rees Park and Kaiser Park.
The Keokuk City Council could help a local business looking to relocate and expand.
The council received a request to rezone Faith Family Church for heavy industrial use.
Saint Louis Gear Company needs the change to finalize a purchase agreement.
President Dan Hodges says his company needs more space.
He says once the sale is complete, Saint Louis Gear would gain access to about 10,000 square feet of space.
Hodges says an additional 60,000 square feet would open up once the church finds a new home.
He says the initial space could lead to the creation of four-to-five new jobs… with the eventual relocation of his plant creating several dozen more.
The rezoning request must go to the City Planning Commission before the city council can vote on it.