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Paul Deaton

Liberty High School mascot selected, design approved, $107 million in loan notes to be sold

Lightning strikes thrice

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) had liberty on its mind as the school board approved school colors and a mascot for Liberty High School at its Nov. 11 meeting.
The board also approved the design for Liberty High School, and set the stage to issue $10.7 million in general obligation capital loan notes to fund cash flow for the district’s facilities master plan.

Council mulls ‘Freedom Rock,’ reviews 2014 budget

SOLON– Freedom rocks!
And the city may be getting a “Freedom Rock®” as part of a statewide effort to honor veterans, promote Iowa tourism, and support the family of Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II.
Denny Gruber, of the Solon Area Community Foundation, explained the potential project at the Wednesday, Oct. 15, city council meeting.
“This project won’t cost you a thing,” said Gruber to get council’s attention.

ICCSD financial state declined in 2013-2014

Personnel costs climb, key challenges lie ahead for district

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District’s (ICCSD) is in financial decline.
Those words weren’t heard Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the school board meeting, but buried in the 353-page board packet was the observation, written in the executive summary of the district’s annual financial report. “The district’s overall financial condition declined during Fiscal Year 2013-2014,” the report stated.
During his report to the board, District CFO and board secretary Craig Hansel tried to be brief.

Council, fire chief review need for Knox-Box requirement

Gwen Prentice appointed to planning and zoning

SOLON– It’s time to lock up a safety issue in Solon, according to Solon Fire Chief Bob Siddell.
At the Oct. 1 Solon City Council meeting, Siddell reported on Tri-Township Fire Department activities, which included an update on plans for Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5 through 11.
“The Knox-Box situation– I need to get this thing straightened out,” said Siddell.
A Knox-Box, known officially as the KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System, is a small, wall-mounted safe that holds building keys for fire departments, Emergency Medical Services, and law enforcement to retrieve in emergency situations.

Water, sewer projects move forward to design

SOLON– The city of Solon is considering an interest-free loan option from the state to help jump-start two substantial water and sewer projects.
City Administrator Cami Rasmussen initiated a discussion with the city council regarding the north trunk sewer line and water storage systems for the city at its Sept. 17 meeting.
No action was taken, but Mayor Steve Stange encouraged councilors to clarify their views on moving forward with the projects. Rasmussen indicated she received sufficient direction to move the projects forward.

City to borrow against future TIF funds for Main Street property

Villas of Jordan Creek site plan approved

SOLON– The City Council is going to borrow from itself to buy the property at 120 W. Main St., and then tear it down.
At its regular business meeting on Sept. 3, council members and Mayor Steve Stange explained why.
The price of the property could go up, and the site is ideally located to make parking for a potential expansion of the fire station. Council members moved to purchase it now.
Council members also gave contingent approval to a site plan for Villas of Jordan Creek Part 2.
The action began with a public hearing on the Main Street property adjacent to Solon City Hall.

Diversity dream meets attendance area reality

ICCSD board sends controversial policy back to committee

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) paused at its Sept. 9 school board meeting, as it prepared to implement the district’s diversity policy approved in 2013.
During a lengthy discussion of the policy and related attendance zone changes for the 2015-2016 school year, the board responded to Superintendent Steve Murley’s request for relief from diversity policy mandates. The board sent the diversity policy back to the policy and engagement committee for revision on a 6-1 vote, with Director Orville Townsend Sr. dissenting.

Connecting Solon with trail system

Construction on missing link to Linn County begins in 2015

SOLON– Runners, walkers, bicyclists and snowmobilers in Solon will soon be connected to the Cedar Valley Trail in Linn County by a new multi-use trail, said Supervisor John Etheredge at the Aug. 20 joint meeting between the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and the Solon City Council.
“We’re working on land acquisition and trail planning to bring that trail down from Linn County all the way into the City of Solon,” he said.

Speed limit to 20 mph on Main St.

Solon slowing down

Council holds joint session with county

SOLON– Progress is slowing at city hall, and it’s not just the reduction of the speed limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour on Main Street approved by the city council at its Wednesday, Aug. 20, meeting.
The public hearing on the fire station addition was delayed due to emerging requirements for publication of the notice, and a resolution outlining payment terms for a temporary lift station for Windmill Estates Part 6 was passed without buy-in from the developer, extending the discussion.

Solon City Hall dedicated

SOLON– During a recess from the regular city council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 20, Mayor Steve Stange led a dedication ceremony for the new city hall.

Council forgives portion of sod watering bill

Former council member questions use of impact fee

SOLON– A brief agenda belied the diverse topics discussed by the Solon City Council at their regular meeting on Aug. 6.
Council heard comments from a former city council member on two topics, they forgave a sewer bill for a developer watering sod on newly-built homes, and the fire chief reported that Dennis Hansen has retired from firefighting.
Former city council member Kevin Samek addressed council during the citizen’s speak segment of the meeting.
“I’m a little concerned about the north sewer trunk,” said Samek.

Townsend appointed to ICCSD school board

Board announces listening posts for redistricting

IOWA CITY– Technical difficulties prevented Iowa City School District (ICCSD) School Board President Chris Lynch and Superintendent Steve Murley from direct participation via telephone during their Tuesday, July 22, business meeting.
Orville Townsend Sr., appointed unanimously to the board during a special meeting July 21, was sworn in and seated to attend his first meeting since his previous service on the board in the 1980s.