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City of Ottumwa, Legacy Foundation Win Recognition for Planning Effort 

The City of Ottumwa and the Ottumwa Legacy Foundation received the Daniel A. Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan at the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter Conference on October 13-15, 2021. 

Each year, the American Planning Association Iowa Chapter gives the award to one plan that advances the science and art of planning. A jury of Nebraska planning professionals selected the Our Ottumwa 2040 Comprehensive Plan for recognition. Although plans and projects are eligible for awards for three years after they are completed, the Ottumwa plan was selected in its first year of eligibility. Community Development Director Zach Simonson says that speaks way the City and its partners have followed through on implementing the plan. “A project is eligible for three years,” said Simonson, “because the jury wants to see whether this is a document that will sit on a shelf or whether it is something we’re committed to using every day. With the upcoming housing study, the parks and airport planning projects and the Cobblestone Hotel at Bridge View, we can show we’re moving toward making these things happen.” 

Confluence, a Des Moines-based planning and landscape architecture firm, served as consultants on the plan. The Our Ottumwa plan was completed with support from the Ottumwa Legacy Foundation. “It was great to be a part of such a collaborative planning process,” said Foundation President Kelly Genners. “We saw the comprehensive plan as an opportunity to bring the community together to develop a roadmap for future progress in Ottumwa.”

The award comes during Community Planning Month. Every October, communities across the country acknowledge Community Planning Month as an opportunity to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments made by city planning staff, elected officials, volunteer members of boards and commissions, regional planners, economic development partners and the general public. At the October 19, 2021, City Council meeting, the Mayor will issue a proclamation for Community Planning Month. 


Story courtesy of of Zach Simonson, Community Development Director, City of Ottumwa