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Government

Restoring Kent Park Lake

Anticipating completion next spring

OXFORD– Those who haven’t been out to Kent Park Lake in some time would certainly find it unrecognizable. Overlooking the dried-out lake bed, overgrown with vegetation and scattered with park remnants like uprooted tree stumps, it’s almost hard to imagine it was once the aquatic centerpiece to the Johnson County park. But the park’s most ambitious restoration project, which began in spring 2017, is moving at a persistent pace. Outdoor enthusiasts can rest assured, if all goes to plan, the lake with return to its previous glory by spring 2019.

A necessary measure

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Tiffin a "growing community under development"

Population growth triggers revision to Tiffin’s Comprehensive Plan

TIFFIN– The City of Tiffin commissioned a Comprehensive Plan, to serve as a guide toward managing future development and population growth over a 20-year span, in 2014. The 2014 edition took approximately two years to compile, craft and approve. In the short span since the plan was adopted, Tiffin’s growth continued seemingly unimpeded, and projections for future growth needed to be revised.

CCA's SAVE: An alternative to asking taxpayers for more

CCA explores funding options through SAVE dollars

OXFORD– SAVE: “Secure an Advanced Vision for Education,” is a funding stream many school districts in Iowa rely on for a multitude of projects without having to dip into an already strained general fund. SAVE was previously known as “SILO” or the School Infrastructure Local Option tax, or more formally, “the Statewide School Infrastructure Sales and Services Tax.”

Shaping up the water

North Liberty facility improves water capacity and quality

NORTH LIBERTY– With the turn of a faucet, the residents of North Liberty have a new reason to rejoice.
On Wednesday, June 20, the City of North Liberty held an open house to celebrate the unveiling of its new water treatment plant at 433 S. Front St. City staff invited residents in for a comprehensive tour of the plant, which went online in May, and to explain its benefits to the community.

The rate debate

Council discussion on rec center rates at a standstill

NORTH LIBERTY– Efforts to revise the nearly 15-year-standing fee system at the North Liberty Recreation Center have been stifled, for now. While the measure may have been unanimously rejected by the city council, residents of North Liberty can anticipate changes coming to the rate structure in late 2018.

Solon Firehouse unveiled

Firefighters embark on $4.3 million fundraising campaign

SOLON– They know it’s a big building.
They know it’s a lot of money.
But here’s the analogy Solon firefighters made as they introduced a plan for a new $5 million firehouse.
The current fire station on Iowa Street was built in 1959, explained department member Greg Morris.
“Where we’re sitting right now was built by the firefighters in ‘58 and ’59,” Morris said. “My grandfather’s one of the guys who signed the personal note to guarantee payment. The only actual construction cost for the fire station to this community was from the bond issue in 1990.”

Community center grand opening June 2

Mike Reeve to step down as recreation coordinator

SOLON– The new Solon Community Center is slated to open Saturday, June 2.
A grand opening for the facility, located at 313 S. Iowa St., will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
But by the end of June, the city will have to find a new recreation coordinator to oversee it.
At a May 16 meeting, city council members approved usage and rental fees, rules and summer hours for the community center, as well as job descriptions for some of the employees who will be operating it.

Supervisors approve Comprehensive Plan

Rettig casts lone no vote

IOWA CITY– The job is finally done.
After 18 months of committee meetings, work sessions, public input meetings and other input, the Johnson County’s Board of Supervisors approved the county’s first-ever Comprehensive Plan on a 4-1 vote Thursday, May 17.

Tiffin FY 2018-2019 budget

TIFFIN– The FY 2018-2019 budget for the City of Tiffin was presented Tuesday, March 6.
The tax levy decreased slightly at $11.80. Tiffin City Adminstrator Doug Boldt pointed out, of the 107 Iowa communities between 1,500 and 4,000 population, Tiffin was ranked as having the 23rd lowest tax levy, with Denver being the lowest at $6.96 and Rockwell City the highest at $23.70.

Potential conservation purchase leads to no vote from Rettig

Supervisors pass FY-19 budget with controversy

IOWA CITY– The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved the Fiscal Year 2019 budget Thursday, March 8, in a 4-1 vote with Supervisor Janelle Rettig casting a no vote and all five supervisors reading written statements. Included in the $127,174,236 budget is authorization for the Johnson County Conservation Board to use conservation bond funds for a potential acquisition of timberland and an adjacent lot with several structures in rural Johnson County.

Green the fleet

Johnson County transitions to hybrid and electric vehicles

IOWA CITY– The bluest county in Iowa is going green.
Johnson County is taking strides to form a more eco-friendly fleet of vehicles, an initiative that’s been several years in the making.
“I drove a Prius for about 10 years,” recalled Mike Carberry, Johnson County Supervisor. A longtime environmental advocate, Carberry was convinced to invest in hybrid and electric cars on a county level after his switch to an all-electric Chevrolet Volt.

No more through-traffic for snowmobilers in Tiffin

Pit stops to The Depot, Throttle Down still allowed

TIFFIN– Despite early snow activity, Tiffin residents could be seeing fewer snowmobilers downtown this year.
Due to the widening of Highway 6 as part of the Ireland Avenue updates, no sufficient right-of-way exists for snowmobiles between Grant Street and The Depot.
“Really we’ve created this kind of bottleneck and choked them out a little bit,” said City Administrator Doug Boldt. “They can’t get through there anymore.”
Derrick Parker, secretary of the Iowa Snowdrifters, brought the group’s concerns to the Tiffin City Council members’ attention at a Dec. 6 meeting.