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News

New software program approved for water, wastewater

Council authorizes $19,000 for start-up and subscription

SOLON– Dave Richards placed a huge three-ring binder stuffed full of pages onto the table.
“That’s 2018 just for the sewer plant,” Richards explained.
Inside the binder were the monthly reports for Solon’s wastewater treatment facility, which Richards oversees.
The stack of reports was on display at an Oct. 4 city council meeting where Solon Public Works Director Scott Kleppe proposed a new cloud-based software program, WaterTrax, to reduce the time his employees spend managing reporting requirements.

Teen motivates Iowa City area climate activists

IOWA CITY– Swedish teen Greta Thunberg urged 3,000 climate advocates in downtown Iowa City to take on the worldwide crisis… before it is too late.
She shared a makeshift stage at Dubuque and Iowa Streets with local students who have been “climate striking” each Friday for months. The 16-year-old has made international headlines over the last couple months, including her solar-powered boat voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the United Nations climate summit a couple weeks ago.

Dungeons and Dragons, anyone?

Kurth hopes to develop new adult programs for library

SOLON– Solon is a lot like home for Alexis Kurth.
Kurth, the new adult services coordinator for the Solon Public Library, grew up in XXXX, Ore., a small town south of Portland.
“It’s actually very similar to Solon in a lot of ways,” she said, except XXXXX has a hop festival instead of Beef Days. “It was very much the same feeling when I went to Beef Days as it was being a kid at the Hop Festival, so that was pretty cool.”

Solon Fire Department to 'Battery Up' Oct. 5

Free program offered in Solon

SOLON– The Solon Fire Department urges families in Solon to install and maintain working smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms save lives every day across the country.
And the department members are ready to help.
From 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, the Solon Fire Department will conduct a free “Battery Up” campaign offering in-home fire prevention to residents in need of assistance.

A brush with sunset

Pinterest partiers paint with Westcot

SOLON– The sun trailed slowly into the west, illuminating a tall tree.
And there was Lianne Westcot’s subject.
Westcot, a local artist, had her easel and paints set up in front of the large windows in the Solon Public Library’s reading area. A group of women were gathered around her Sept. 18 as part of the library’s latest Pinterest Party– a crash course on plein air (outdoor) painting.
Westcot is a member of the Iowa Plein Air Painters, a group of four-to-eight regular Solonites who paint every Sunday at a variety of outdoor locations, announced each week on the group’s Facebook page.

Solon High School 2019 Homecoming Court

It’s Homecoming this week for Solon High School, and the Homecoming Court gathered outside the school Friday for the traditional group shot. This year, the court includes: (front) Peyton Sands, Aira Foster, Gabbi Bullard, Ella Duster, Hannah Bock and (not pictured) Khaylor Fleck; (back) Dillon Jeworrek, Seamus Poynton, Michael Broghammer, A.J. Coons, Nolan Pattison, Joe Hickman and Joe Stahle. The king will be announced at the conclusion of the Homecoming Parade, with the queen named during halftime of the varsity football game Friday night against the Fort Madison Bloodhounds.

Antiques, muscles and classics fill downtown Swisher

Swisher Men’s Club Car Show celebrates the horseless carriage

SWISHER– The streets of downtown Swisher filled with a variety of antique, classic, and other custom cars, trucks, and motorcycles on Saturday, Sept. 14, as the Swisher Men’s Club held its ninth annual Car Show.

Warren tours NL’s Golfview Mobile Home Park

Democrat presidential candidate rails against private investment firms putting profits first

NORTH LIBERTY– Earlier this year residents of the Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty found out via a letter the park had been sold, and the new owners were going to increase the lot rent by 58 percent (from $284/month to $450). Havenpark Capital, a Utah-based investment firm also purchased Midwest Country Estates in Waukee, Sunrise Village Mobile Home Park in Iowa City and West Branch Village in West Branch. Havenpark Capital raised those rents from 69 percent (Waukee) to 28 percent (Sunrise).

Hoover Trail coming together

All but Ely Road underpass done this year

SOLON– It’s close.
Oh, so close.
The Hoover Trail link between Solon and Ely will be mostly filled in yet this year, with only the Ely Road underpass to construct in 2020.
A gravel, at-grade crossing is in place at the underpass site north of 140th Street providing access to the entire trail, according to Brad Friedhof, program manager for the Johnson County Conservation Board.
But there are still small stretches of concrete to pour between Polk Avenue and Ely Road along Highway 382 near Solon.

Angry, and fighting back

Johnson County’s agricultural community voices opposition to proposed Unified Development Ordinance

IOWA CITY– Former Johnson County Supervisor Pat Harney didn’t mince his words when he described the sections of a proposed Unified Development Ordinances relating to agriculture.

Bicycles hijack capital improvements list

Council work session focuses on connecting Main Street with trail

SOLON– Getting bicyclists safely downtown quickly jumped to the top of the list.
The Solon City Council revisited its capital improvement program (CIP) at a Sept. 4 meeting, and extending the Hoover Trail from its head at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) to Main Street dominated the conversation.
The CIP is a list of ranked projects, with estimated costs and projected scheduling used to help plan for short- and long-term municipal upgrades.

New playground equipment for Fox Ridge park

SOLON– Thanks to donations from the Solon school district and the FORE Solon Committee, the city is beefing up its playgrounds.
The immediate impact has been at Fox Ridge Park, although improvements are planned for next year at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA), according to Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“This has always been a long range plan to improve something over on this east side of Highway 1,” he explained.