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      City Council approves city taking over troubled transit authority

      At the Ottumwa City Council meeting Tuesday evening, the council approved an ordinance which essentially placed the Ottumwa Transit Authority under the umbrella of the City of Ottumwa.

      This was essential. The Iowa Department of Transportation had essentially alluded to the city that if this was not done, the contract with Ottumwa Transit Authority might not be renewed at the end of June.

      The council chamber was packed with OTA employees both past and present; none of which commented to the council on the matter. The only person who spoke on this issue, other than members of the council and city administration was Ottumwa Transit Board Chair, Hanna Jo Kyhl.

      I speak for the board in saying; we are committed to providing the highest level of service available to the broad number of people in our service area with keeping in strict compliance with Federal Transit Administration and the Department of Transportation regulations, said Jo Kyhl.

      This is the first step of many which will show that the city and the Ottumwa Transit Authority are serious about repairing what damage was reported in a critical audit by the Iowa State Auditor TMs Office.