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Keokuk Denies Street Sale

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk will not be selling a small piece of land near the Hoerner YMCA.

The Keokuk City Council voted down a proposal to vacate a portion of Decatur Street during its Oct. 15 meeting. The final vote was 3-2.

The measure was defeated because a majority of the entire council is needed to approve a measure, not a majority of those present. The first reading of the street vacation ordinance was approved just two weeks earlier.

1st Ward Alderman Mike O'Connor voted against the street vacation.

"If we take any property," says O'Connor, "it must be done for the greater good. In this particular case, we are diminishing the value of the property of the YMCA and we are doing it solely to the benefit of a single citizen."

2nd Ward Alderman Scott Nichols supported the street vacation.

"Are we going to set a precedent," says Nichols, "that every time we have a citizen who wants to purchase city property and another party comes in and says don't vacate or sell the land because I may want to buy it in the future.' We could have that evertime."

Mark Ruffcorn approached the city, weeks ago, about vacating the street so he could build on the land he has maintained for more than a decade. The YMCA opposed the street vacation because it could lose emergency response access to its athletic fields.

In Other Action
The Keokuk City Council
- approved a 10-year contract with LCL Farms ($97,440) for biosolids management.
- approved the creation of the Rand Park Pavilion Commission and appointed Mae Conn, Kirk Brandenberger, Chuck Betts, Jim Hopkins, and Ellen Norman to the panel.