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Community

Construction costs still edging past bond limit

No reason to panic, says project manager

SOLON– Projected costs for a new middle school and performing arts center currently exceed the $25.5 million target set forth in a September bond issue.
But Solon Community School District (SCSD) board members were reluctant to make amenities like a $417,000 orchestra pit an alternate to the project, and representatives of the district’s construction management firm indicated it’s not yet time to hit the panic button.
Board members met with staff from Struxture Architects and Story Construction Jan. 26 during a special session for a progress update on the two major building projects.

Solon Public Library

Blind Date with a Book

In February, the library is featuring a “Blind Date with a Book” program. You will find wrapped books on shelves throughout the library. Take a chance and take your “blind date” home, then when you finish and return, drop your name in our monthly drawing at the circulation desk for extra prizes. The featured prize is a gift certificate to a local Solon restaurant.

Babygarten

The best of mimes

Josh Meade, a junior at Clear Creek Amana High School, performs in a group mime act “The Fourth One,” during CCA’s Speech Showcase Night, held Jan. 22 at the high school in Tiffin. Meade’s was one of three mime acts presented that evening. For more photos of the event, see page A8. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

A long talk about a short bus

NL council debates $50K allocation to pilot intra-city transportation

By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty proposes to purchase a few new vehicles for city use in Fiscal Year 2016, including a small bus for transporting children in the city’s Before-And-After-School childcare program.
That single $25,000 item prompted more discussion on the new budget than any other.
But the argument was not about the bus.

Tiffin to hire search firm for administrator’s position

Discussion on filling council seat likely to be held Feb. 11

TIFFIN – The City of Tiffin will hire a headhunter to replace a departing city administrator.
Michon Jackson tendered her resignation in early January, giving notice that her last day with the city would be this week. Jackson has served as the city’s administrator for three years. She accepted a position as a utilities department supervisor in Marco Island, Florida.
At the council’s Wednesday, Jan. 27, meeting, the group voted to hire the Callahan Municipal Consultants LLC, a firm based in Anamosa, to do an executive search for Jackson’s replacement.

A familiar name joins CCA

TIFFIN — A man familiar to many in the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Community School District has joined the district’s board of education. Matt McAreavy, of rural Oxford, took the oath of office before the start of the board’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the high school in Tiffin. The board appointed McAreavy to fill the seat vacated earlier this month by Kevin Kinney, who was elected to the Iowa State Senate for District 39 in November.

IC school district sets target date for opening of new Liberty High

IOWA CITY – Liberty High School in North Liberty will open as a comprehensive school in the fall of 2017.
This decision was made following a recommendation by Superintendent Stephen Murley and a design committee of administrators, teachers and parents.
It means that the high school will not operate as a branch of either West or City High and will have its own athletic and extracurricular programs.

NL Pantry holds contest for naming new teaching garden

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty Community Pantry is starting a garden this spring, but our garden needs a name. The community is invited to suggest names.
The project planners want to build community through this teaching garden. The work in the garden will increase healthy foods available to families served by the Pantry. Put on your creative caps and send some names soon. The person who submits the selected name will be honored in a ribbon cutting ceremony this spring.
Deadline for name entries is 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15               

Boy Scout Troop 216 to host chili supper Feb. 7

NORTH LIBERTY – North Liberty Boy Scout Troop 216 will host its 35th annual Chili Supper from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the North Liberty Community Center.
This dinner is the troop’s primary annual fundraising event.  Proceeds help cover the cost of high adventure trips, summer camp and other activities for the troop’s approximately 30 scouts.

Garner Elementary waffle breakfast to be Feb.14

NORTH LIBERTY– Garner Elementary will host a Waffle Breakfast with Class Basket Auction and Raffle on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 7-11 a.m. at the school.

Public is invited to Bald Eagle Watch & Expo Feb. 7

NORTH LIBERTY– The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Coralville Lake will be co-hosting a Bald Eagle Watch and Expo on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Central Junior High, 180 E. Forevergreen Road, North Liberty. The other co-hosts are the Iowa City Bird Club and the Iowa Wildlife Federation. This event is free to the public and will be held at two different locations simultaneously.
The speakers, exhibitors, and vendor will be located at the indoor venue which is North Central Junior High in North Liberty.
Guest speakers include:

Historic Facelift

Solon grant helps restore historic downtown storefront

SOLON– Solon business leaders support a good facelift.
In an effort to improve the appearance of the downtown area, the Solon Economic Development Group (SEDG) and the City of Solon developed and administered a grant program for property owners to repair and renovate the exteriors of commercial structures.
One proprietor who took advantage of the program was Bill Leefers, owner of the two-story brick structure at the corner of East Main Street and Highway 1, currently home to El Sol Mexican Cuisine.