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News

$37 million in TIF debt

NL files annual report with state

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– As per Iowa’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) law reforms, cities are required to file a comprehensive report each year outlining their TIF obligations, TIF revenues and how they spend them.
The City of North Liberty just filed its 2013 report, which indicates the city has $37,159,359 in outstanding TIF debt. That amount is down from the previous year, when North Liberty reported a total of $44,598,591 in outstanding TIF debt.

Earth moved for new playground location

City not waiting for permission to divert FEMA funds

SOLON– It’s time to put Randall Park back together.
At last week’s meeting, members of the Solon City Council voted to finance the relocation of playground equipment at Randall Park with the expectation that federal funds will cover much of the cost.
The park has been inactive most of the year after spring floods wiped out the sand volleyball court and scoured away playground surfaces.

Still unhappy with Main St.

Contractors, city can’t agree on compromise

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist

SOLON– Things are not going swimmingly between the City of Solon and its contractors for the 2012 Main Street improvement project.
The city is not satisfied with the asphalt paving portion of the project and has sought an independent evaluation. The contractors have argued the job was delayed by Beef Days, pushing the paving into cooler months, and that the work met the requirements of the contract.

Swenka files cross-claim against CCA

By Lori Lindner
and Chris Umscheid

IOWA CITY– Zachary Lee Swenka of North Liberty has filed a cross claim against the Clear Creek Amana Community School District (CCACSD) as part of the lawsuit brought against him by an Oxford couple.
The parties were involved in a vehicle accident in October 2011, which resulted in a fatality.

Supervisors skeptical about social host ordinance

By Chris Umscheid
Solon Economist

IOWA CITY– They agree there is a problem with underage drinking and house parties or other gatherings where alcohol is consumed illegally. How to address it, however, is something the Johnson County Board of Supervisors isn’t sure about.

South Slope workers allowed back on job

Cooperative and union workers continue to negotiate

By Lori Lindner
Solon Economist

NORTH LIBERTY– Fifty-five contract employees of South Slope Cooperative Communications who were unable to work Friday, Nov. 1., due to an expired contract, were allowed to return to work Monday morning.

It’s on at CCA

School board okays February special election

By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader

OXFORD– Voters in the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district will decide on Feb. 4, 2014, whether or not to allow the district to issue $48 million in bonds for construction and renovation projects.
Board president Steve Swenka accepted petitions bearing a total of 437 signatures calling for the special election during the board’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.

One-man mission of love

Local veteran seeks to help others battle PTSD

CEDAR RAPIDS– “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
It’s a quote of uncertain origin, but there is no uncertainty about whom it was said.

School releases facilities report

Board members mull over future buildings

By Eric Hawkinson
Solon Economist

SOLON– You might want to think about replacing that middle school.
The Solon school board discussed its options for the district’s facility plan on Monday, Oct. 21. While the board did not finalize any course of action, members appeared in agreement about a consultant’s recommendations and the overall phasing of significant projects, including the addition of a large-enough auditorium at the high school.

POWs: Every day a blessing

Former POWs share true accounts with Solon students at luncheon

By Eric Hawkinson
Solon Economist

SOLON– The students at Solon High School witnessed history as former prisoners of war told them their harrowing accounts of survival during World War II. It was part of Solon High School’s annual POW/MIA ceremonial luncheon Sept. 20, which honored veterans and POWs Asher Schroeder, 88, and Leland Chandler, 90, as well as those not fortunate enough to have made it home safe.
“Every day is a blessing for me,” said Chandler as he addressed the students. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my wife, and the good Lord.”

A happy haunting on Walnut Street

NORTH LIBERTY– Halloween spirit is everywhere at 32 W. Walnut St. in North Liberty; in the bushes, on the lawn and dangling from the trees, in fact.
Jake McCusker really gets into the holiday. He grew up in Ottumwa, in an area of town that traditionally went all out with Halloween decorating.
“Everybody decorated for Halloween,” Jake said. “Subdivisions would even do themes. Everyone had their porch lights on for trick-or-treating. It was like Halloween Town.”

Will the City of Tiffin taketh away?

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader

TIFFIN– Will it really take drastic measures like condemning church property to complete Ireland Avenue through Tiffin?
Perhaps, if the city council continues to engage in verbal sparring matches that bring more delays instead of decisions.
Then again, an answer might come as quickly as tonight.