Tuesday, March 31, 2009

County, Riverside clash over infrastructure bonds

Washington County Supervisors are trying to work out a sticky situation with the city of Riverside. County Auditor Bill Fredricks says they are discussing a contract the two entities forged when the Riverside Casino was built. He says it deals with bonds issued by the county, to help Riverside purchase new water and wastewater facilities. He says the county issued bonds to help pay for Riverside's facilities, under the agreement that the city would pay them annually until the bonds had been relieved. Fredrick's says the city of Riverside now feels they shouldn't have to make the annual payments. He says that's been a point of contention between the county and Riverside.

Morales-Estrada sentenced to five years in stabbing incident

A 36 year old illegal immigrant has pleaded to guilty a felony assault charge in Washington County. Gilberto Morales-Estrada was charged with assault causing serious injury. Washington County Attorney Bard Edmondson says the charge stems from an incident last November when Morales stabbed another man in the chest, and left him. He has been sentenced to five years in prison and fined $750 for court costs and restitution. Morales will be transported to prison to begin his sentence. Edmondson says he will then be deported to Mexico

Schrock gets 15 years for child endangerment

A Kalona man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted on child endangerment charges Friday. 46 year old Joseph Schrock was also convicted as a habitual offender. Washington County Attorney Barb Edmondson says the charges against Schrock stem from a September 2007 incident which left a four year old seriously injured. Edmondson says evidence presented at his trial shows Schrock was riding an A-T-V without the owner's permission and crashed with the four year old as a passenger. She says Schrock had been drinking prior to the accident, and that his actions delayed emergency medical care for the child. According to the investigation, there was a 40-foot trail of blood and debris at the crash site. In addition to his prison sentence, Schrock must also pay Washington county nearly $10-thousand for costs relating to being held in jail.

Yea on middle income tax break

A southeast Iowa legislator is supportive of a measure would give the middle income population a tax break. Representative Larry Marek says the proposal would also attract more businesses. Marek says he was initially skeptical, but now feels the bill would be beneficial. The Riverside Democrat says the legislation is still in its early stages, and it will be a while before it advances.

Nay on middle income tax break

A local tax expert says the proposed middle income tax break pending in the state legislature might not be as enticing as it sounds. Dan Bontrager is a CPA with Bontrager Tax in Kalona. He says cutting income taxes in one area, usually means higher taxes for another group of people, or increased sales or property taxes. Bontrager says he's always wary about pending legislation, because it can change so many times before it becomes law. The middle income tax break would provide tax relief for Iowans who make less than 125-thousand dollars per year, but would end the practice of allowing federal taxes to be claimed as a deduction at the state level.

Mid Prairie to receive stimulus money

The Mid Prairie School district will be receiving some money from the economic stimulus package. Superintendent Mark Schneider says they dont know who much theyll be getting. He says they will do everything they can to make sure the money is used in a productive manner to make sure all the kids in the district benefit.

Kalona playground project enters phase II

The Kalona Elementary Playground Improvement Committee is continuing their mission to provide a safe and healthy playground for the elementary school and community. Jan Knebel says their goal for Phase II is to replace the old unsafe rotting wooden equipment. She says they have installation dates lined up for Friday, June 12th and Saturday, June 13th. They will have a landscape structures installation supervisor on hand to help work through the build process. They are asking for volunteers those two days to help build the new equipment. Following the completion of the project any individual or business who donated more than $100 will be recognized on a wall of fame display board located at the elementary school. Contact Jan at 319-325-8462 with any questions.