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News

Can you hear me now?

Tiffin seeks public input on proposed cell phone tower

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– The City of Tiffin has a new water tower, and a cellular service provider would like to take advantage of it. The city, however, is not saying yes or no until they connect with the public.
The Tiffin City Council will hold a public information meeting Jan. 8, 2014, in order to gain citizen input on whether or not to enter into an agreement to rent space atop the town’s new water tower for cellular antenna equipment.

The Dock asks for a second date

SOLON– The owners of the Dock want you to take a second look.
John and Kristen Ahlf opened the restaurant at 101 Windflower Ln., in June with the intent of providing a dining experience to satisfy the most refined tastes.
“The reviews were about 60-40,” said John Ahlf, referring to the comments several early customers posted online; sixty percent being positive, and the rest, not so much. “We read every single comment, good and bad.”
That’s what inspired the Ahlfs to make changes to the restaurant’s décor, menu and staff.

ICCSD discusses changes that expedite new elementary

By Alex Kline
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District (ICCDS) Board of Directors met on Tuesday, Nov. 26, to discuss adjustments to the facilities master plan in a work session. Updates to the plan will be presented to the board and voted on at the board’s Dec. 10 meeting.
The biggest update to the plan was to accelerate the building of a new north elementary school by one year. The changes call for the new elementary to be open by 2019.

NL council approves design contract for eastward expansion of sewer, water

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty is preparing to take its first steps eastward.
In its Nov. 26 meeting, the North Liberty City Council approved a $155,000 contract with Fox Engineering to create preliminary designs for expanding water and sanitary sewer services to the city’s designated growth area east of the current city limits.

$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.