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Doug Lindner

Trump’s war with the media hits home

not so much

I was listening to National Public Radio’s “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook last week and he was talking on air with a Donald Trump supporter.
The Trump supporter said (and I’m paraphrasing here) he was happy President Trump was taking it to “you people” in the media.
Ashbrook disagreed politely with the caller, suggesting he respected the man’s opinion but did not feel separated from other Americans because he was a journalist.
Donald Trump’s war with the media hits close to home for me.

City to contract for Main Street concept

wrestlers on top

SOLON– Main Street will be the focus of a new concept plan authorized by the Solon City Council Feb. 1.
Council members voted to approve a contract with MSA Professional Services to oversee a downtown visioning project for just over $7,000.
It’s not the Downtown Master Plan which council members have called for in the last year, but it’s another step closer.

City mulls impact of TIF rebate for Main Street project

HPR applies for $350,00 to help build “121 on Main”

SOLON– They didn’t say yes, but they didn’t say no.
At a regular meeting Feb. 1, members of the Solon City Council directed City Administrator Cami Rasmussen to project the impact of between $125,000 and $200,000 in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) rebates over the span of five budget years for a proposed Main Street development.
The move was in response to a TIF application by HPR Investments LLC seeking $350,000, or 10 percent of the $3.5 million project cost, in assistance for “121 on Main,” a mixed-use two-story building slated to replace three Main Street residences.

Cost of recycling to increase for Solon residents

Johnson County Refuse asks for help with transportation costs

SOLON– Council members are in it for the longer haul.
The members of the Solon City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance increasing the monthly recycling fee from $5.50 to $6.35 at a special meeting Jan. 25.
Sixty cents of the jump in price is due to the trucking of recyclables from Johnson County to Scott County, according to Johnson County Refuse owner Steve Smith.
Smith told council members at a Jan. 11 special meeting his local market for recyclables had changed dramatically in the last 18 months.

Lions hunt members

Scott Kleppe elected charter president of new service club

SOLON– Solon will soon be appointing a new lion tamer.
With the motto “We serve,” Lions Club International is poised to help over 30 local charter members create the Solon Centennial Lions Club.
Lions Club organizers visited Solon in mid-January to gauge interest in a new service organization, and on Friday, Jan. 20, the group’s first formal meeting was held at Solon City Hall.
“The response in this community has been fantastic,” said District Governor Paul Hain of Lone Tree, a 43-year member of the Lions. “None of you knew we were coming. We have been welcomed very warmly.”

Neighbors air Main Street parking concerns

Council passes first reading to rezone mayor’s house

SOLON– The rezoning of 131 W. Main St. was the agenda item.
But the discussion was about downtown parking.
Solon’s city council approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the zoning of Mayor Steve Stange’s residence from residential to commercial at a meeting Jan. 18.
During a public hearing on the request, neighbors took the opportunity to vent their feelings regarding parking on their end of Main Street.
“Big Grove takes over this whole area on the weekend, absolutely, without a doubt,” said D.R. Miller of 131 W. Main St.

City budgeting for 3% COLA

Public Works seeks to add position

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– After some lean years, the City of Solon is going to try and make up some lost ground for its employees.
At a Jan. 4 meeting, council members directed City Administrator Cami Rasmussen to include a 3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for city staff in the upcoming fiscal year budget.
In addition, council members and Mayor Steve Stange spoke in favor of an added full-time position requested by Public Works Director Scott Kleppe for his department, and began planning for a future city hall staffer.

The shape of things to come

Big projects prioritized ahead of budget work

SOLON– Stinocher Street needs rebuilding, it’s time to construct the North Trunk sewer line, and that traffic signal at Highway 1 and Main Street has worked so well another one at 5th Street would be really nice.
At a special work session Dec. 14, Solon City Council members overhauled their Capital Improvements List (CIP) in advance of January budget sessions. The ranked list of pending projects for the city is reviewed annually, but given a comprehensive rewriting every five years, with the last major update in 2011.

Main Street moving west

Council approves concept plan for new downtown project

SOLON– Main Street may be growing.
Solon City Council members gave an informal thumbs up for a plan to replace three residences on the downtown area’s west end with a two-story mixed-use building.
At a Dec. 21 council meeting, local developers Jim Hauer, Mark Pattison and Brad Randall, doing business as HPR Investments, presented their proposal for lower level commercial space with upper level residential condos on the south side of Main Street, west of Big Grove Brewery.

Concept plan for former auditorium approved

Developers reduce number of apartments, add office space

SOLON– A plan to renovate the former St. Mary Catholic Church auditorium into a mix of commercial and residential uses has been approved by the Solon City Council.
Council members voted 4-0 in favor of a revised concept plan for Solon Lofts and Commons at a special meeting Dec. 14, but included a requirement that developers work with the city’s engineer and building inspector to follow the appropriate building codes for varied commercial uses.

SCSD moving forward with fourth building

District hopes to brainstorm uses for current middle school

SOLON– The Solon Community School District’s (SCSD) fourth attendance center will be a $9.5 million project initially housing up to seven sections of fourth and fifth grade students.
The concept plan for the intermediate school was presented to the Solon City Council during a Dec. 7 meeting, and city and school officials are expected to hammer out details regarding the impact to water, sewer and roads over the coming months.
According to SCSD Superintendent Davis Eidahl, bids for the 44,225-square-foot building will be taken in January, with completion in the fall of 2018.

Cost of sheriff’s contract to increase

Pulkrabek makes annual visit to city council

SOLON– The cost of the city’s contract with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) is going up by about $3,500.
The sheriff’s office currently provides 34 hours of weekly law enforcement to the City of Solon at a cost of $41 per hour. That hourly cost will increase $2 an hour, to $43, beginning in July 2017.
It was not unexpected news.
The sheriff’s office instituted a policy of increasing its hourly rates every other year and, with that understanding, the city upped the number of contract hours from 32 to 34 last year.