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News

Derecho damage spurs safety improvements

School board considers parent proposal for varsity baseball field

SOLON– When the Aug. 10 derecho hit Solon, school board president Tim Brown was shocked the varsity baseball dugouts at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) weren’t blown over.
“There are posts that are rotted through and not connected to the ground,” Brown commented. “How that stood up, I have no idea.”
The baseball diamond did sustain damage, and school board members discussed piggybacking repairs with a parent-driven improvement project during an Oct. 15 board meeting.

Paving waived for Brotherton Ridge

Small subdivision on gravel can defer until further development

SOLON– Just one more thing.
An overlooked variance for Brotherton Ridge Part Two placed the small subdivision back on the agenda for the Solon City Council at an Oct. 7 meeting.
Council members approved a final plat for the proposed development and a conditional use request by Mike Bails for a shop house (“shouse”) at 1809 Racine Ave. during a Sept. 16 session.
Left out was consideration of a request to delay paving the driveways for the three residential lots.

City reluctantly broadens short-term rental law

Council Oks raft of changes to city code

SOLON– It was time for some fall housekeeping for Solon’s Code of Ordinances.
At an Oct. 7 meeting, Solon City Council members approved numerous updates to existing laws, added new regulations for solar energy users and adapted to recent mandates by the Iowa Legislature.
Specifically, the city adopted 2015 international building and fire codes, created new rules to allow for ground and roof solar arrays, and struck language limiting short-term rentals to commercially-zoned areas.

Solon Legion fundraiser feeds foundation

SOLON– It’s a gift that keeps giving.
Over the last two years, Solon American Legion Stinocher Post 460’s annual golf outing raised $11,500 for the Iowa American Legion Foundation.
The local Legion presented a $6,000 check to the foundation during a Sunday, Sept. 27, ceremony in Solon, and the foundation used the occasion to hand out awards to District 1 recipients, including the Solon Firefighters Association.

Successful Solon Centennial Lions Shopping Days

SOLON¬– Using funds from a Lions Clubs International Emergency Relief Grant, the Solon Centennial Lions Club partnered with Sam’s Main Street Market to distribute $7,000 worth of perishable groceries to the Solon Community.

City addresses community center costs

COVID a drag on recreation revenue

Not a bright future

SOLON The city is committed to its recreation programing.
But deficit spending due to utility costs for the Solon Community Center cannot be allowed to eat holes in whats expected to be a tight upcoming budget.
Solons City Council sat down for a special work session Sept. 30 at the request of Mayor Steve Stange to discuss the future of the community center, and how to rein in costs over the next two years.

Counselors respond to COVID

Anxiety among students and staff a focus in pandemic school year

SOLON– Things are different, and that causes anxiety.
Recognizing stress and dedicating class time to talk about school in a pandemic world are some of the steps taken by guidance counselors to deal with the emotional well-being of students and staff in the Solon Community School District (SCSD).
If a student feels unwell emotionally or mentally, overall wellness will decrease and school performance goes down, observed elementary counselor Megan Amundson at a Sept. 17 board of education meeting.

Still a long way back to normal

Volunteers pitch in to clean up Lake Macbride State Park

SOLON Almost seven weeks after the historic derecho wind storm moved across the state of Iowa, the after-effects are still evident at Lake Macbride State Park despite a Herculean effort by park staff.
It was bad, said Park Manager Ron Puettmann. Theres probably thousands of trees down in the park, most of them in the timbered areas, of course.
The hardest-hit areas though, were the campgrounds, he said.
Those are still closed yet until we get the hazard trees taken care of, he noted.

Soothe-ing influence

Alicia Bogard wants her massage therapy business to provide relief

SOLON– These are stressful times, and Alicia Bogard hopes people make the time to take care of themselves.
It’s hard for people to realize how deeply the events of this year have impacted them, and like never before, time to heal is needed, she said.
Bogard is hoping to provide calm in the storm with Soothe, the massage therapy studio she opened in February.
“Massage isn’t just for your muscles, it’s so therapeutic for your mind and your emotions, too,” she said. “In that space of time, you’re receiving nurturing and kindness, things that are so important for our well-being.”

Council OKs “shouse”

Board of adjustment approves conditional use for shop house

SOLON– It’s a shop. It’s a house.
It’s a “shouse.”
Solon City Council members approved a combination building to be used as a principal residence on Solon’s south side during a Sept. 16 meeting.
The council action backed up a decision by the Board of Adjustment (BOA) on the previous night to allow a conditional use request by Mike Bails for a one-acre corner lot at 1809 Racine Ave.
City Administrator Cami Rasmussen said Bails brought the idea for a combined storage building and living quarters to her a while back.
“It was unusual, didn’t clearly fit into the zoning code,” she said.

Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area, Lake Macbride partially reopen following derecho

CEDAR RAPIDS– Campgrounds, cabins and shelters are open at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area following the Derecho in early August. The trails and the beach remain closed, as well as the lodge as DNR staff continue to work diligently to clean up damage left behind by August’s Derecho.

Iowa 1 south of Iowa City to reopen Sept. 25

IOWA CITY– Replacement of two bridges and construction of two new box culverts on Iowa 1, just south of Johnson County Road F-52, south of Iowa City, was expected to be completed and the roadway reopened to traffic Friday, Sept. 25, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Fairfield construction office.
There may be intermittent lane and shoulder closures over the next few weeks where flaggers assist traffic through the work area to allow the contractor to finish the detail work for this project.