Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wash Co. to approach Riverside about revenue sharing

The city of Riverside and Washington County are at odds over a revenue sharing agreement that was forged when the casino was built. County Attorney Barb Edmondson says they should continue to be paid part of the roughly $1.7-million the city gets from Riverside Casino. Riverside City officials have stated in letters to the county, that they feel the agreement has created constitutional debt, therefore the city was not authorized to enter into the contract in the first place. A meeting between the two entities is expected before July first, when payment is due.

City, County increase recycling money

The phrase "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is becoming less and less true in Washington County. Supervisor Jim Rosien says the rising costs of transportation, combined with the declining value of recyclable materials is putting a financial squeeze on the local recycling facility. Yesterday the supervisors approved a measure that gives the recycling center $12,000 more of county money. The city of Washington recently approved increasing their financial support as well. The facility is shared between the city and county.

15 opt out of labor union

15 Washington County Public Safety employees will be leaving their labor union. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar doesn't expect the move to effect his department much. Included in the exemption were two clerical workers and thirteen jailers. Washington County Supervisors approved the exemption at yesterday's meeting.

WCHC goes for the green in more ways than one

Blankets are helping save Washington County Hospital and Clinics around 30-thousand dollars a year. These aren't your normal blankets though. Daryl Bunting with Iowa insulation installed the blankets on mechanical equipment in the hospital's boiler room. The upfront cost of the project was nearly $80,000, which is expected to be recovered in less than two years. The insulation blankets were installed as part of an energy audit conducted by Alliant Energy. In addition to the annual savings, Alliant has also given WCHC a nearly $23,000 grant for following the recommendations of the audit.

Kalona moving to high speed internet

A lot of people that use the internet still use dial up which is slow moving and ties up phone lines. Gary Davis with the Kalona Co-op Telephone Company says they are seeing a push towards high speed internet. He says people in the Kalona area are going with a faster service at a slow but steady pace. Justyn Miller says they have offered high speed internet to all residents since they first offered the service in Kalona. He says that is rare for many companies because in a lot of bigger cities there are a lot of suburbs that still do not have high speed internet available. Miller says they are going forward with a faster service that many big companies are not offering yet.

Kalona construction

Interstate Power and Light Company will continue system improvement projects in Kalona. System upgrades will include over 4,400 feet of 2-inch plastic gas line in the alleys between Highway 22 and B Avenue and between Fourth Street and Ninth Street. Work on the $126,000 dollar project will begin on April 6, weather permitting, and is scheduled to be completed by late July. Drivers are asked to be aware of construction crews working in the area, watch for changes in traffic flow and use slower speeds in construction areas.

Utility moratorium ends today

Interstate Power and Light's moratorium on service disconnections ends today. Dave Koch (Coach) is a spokesperson with IPL. He says customers who are behind on their payments are encouraged to contact his company to avoid service interruption. Koch also encourages customers who are experiencing financial hardship to contact their local community action agency to see if they qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program. To set up a payment plan, or discuss payment options call Alliant Energy at 1-800-327-2708, or visit

Bohr recognized for 4-H contributions

Howard Bohr of Wellman was honored on March 15th for his 53 years of leadership and devotion to the 4-H Program. Kati Peiffer, 4-H/Youth Coordinator says Howard was a leader of the Limecreek Livewires. She says past and present members attended an open house at the St. Joseph Catholic Church to honor and thank Howard for all his time and work. Peiffer says Howard has been a strong believer in the communication project that 4-H, members gave their yearly presentations for Howard to observe. Past members also spoke of Howards dedication.