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Community

NL council approves smaller lot sizes in office, research park

Downsizing to draw businesses

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY­– North Liberty officials are trying to make it easier for businesses to locate in the city’s available office and research park areas.
The North Liberty City Council, at its Oct. 13 meeting, approved the first reading of a zoning amendment reducing the minimum size of lots for land zoned O/RP (Office/Research Park). Instead of requiring 2-acre lots, zoning officials are requesting to allow 1.5-acres. Lot width would go from a minimum of 200 feet to 150 feet, and allow side yards to be just 20 feet wide instead of 50 feet.

Little pumpkin with a big haul

Presley Russ gets ready for Halloween as she visits Colony Pumpkin Patch during the farm’s Fall Festival Saturday, Oct. 3. The annual event offers family activities, vendors, displays and of course, lots of pumpkin picking. The Colony Pumpkin Patch also has a corn maze, with this year’s proceeds benefitting the North Liberty Community Pantry. For information and more photos from the event, see page A6. (photo by Lori Lindner)

Ronin to speak at CCA Financial Aid and Scholarship night Nov. 5

TIFFIN– On Thursday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m., Clear Creek Amana High School will host its annual Financial Aid and Scholarship night. Ryan Ronin, guest presenter from the Iowa College Access Network, will discuss the FAFSA, Federal Student Loan programs and scholarship searches. High School counselors Mark Hovey and Grant Elsbernd will discuss local scholarships and deadlines. This is an important meeting for junior and senior parents, but is open to anyone wishing to learn about funding their child’s education.

Colony Pumpkin Patch celebrates fall with October festival

An a-maze-ing autumn day

NORTH LIBERTY– The air was crisp, the sun was shining and the pumpkins were blazing with color; a perfect day for a fall festival.
The Colony Pumpkin Patch, at 2780 Front St. NE in North Liberty, celebrated the coming of fall with its annual Fall Festival Oct. 3, inviting the public to enjoy a number of vendors and information booths, free family activities and pick-your-own pumpkins by the pound. The farm also celebrated the fourth year of its family-friendly corn maze.

Oct. 25 Stone Soup Supper, Silent Auction to benefit NL Community Pantry

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty Community Pantry will host its 7th Annual Stone Soup Supper and Silent Auction on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 4-7 p.m. at the South Slope Community Room, 980 N. Front St., North Liberty. The event is sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, and South Slope Cooperative Communications.

School construction still moving forward

Precasts should be completed near the end of the month

SOLON– Construction is progressing on the Solon Middle School and Solon High School Center for the Arts.
Story Construction Project Manager Randy Johnson provided an update on the projects to the Solon Community School District’s Board of Directors at its Oct. 12 meeting.
Up next is the precast work, which Johnson said should be done by the end of October or beginning of November.
“You’ll see a big crane over there, so that’ll be exciting,” he said. “I’m sure the kids will be interested in seeing all that stuff.”

Bur Oak Land Trust Celebration of Autumn fundraiser Oct. 24

SOLON– Bur Oak Land Trust presents the ninth annual “Under a Cider Moon… A Celebration of Autumn” fundraising event on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 5:30–9 p.m. at the Celebration Barn, located at 4045 245th St. NE.
Reservations are required and tickets are $50 ($25 tax deductible).
Come enjoy live and silent auctions, local wines and beer, and hors d’oeuvres while supporting conservation in and around Johnson County.

Solon American Legion to host full breakfast Sunday, Nov. 8

SOLON– The Solon American Legion will host a full breakfast fundraiser for the Legion Color Guard Sunday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Legion.
Legion members will serve eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, hash browns, coffee and juice.
Cost for adults is $8, children $4, and children 12 and under eat free. Members of the Legion, Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion or American Legion Riders who have paid their dues are invited to eat at no charge as the Legion’s guests. All proceeds benefit the Solon American Legion Color Guard.

Solon softball team collecting cans Nov. 1; also selling take-and-bake 

SOLON– The Lady Spartan Softball team is holding a can drive and fall fundraising event. The can drive will be Sunday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. until noon. Drop off your cans at the softball field. The Lady Spartans will also drive around Solon to collect cans. Team members will be selling pans of homemade take-and-bake lasagna and apple crisp, which are great for holiday guests and gatherings. An 8x8 apple crisp pan can be purchased for $12 (take-and-bake) and a 9x13 pan lasagna will be $15 (take-and-bake).

Ely church hosts Czechoslovak Genealogical Society this week

ELY– The First Presbyterian Church near Ely is a special stop for visitors this week. Tour buses filled with attendees of the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International Conference will visit the historical First Presbyterian Church near Ely on Wednesday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. both days.

No contests in November Solon city elections

Stange, Prentice, Snipes to run unopposed

SOLON– There shouldn’t be too many surprises in store for Solon during this year’s city elections.
Mayor Steve Stange and council members Mark Prentice and Dale Snipes are running unopposed in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, election.
All three were appointees to their respective positions, although Stange was elected to his position in the 2014 general election after replacing former mayor Cami Rasmussen in May of 2014.

NL will require builders to obtain licenses

New ordinance passes first reading; changes expected

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– Like electricians and plumbers, North Liberty plans to have general contractors working within the city to be licensed.