Dear Editor,

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors has signed a contract to build a SE Connector to improve accessibility to the business park and to reduce truck traffic on city streets.

Mark has worked with the Economic Development Director, the County Engineer, the business community and the farmers to name a few to bring this about. Each of these spoke at the recent Board of Supervisors meeting in support of this Project. Mark has placed much effort in bring this together without burdensome 28E agreements which are controversial at best.

While other elected officials and the DOT have placed their efforts on a NW Bypass that supports a few, Mark has supported the business community and the jobs they bring. The city benefits greatly from this, too.

Not only does this increase the ability to expand existing businesses but will make the business park more attractive to businesses looking to relocate. The residents of Oskaloosa will also benefit by removing truck traffic in 15th Street. This will also make it safer for our school children by rerouting truck traffic. Why the city has not pushed this instead of choosing to support the NW Bypass is anyone’s guess.

Mark is also working with others exploring a NE Connector as an extension of the SE Connector to help the business community and the farmer to reduce truck traffic out of the city. Funding has been identified, plans are being made. Once the route has been identified, Mark and the other supervisors will be asking the community including the business owners and farmers for their input.

This leaves the question of why should we replace the County Engineer and sign controversial 28E agreements as some candidates of suggested. Are we for progress or are we not?

John Bandstra, Oskaloosa

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