Friday, May 8, 2009

State funding cuts for higher ed

The governmental relations director at Kirkwood Community College says using federal stimulus money to backfill state funding cuts for higher education could come back to haunt lawmakers. Steve Ovel says legislators reduced the base state funding level. He says that essentially gives them until 2011 to find new sources of revenue.

4-H safe in wake of restructuring

A local ISU Extension official says area 4-H programs aren't in jeopardy as his agency undergoes a restructuring. Gene Mohling is the education director for Washington and Johnson counties. He says there is no reason to worry, because 4-H groups won't be affected. He says many groups that rely on the extension office won't be impacted.

Water Tower Park plans move forward

Plans for the development of Washington's Water Tower Park are moving forward. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer says using the area for athletics is still possible, but not on a large scale. He says that won't be a threat to the park's green space, or an existing visioning plan. Widmer says they continue to level off the area, and remove chunks of buried concrete.

Washington starts engineering on new sewer plant

The city of Washington will borrow about $780,000 for a phase of engineering on the new wastewater treatment plant. The money is being borrowed interest free through the Iowa Finance Authority. Mayor Sandra Johnson has expressed frustration because they can only obtain such loans for the engineering phases of the project, not construction.

Kalona paving projects

Kalona is undertaking some paving projects this summer. The city council has awarded contracts for the paving of 10th street and F Avenue, and a new sidewalk from J Avenue to K Court along the West side of 6th street. West Liberty based All American concrete was awarded bids for the two projects. The city council is postponing repairs to the Kalona Recreation and Community Center.

Sheriff holds open house

Washington County residents are invited to get a look at the new sheriff's office today. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says he wants to give residents a chance to see the facility that was paid for with their tax dollars. The public is invited to the open house. It goes from 1:00 pm to 7:00 today, and again from 9:00 am to noon tomorrow (5/9).

Circle of Support starts up Washington branch

A fairly new service organization is starting a Washington chapter. United Methodist Church Pastor Julie Pouslon says the Circle of Support group is aimed at ending poverty. She says its part charity, and part mentoring. To find out more, plan to attend the Circle of Support meeting this Tuesday (5/12) at 7:00 at the United Methodist Church.

Positive Parenting

Louisa County's Iowa State University Extension service is offering several positive parenting seminars this summer. All courses are free and open to the public. The Keck Memorial Library will host "Off to a Good Start," kindergarten readiness program for families with children ages 3-5. Classes are every Monday evening from 5-6, at the library in Wapello. They run May 11 through June 29.