Keokuk Board Wants Change To Armory Plans

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk Board of Adjustment wants the Iowa National Guard to change construction plans at its armory. The decision comes even with work underway.

The Iowa National Guard is building a parking lot at its facility. The organization also wants to construct a chain link fence with barbed wire along the top.

Curt Hora with the Iowa National Guard says the construction is a requirement for housing military vehicles. He says the projects meet the minimum specifications required by the Department of Defense.

During the Board of Adjustment's review of the construction plans, the height of the fence was discussed. The panel says the chain-link portion of the fence must be eight foot, which is two feet higher than what the Iowa National Guard proposed.

Board of Adjustment member Chuck Mitchell says it comes down to safety. He says it would be too easy for someone to get their hand stuck in the barbed wire if it is just six feet off the ground.

The board did approve the special use construction permit for the parking lot and fence, with the height requirement. Hora said, after the meeting, that the issue is not over in the eyes of the National Guard.

Hora says more facts need to be presented as to why the fence must be eight feet high and that the organization plans to stick with the current plans for the fence.

Challenges to a ruling by the Keokuk Board of Adjustment must be made in court.

Additional Rulings
The Keokuk Board of Adjustment also granted special use permits for two other projects during its July 29 meeting.

The Keokuk School District will be able to move forward with the construction of a new 68 space parking lot and a new entrance at Hawthorne Elementary School. The Keokuk Municipal Waterworks will also be able to increase the size of its proposed west-side water tower to up to 4-million gallons.