Keokuk Likely To Vacate Street

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council is expected to sell some land, near the Horner YMCA, to the highest bidder.

Mark Ruffcorn lives on Burke Street. He would like the city to vacate a piece of land, next to his property, and sell it to him.

The land was originally platted to be part of Decatur Street, but construction never took place. Ruffcorn says he has been mowing the property for years and would like the opportunity to improve it.

The proposal has received the backing of Keokuk's Planning Commission. Some opposition, though, has surfaced.

The YMCA has concerns about losing access to its athletic fields. The organization says several neighbors have also expressed concerns, in private, to its administrators.

At-Large Alderman Doug Matlick says that is why the council should vacate the land and sell it. He says that would be fair to all parties because everyone involved would have a chance to buy the property if they really want it.

Community Development Director Pam Broomhall says, if no opposition had come forward, the property would likely be sold to an interested party for about $1,600.

The Keokuk City Council tabled a decision, earlier this month, on the street vacation. The panel is now expected to give up control of the land, in early October, and start the public bidding process.

The Keokuk City Council also
- learned that the Keokuk Farmer's Market plans to add new signs to showcase its location.
- found out that street repairs on Carbide Lane could cost an additional $6,000 because of the condition of the street.
- heard about noise complaints from a recent concert on Main Street. The owner of L-Treyns, which has hosted 9 performances this summer, says he is working on solutions for preventing future noise complaints.
- heard that Alderwoman Susan Dunek would like the council to use an upcoming workshop to come up with topics that the new Keokuk City Council should focus on.