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Government

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tiffin council and CCA board working together

Future recreation center, crossing guards discussed at joint meeting

TIFFIN– Everyone just wants what’s best for the community.
That was the sentiment at a joint meeting Wednesday, Dec. 7, between the Tiffin City Council and Clear Creek Amana (CCA) School District Board of Directors.
At the hour-long meeting in the Springmier Community Library, the groups discussed multiple topics, including cost-shared crossing guards, upcoming Park Road construction and a future recreation center.

An Iowan for Iowans

Nielsen to stress Midwest belief system, public education if elected

NORTH LIBERTY– Amy Nielsen thinks North Liberty is the best place to live in Iowa, but she’s willing to make Des Moines “home” part of the year if voters choose her to represent Iowa House District 77 at the polls on Nov. 8.
“We have just about anything you could want or need right here,” said Nielsen. “I’m sure there are other places where people are proud of their community, but I just feel it so strongly here in North Liberty.”

Soft heart, strong faith

Phillips pushes amendment rights, economy in bid for state house

CORALVILLE– Royce Phillips didn’t always want to be a pastor.
Growing up in Forth Worth, Texas, he possessed a knack for math and science and had every intention of being a physicist at NASA.
“If I wasn’t going to be a physicist, I was going to teach math at the University of Texas system somewhere,” he said. “That was just the assumption.”

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann town hall meeting Jan. 9 at Solon library

SOLON– Representative Bobby Kaufmann will hold a town hall meeting in Solon on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Solon Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. A special update on Lake Macbride will be provided regarding the hours of operation and proposed alcohol ban.

Fifteen years later, Neuzil is stepping out

Supervisor Terrence Neuzil leaves Iowa for Kalamazoo Co.

By Lori Lindner
Solon Economist
IOWA CITY– Last month, Johnson County bid farewell to one of the area’s most well-known citizens.
Terrence Neuzil served on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors for 15 years. He resigned his position to take a job as the County Administrator of Kalamazoo County, Mich.
Dec. 20 was Neuzil’s last day serving his hometown constituents.