Eggs and Issues

Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfedlt listens as Mahaska County Board of Supervisors chair Mark Groenendyk answers a question from the crowd at the first Eggs and Issues forum of the year Jan. 8.

OSKALOOSA — A slew of involved citizens gathered Saturday morning at Smokey Row to learn more about local issues and government from panelists Dave Krutzfeldt, Oskaloosa Mayor, and Mark Groenendyk, Mahaska County Board of Supervisors Chair.

The Jan. 8 forum was the first of a six-part Eggs and Issues Series put on by the Mahaska Chamber and Development Group.

“The goal of the Chamber is to improve the economic and social welfare of Mahaska County and this is one of the things that we do,” board member Calvin Bandstra said.

There were several hot topics of discussion, and many of which went back to the same general idea of attracting more people back to Oskaloosa.

“Oskaloosa, it’s fine. We grow our kids and they have a great life growing up, they have many good memories and then they move,” Krutzfeldt said. “They talk about the great time they had in their childhood and the wonderful experiences they had, but now they’re gonna go chase the bright lights and the big paychecks. What we need to be able to do is say ‘how would you like your kids to have the same sorts of experiences you did?’ To do that, we need to have the type of amenities that draw people back to Oskaloosa.”

The City accomplished a lot in 2021, but there is still a ways to go.

Krutzfeldt noted the completion of the Early Childhood Education Center, as well as work done on the new YMCA, as important draws to the community. In 2022, the removal of the old playground equipment and addition of a new, accessible playground is set to further improve the community.

Krutzfedlt also gave a brief update on the city’s comprehensive plan. The current plan was last updated in 2000 and City officials are looking to put together an updated plan this year.

A community roundtable will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 26 in Penn Central Mall where residents will be able to give input to local leaders about the comprehensive plan. The plan will serve as a guide for development policy as well as a vision for the city’s future.

Learn more about Oskaloosa’s comprehensive plan at https://bit.ly/PlanOsky.

Also brought up in discussion was the upcoming A Avenue construction project which will include a conversion to a three-lane road with a left turn lane.

“The reason for doing that has to do with the accident statistics that were being brought to our attention by the Department of Transportation,” Krutzfedlt said.

A traffic signal at the intersection of C Avenue and Market Street will also be added.

Multiple community members took the opportunity to ask questions that weren’t otherwise covered in discussion. Those that were unable to make it out Saturday can attend on of the remaining Eggs and Issues forums.

Remaining forums in the series will be

- Jan. 22 with Senator Rozenboom, Representative Hite and Representative Brink

- Feb. 12 with Indian Hills Community College and William Penn University 

- Feb. 26 with Senator Rozenboom, Representative Hite and Representative Brink 

- March 12 with Schools, Mahaska Health, EMA, Police & Sheriff

- March 26 with Senator Rozenboom, Representative Hite and Representative Brink

Shannon Rabotski can be reached at srabotski@oskyherald.com.

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