Friday, June 16, 2017

Fly Iowa is on city's radar

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Regional Airport is going to be a very busy place this August, and the city is preparing to help.

Ottumwa was selected last year for Fly Iowa’s annual fly-in. It’s the 25th anniversary for the event, which is sponsored by the Iowa Aviation Promotion Group. The organization uses Fly Iowa to help increase interest in flying.

The Ottumwa Noon Lions are tentatively scheduled to host breakfasts beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 27. Flight kicks off each day with model airplanes, but these will be a bit different than the ones you may have used as a kid. These are jets. A similar event last year with model jet airplanes drew considerable interest.

After the models finish, the real thing gets to take off. An air show is scheduled for 1 p.m. each day. Four nationally-known stunt pilots are scheduled, and they’ll be flying a range of airplanes during the shows. A pilots' dinner, entertainment and a beer garden wrap up the evening Saturday.

With all that happening, it’s not a surprise the city is getting involved. City staff will provide some in-kind support, and the city plans to get a liquor license and insurance for the event.

Those steps require council approval, though. That’s why the fly-in is on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

A more down-to-earth concern on the agenda is a contract for the city’s bridge inspection program. There are more bridges that fall under the program in Ottumwa than most people realize — 19 in all. The state requires inspection of the bridges every two years.

The contract covers 2017 and 2018. Four bridges are scheduled for inspection this year, and 12 more next year. The three pedestrian bridges also fall under the 2018 schedule.

City staff propose that Calhoun-Burns & Associates, Inc., conduct the inspections. The work is more detailed than a visual check for problems. The company will be responsible for updating the calculations for load limits, if necessary, and updating the scour evaluations if that is needed.

Completing the inspections is required for Ottumwa to maintain access to some funding sources and remain in compliance with the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at city hall.

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