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Doug Lindner

Is the Highway 1 pedestrian crossing being used by young children?

Resident expresses concern to city council

SOLON– The City of Solon is urging local parents to educate their children on the use of the Highway 1 pedestrian crossing.
During the Citizen Speak portion of a March 18 meeting, Solon resident Pam Landgrebe expressed concern to city council members about the number of young children who disregard the pedestrian traffic signal on Highway 1 between Short and First streets.
Landgrebe, a resident of the Windmill Estates subdivision, said she frequently walks in the neighborhood where the pedestrian stoplight is located.

City begins process of reviewing comprehensive plan

SOLON– It’s time to make some changes.
Solon City Council members were introduced last week to the consultants who will help forge the latest version of the city’s comprehensive plan.
Shawn O’Shea and Jim Holz, of MSA Professional Services, were present for the March 18 council meeting to outline the initial steps of updating the comprehensive plan.
The plan serves as a guide for future development decisions and includes demographic information as well as planning recommendations.

Fate of SCSD orchestra pit waiting in the wings

Board continues to work with architect, construction manager to find savings

SOLON– Solon school board members are hoping for the best but planning for the worst.
Board members met again with the district’s architectural firm and construction manager during a March 10 meeting to continue the search for alternates and possible cost savings to bring a $25.5 million bond issue project in on budget.
Preliminary cost estimates indicate the two projects to be funded by the September 2014 bond issue– the construction of a new middle school and a performing arts center addition to the high school– are trending towards the high side.

RAGBRAI returns

Bicycle ride to pass through Solon a week after Beef Days

SOLON– Guess who’s coming to lunch?
About 10,000 bicyclists on their way to Coralville.
The City of Solon has accepted an invitation by the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) to participate as a pass-through town Friday, July 24.
The decision was announced at a Feb. 18 city council meeting during City Administrator Cami Rasmussen’s report.
The 43rd edition of the statewide bicycle race will begin in Sioux City Saturday, July 18, and end in Davenport Saturday, July 25, spanning a route of 462.2 miles.

Boost in pay for Solon mayor and council members?

Increases wouldn’t take effect until 2016

SOLON– City council members and the mayor could receive a 33 percent increase in their pay per meeting beginning next year.
And they could be compensated for attending not only regular city council meetings, but for other meetings as well.
The city’s elected officials gave their informal approval for the raise, which will be drafted into ordinance form and considered at a future meeting.
Solon City Council members currently receive an annual $375 stipend and $30 per meeting. The mayor receives $160 per month and $30 for each special meeting attended.

Back to five members

Council apponts Dale Snipes to replace Ron Herdliska

SOLON– The newest member of the Solon City Council sees himself as an average Joe.
At a Wednesday, Feb. 4, meeting, council members voted to appoint Dale Snipes to the seat vacated by Ron Herdliska, who resigned the post Jan. 1.
Snipes, 57, will serve out the remaining year of Herdliska’s term, but has already indicated he will seek election in November.
With the decision, the council is back to its full complement of five members.

RIP for R1(B)?

City council declines to act on proposed zoning ordinance

SOLON– A proposed zoning ordinance to allow for narrower lot widths and smaller setbacks for single family residences is going nowhere anytime soon.
During their meeting on Feb. 4, Solon City Council members declined to take action on a draft ordinance which would create an R1(B) zoning district.
“I rather feel rushed in making a decision right now,” council member Mark Krall said. “I’m not ready to change things, I guess.”

Construction costs still edging past bond limit

No reason to panic, says project manager

SOLON– Projected costs for a new middle school and performing arts center currently exceed the $25.5 million target set forth in a September bond issue.
But Solon Community School District (SCSD) board members were reluctant to make amenities like a $417,000 orchestra pit an alternate to the project, and representatives of the district’s construction management firm indicated it’s not yet time to hit the panic button.
Board members met with staff from Struxture Architects and Story Construction Jan. 26 during a special session for a progress update on the two major building projects.

Council mulls new residential zoning

Old Mill Creek expansion seeking smaller lot sizes

SOLON– The Solon City Council wasn’t quite sure about adding a new type of residential zoning to its code of ordinances.
Council members tabled the first consideration of an ordinance which would create an R1(B) zoning district to provide for smaller lot sizes in residential developments.
The draft ordinance, presented at the Jan. 21 meeting, came as a result of a joint meeting Nov. 25 between the council, the city’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission and developers of Old Mill Creek Part 3 on the very west edge of town.

Solon will seek waiver

But new 2015-16 school calendar put together just in case

SOLON– Not so fast.
The Solon Community School District’s Board of Education was expected to make a decision on the start and end dates for the 2015-16 school year last Monday.
No decision was made.
Board members tabled the lone action item on the agenda for the Jan. 12 regular session, although Superintendent Sam Miller was instructed to proceed with applying to the Iowa Department of Education for a waiver to start school prior to Sept. 1.

Prentice joins city council

Herdliska resigns to create another opening

SOLON­– Just as quickly as one vacancy was filled, another opened up for the Solon City Council.
The council welcomed new member Mark Prentice, who was appointed at the Jan. 7 regular session to fill the vacancy created when council member Brad Kunkel moved outside the city limits.
At the end of the meeting, it was announced that council member Ron Herdliska had resigned effective Jan. 1.
The city accepted applications from the community to fill Kunkel’s spot, and received four: from Prentice, Dale Snipes, Steve Lee and Kristina Bevans.

Sheriff contract to increase in Solon

Increased patrol hours in the future?

SOLON– The cost of law enforcement for the City of Solon will increase beginning in July.
The city knew the $2-per-hour hike was coming, and has been planning accordingly heading into budget time. In the future, the city may even look at adding to the hours of coverage provided by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO).
Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek made his annual pilgrimage to Solon Jan. 7 to meet with the Solon City Council about the city’s contract for law enforcement services.