Monday, February 23, 2009

Marek Votes No Prevailing Wage

A state lawmaker from Washington County ended up being the deciding vote in the house on the prevailing wage bill in. The bill would have required a wage set by the labor department be used on projects involving state money. The wage would be based on the average wage in the area. Representative Larry Marek says he wasn't pressured to vote for it as much as some reports suggest. He says in the end he represents the people in the county and the district and received input from numerous people against it so he voted against it Friday. The bill failed on a 50-50 vote. In addition to the input from constituents, Marek was also concerned the bill would increase the costs of several large projects coming up in the county. Marek made his remarks at a legislative briefing on Saturday in Washington; you can hear that briefing at

County Budget

The budgeting process is continuing for Washington County Supervisors. Supervisor Wes Rich says going in they decided to give county employees a 3.5% salary increase except for the supervisors themselves. They also asked that departments keep their budgets to around the amount they had this fiscal year and not to go over 1.5%. He says they have not reached a bottom line point yet, they have still been working on budget work sessions, but the process will be coming to a close soon.

Underage Drinking Law

State Lawmakers are considering legislation comparable to Washington's ordinance that makes it illegal to knowingly allow minors to consume alcohol on your property. County Attorney Barb Edmondson says one thing being looked at is altering the state law that makes it illegal to provide alcohol to minors to also make it a crime to knowingly allow minors to consume on your property.

Military Academy Appointments

Congressman Dave Loebsack is looking for area students interested in attending one of the military academies. Representative Loebsack says there is a shortage of mid-level career officers in the armed forces. The only way a student can attend one of the academies is through congressional appointment. You can find information about applying for a nomination at Representative Loebsack's website,

Kalona Days

Kalona Days are being prepared. Kalona Days Chairman Dave Finley says the organizational meeting for new and returning committee members is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:00 PM in the Kalona Chamber Building. Finley says this years event will be presented on June 19 20 in the streets of downtown Kalona in celebration of Kalonas 130th birthday.

New Geothermal System

The WACO School District is still getting a new geothermal system installed. Superintendent Greg Ray says the system was supposed to be completed by the New Year. He says the construction process has been hit with many obstacles such as weather. Ray says he has spoken to the school board and informed them that the system should be installed by the end of the year and will be able to activate the system by the beginning of the next school year.

Movie Day

The Kalona Library will be holding a movie night this Thursday. Youth Services Librarian, Marissa Tartaglia says when schools are cancelled or get out early they like to hold activities at the library to give the kids something constructive to do. She says in conjunction with the early-out on Thursday the 26th, the Kalona Public Library will be showing the movie Wall-E from 1:30pm to 3:10pm.