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Doug Lindner

City, developer discuss affordable housing options

Council still not sold on 60-foot lots

SOLON– Maybe later.
The members of the Solon City Council aren’t opposed to the idea of allowing reduced-width lots in single-family residential areas, but they want to wait until the city’s comprehensive plan is updated before moving forward.
That message was relayed to developer Corey Hodapp at a July 1 council meeting when the subject of a possible R1(B) zoning district was again discussed.

Second well in need of shock therapy

Council authorizes cost of treatment

SOLON– Solon hasn’t had the best of luck with its city wells.
So it might just start planning for bad luck.
In an attempt to get the municipal water supply back to full strength prior to painting the water tower, city council members last week authorized a $15,650 chemical treatment for city well No. 2.

Lake Macbride State Park beach to close daily at 6 p.m.

Recent fights, rowdy behavior prompt action by DNR officials

SOLON– The beach at Lake Macbride State Park will be closing daily at 6 p.m. until further notice.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced last week the new hours would take effect Friday, June 19.
The reduced hours come in the wake of two large fights that occurred at the beach Monday, June 8, and Sunday, June 14.
According to DNR Public Information Officer Kevin Baskins, Sunday’s incident apparently started at about 6 p.m. between two men in the beach restroom. The altercation spilled out onto the grass outside where 15 to 20 people became involved.

Solon council extends interim administrator

Rasmussen to stay at least until August

SOLON– The Solon City Council needed more time.
Back in April 2014, council members approved a one-year contract for Cami Rasmussen to serve as city administrator, with the idea of eventually finding a long-term candidate for the post. Rasmussen stepped down from her job as mayor to assume the position, which was vacated by Cassandra Lippincott.
But the city has yet to interview a candidate for the permanent position, and Rasmussen’s year was set to expire April 28.
At a brief special session April 22, council members approved extending her contract to Aug. 1.

City to consider utility vehicle ordinance

Council members concerned about enforcement

SOLON– Despite concerns over enforcement, Solon City Council members voted last week to move ahead with drafting an ordinance to allow utility vehicles on city streets.
Council member Casey Grover introduced the subject during the April 15 regular session, saying residents had approached him with the idea. He presented the council with a sample ordinance from the city of Knoxville, and reported the community of about 7,000 located southeast of Des Moines has not had significant issues with its enactment.

District to save money on earthwork, and it’ll need it

Firmer figures put costs $3 million over $25.5 million bond amount

SOLON– They can move the dirt, but they can’t lay any pavement.
The Solon Community School District Board of Education approved an $833,000 bid from Peterson Contractors Inc. (PCI) of Reinbeck for excavation and earthwork in connection with the construction of a new middle school and a center for the performing arts addition to the high school.
But the district received no bids for the paving portion of the project, which was also scheduled to be awarded at a special meeting March 30.

Is the Highway 1 pedestrian crossing being used by young children?

Resident expresses concern to city council

SOLON– The City of Solon is urging local parents to educate their children on the use of the Highway 1 pedestrian crossing.
During the Citizen Speak portion of a March 18 meeting, Solon resident Pam Landgrebe expressed concern to city council members about the number of young children who disregard the pedestrian traffic signal on Highway 1 between Short and First streets.
Landgrebe, a resident of the Windmill Estates subdivision, said she frequently walks in the neighborhood where the pedestrian stoplight is located.

City begins process of reviewing comprehensive plan

SOLON– It’s time to make some changes.
Solon City Council members were introduced last week to the consultants who will help forge the latest version of the city’s comprehensive plan.
Shawn O’Shea and Jim Holz, of MSA Professional Services, were present for the March 18 council meeting to outline the initial steps of updating the comprehensive plan.
The plan serves as a guide for future development decisions and includes demographic information as well as planning recommendations.

Fate of SCSD orchestra pit waiting in the wings

Board continues to work with architect, construction manager to find savings

SOLON– Solon school board members are hoping for the best but planning for the worst.
Board members met again with the district’s architectural firm and construction manager during a March 10 meeting to continue the search for alternates and possible cost savings to bring a $25.5 million bond issue project in on budget.
Preliminary cost estimates indicate the two projects to be funded by the September 2014 bond issue– the construction of a new middle school and a performing arts center addition to the high school– are trending towards the high side.

RAGBRAI returns

Bicycle ride to pass through Solon a week after Beef Days

SOLON– Guess who’s coming to lunch?
About 10,000 bicyclists on their way to Coralville.
The City of Solon has accepted an invitation by the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) to participate as a pass-through town Friday, July 24.
The decision was announced at a Feb. 18 city council meeting during City Administrator Cami Rasmussen’s report.
The 43rd edition of the statewide bicycle race will begin in Sioux City Saturday, July 18, and end in Davenport Saturday, July 25, spanning a route of 462.2 miles.

Boost in pay for Solon mayor and council members?

Increases wouldn’t take effect until 2016

SOLON– City council members and the mayor could receive a 33 percent increase in their pay per meeting beginning next year.
And they could be compensated for attending not only regular city council meetings, but for other meetings as well.
The city’s elected officials gave their informal approval for the raise, which will be drafted into ordinance form and considered at a future meeting.
Solon City Council members currently receive an annual $375 stipend and $30 per meeting. The mayor receives $160 per month and $30 for each special meeting attended.

Back to five members

Council apponts Dale Snipes to replace Ron Herdliska

SOLON– The newest member of the Solon City Council sees himself as an average Joe.
At a Wednesday, Feb. 4, meeting, council members voted to appoint Dale Snipes to the seat vacated by Ron Herdliska, who resigned the post Jan. 1.
Snipes, 57, will serve out the remaining year of Herdliska’s term, but has already indicated he will seek election in November.
With the decision, the council is back to its full complement of five members.