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Doug Lindner

Mark Krall steps down effective March 8

Council to appoint replacement

SOLON– Veteran city council member Mark Krall has called it quits nine months shy of completing his term.
The vacancy created by Krall’s resignation will be filled by appointment, and at least one member of the public is interested.
Lauren Whitehead, a resident of 4th Street, volunteered for the position during the March 15 council meeting where Krall’s successor was discussed.

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Ely to Solon trail back on the map

Hoover trail link construction hopeful for fall

SOLON– Brad Friedhof hoped he’d have better news to deliver.
Friedhof, conservation program manager for the Johnson County Conservation Board, appeared before the Solon City Council March 1 to provide an update on the extension of the Hoover Trail from Ely to Solon.
“I wished I’d be here with a construction update,” Friedhof told council members, “but I’m not.”
The project, a 5.8-mile section of the Hoover Trail between Solon and Ely, was waylaid in 2016 by the permitting process, Friedhof said.

Parking Pending, 121 on Main site plan approved

Developer proposes wait and see approach on additional lot

SOLON– They’re going to work on the parking details.
The Solon City Council approved a site plan for 121 on Main, a proposed Main Street development, but made the action conditional on an agreement for off-street parking.
Possible solutions were presented at a March 1 council meeting, but none came near to meeting the minimum 52 parking spaces the city’s ordinances would require.

Developer balks at request for paved trail

Plan for Old Mill Creek park space to be worked out

SOLON– Everyone was apparently surprised.
Developer Cory Hodapp was surprised to find out he was expected to pay for an emergency siren and a paved trail around a detention pond in the third addition of the Old Mill Creek subdivision.
City Administrator Cami Rasmussen went him one better.
“If it’s a surprise to Cory, then I’m surprised that it’s a surprise,” Rasmussen said during a March 1 Solon City Council meeting.
It was all part of a lengthy discussion surrounding the consideration of a developer’s agreement for a new phase of the residential subdivision on the city’s western edge.

Trump’s war with the media hits home

not so much

I was listening to National Public Radio’s “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook last week and he was talking on air with a Donald Trump supporter.
The Trump supporter said (and I’m paraphrasing here) he was happy President Trump was taking it to “you people” in the media.
Ashbrook disagreed politely with the caller, suggesting he respected the man’s opinion but did not feel separated from other Americans because he was a journalist.
Donald Trump’s war with the media hits close to home for me.

City to contract for Main Street concept

wrestlers on top

SOLON– Main Street will be the focus of a new concept plan authorized by the Solon City Council Feb. 1.
Council members voted to approve a contract with MSA Professional Services to oversee a downtown visioning project for just over $7,000.
It’s not the Downtown Master Plan which council members have called for in the last year, but it’s another step closer.

City mulls impact of TIF rebate for Main Street project

HPR applies for $350,00 to help build “121 on Main”

SOLON– They didn’t say yes, but they didn’t say no.
At a regular meeting Feb. 1, members of the Solon City Council directed City Administrator Cami Rasmussen to project the impact of between $125,000 and $200,000 in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) rebates over the span of five budget years for a proposed Main Street development.
The move was in response to a TIF application by HPR Investments LLC seeking $350,000, or 10 percent of the $3.5 million project cost, in assistance for “121 on Main,” a mixed-use two-story building slated to replace three Main Street residences.

Cost of recycling to increase for Solon residents

Johnson County Refuse asks for help with transportation costs

SOLON– Council members are in it for the longer haul.
The members of the Solon City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance increasing the monthly recycling fee from $5.50 to $6.35 at a special meeting Jan. 25.
Sixty cents of the jump in price is due to the trucking of recyclables from Johnson County to Scott County, according to Johnson County Refuse owner Steve Smith.
Smith told council members at a Jan. 11 special meeting his local market for recyclables had changed dramatically in the last 18 months.

Lions hunt members

Scott Kleppe elected charter president of new service club

SOLON– Solon will soon be appointing a new lion tamer.
With the motto “We serve,” Lions Club International is poised to help over 30 local charter members create the Solon Centennial Lions Club.
Lions Club organizers visited Solon in mid-January to gauge interest in a new service organization, and on Friday, Jan. 20, the group’s first formal meeting was held at Solon City Hall.
“The response in this community has been fantastic,” said District Governor Paul Hain of Lone Tree, a 43-year member of the Lions. “None of you knew we were coming. We have been welcomed very warmly.”

Neighbors air Main Street parking concerns

Council passes first reading to rezone mayor’s house

SOLON– The rezoning of 131 W. Main St. was the agenda item.
But the discussion was about downtown parking.
Solon’s city council approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the zoning of Mayor Steve Stange’s residence from residential to commercial at a meeting Jan. 18.
During a public hearing on the request, neighbors took the opportunity to vent their feelings regarding parking on their end of Main Street.
“Big Grove takes over this whole area on the weekend, absolutely, without a doubt,” said D.R. Miller of 131 W. Main St.

Council votes down Lofts plan

Lack of parking, terse words derail site plan

SOLON– That ended badly.
The site plan for a proposal to rehabilitate the former St. Mary Catholic Church auditorium went down in flames when discussions over parking requirements devolved at a Solon City Council meeting Jan. 11.
For nearly 45 minutes, city officials and Bill Wittig, representing Prairie Equity Group, LLC, went back and forth on the need for off-street parking to accommodate potential first- and second-floor commercial tenants of the building.

City budgeting for 3% COLA

Public Works seeks to add position

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– After some lean years, the City of Solon is going to try and make up some lost ground for its employees.
At a Jan. 4 meeting, council members directed City Administrator Cami Rasmussen to include a 3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for city staff in the upcoming fiscal year budget.
In addition, council members and Mayor Steve Stange spoke in favor of an added full-time position requested by Public Works Director Scott Kleppe for his department, and began planning for a future city hall staffer.