Infrastructure issues dominated the Oskaloosa city election candidate forum held at George Daily Auditorium Tuesday night.
Five of 12 candidates invited to the forum attended: Mayor Dave Krutzfeldt; At-large candidates Wyatt Russell, Tom Walling and Scottie Moore; and 3rd Ward candidate Doug Yates. 1st Ward candidate Aaron Ver Steeg was ill and could not attend.
Roads and the regional airport were dominant topics of discussion during the forum.
On the issue of roads, Yates said the city should continue the road improvement program it has followed for the past four years.
“We need to have good roads,” he said.
Russell said Oskaloosa has a nice plan for roads and it should stick to it. The city also needs to look 20 years down the line to think about issue such as linking the proposed northwest bypass to the Lacey Recreation Complex.
Walling said the road study conducted by Iowa State University helped determine which roads to improve and make concrete roadways.
Moore also liked the ISU study and it helped form the five-year road plan. She said a map of Oskaloosa streets is hanging in the City Council Chambers tells the condition of the roads within the city.
The candidates also were asked their views on the proposed regional airport.
Walling said he supports the regional airport.
“Intermodal transportation is a part of Oskaloosa,” he said. “Air transportation is becoming more important to business.”
“I am in favor of the regional airport,” Russell said. He said he would rather risk building the airport and it not create jobs than not to build it and risk losing jobs or potential employers.
“I'm for the regional airport,” Moore said. Air transportation is important to manufacturers, which are the city's major employers.
Yates also said he supports the regional airport. He said the regional airport will not raise taxes. It will help retain jobs and recruit new employers, which would expand the tax base and thus reduce taxes for all.
Krutzfeldt said he favors the regional airport because it is vital for Oskaloosa's future to be a important player in the state economy.
See Thursday's Oskaloosa Herald for a full story on the candidate forum.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org