Wednesday, May 20, 2009

$36 million plan proposed for WCSD

Representatives from the Iowa State Association of School Boards recommend a $36-million multi year overhaul of the Washington School District's facilities. Construction Advocate Duane Van Hemert says the plan should be acceptable those who want to preserve the the district's historic buildings, and those who want students to benefit from newer facilities. It calls for building a new high school, and moving junior high students to the current high school.

Riverside/County dispute continues

Attorneys for Riverside have sent a letter to Washington Supervisors indicating the city doesn't intend to make annual payments to the county as previously arranged. County Auditor Bill Fredrick says an urban renewal and TIF district was created to help the city pay for infrastructure when the casino was built. He says as a result, Riverside is supposed to pay the county $175,000 per year. Attorney's for the city say the agreement caused them to exceed their debt limit, and is therefore void under state law.

Washington Council considers bonds

Washington City Council members will consider $3.5 million in bonds at tonight's (5/20) meeting. Mayor Sandra Johnson says some of the money is going toward an engineering phase of a new wastewater plant. She says many cities in Iowa are facing a similar problem as they decide how to upgrade infrastructure. Johnson says the general obligation bonds they plan on using carry a high interest rate, and often force municipalities to increase fees. Tonight's meeting starts at 7:00 in the public library.

Washington business owner awarded $227K

A jury awarded a Washington business owner more than $227,000 in a ruling on a civil trial this week. Iowa City based Apex Construction and Coralville based VJ Engineering were each found partially at fault for a 2006 building collapse on Washington's South Marion Street. The structure was owned by Alfonso Raymundo. Court documents show jurors found Apex 37% responsible for the collapse, while VJ was 63% at fault. At the time of the collapse, Apex was remodeling the building, and VJ had provided engineering services. Judge Dan Morrison will hand down the official ruling at a later date.

Construction to start at Lake Darling

Construction at Lake Darling State Park is expected to begin as soon as the ground is dry. Rachel Erb with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources,says this major renovation includes the construction of a new dam and spillway as well as sediment ponds, shoreline armament and fish habitat. Erb says they are hoping to start taking bids for construction around July with construction beginning shortly after. She says the projected completion date is the fall of 2010.

Loebsack rep in Washington

A representative of Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in Washington today (5/20). Jared Hershberger will be at the public library from 10 am-12 pm to field questions and comments on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Hershberger says he can also help individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, or have concerns or suggestions for Loebsack.

SEMCO Meeting

The Southeast Iowa Multi-County Solid Waste Agency will hold there next meeting this morning at 9am. On the agenda, the agency will Award contract for the abutment and temporary cover placement construction project as well as hear the landfill managers report. Anyone who wishes to address the board may do so. The meeting will be held at the SEMCO Landfill office in Richland at 9am.

KFD Auction

There will be an Auction on Saturday, June 13th (Keota Fun Days weekend) at 1:00 pm under the Keota town water tower. Kris Lyle with Printers Workshop & Timeless Charm in Keota says the Keota Educational Foundation is putting on the auction as a fundraiser for local scholarships. If you have something you wish to donate, you can do so by calling Butch at 319-330-1964 or 641-635-2058, or you may bring your item into Timeless Charm Gifts during regular business hours.