Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tipping fee hike spurs Washington to push reycling program

An increase in the tipping fee at SEMCO Landfill has Washington's Mayor urging residents to utilize the city's recycling services. Sandra Johnson says it can save both the city and its residents money. She's urging people to keep things like paper, clear glass and milk jugs separated from regular trash. Johnson says the city can provide a recycling cart to property owners free of charge. SEMCO's tipping fee recently went from $45 to $50. The city of Washington and Washington County share the cost of the local recycling facility.
(Photo: SEMCO Landfill KCII stock photo)

Work release areas of jail to be completed soon

The new Washington County Jail is nearly completed. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the two work areas that were purposely left unfinished should be completed by the end of the month. He says the contractors have done an excellent job and come in under budget. Dunbar hopes the new facility can serve as a place where 45-50 federal inmates can be housed. He says it could bring in more than one million dollars per year for Washington County.

Kalona tourism benefits from "Stay-cations

As July kicks off, many families are beginning to think more about this years summer vacation. Nancy Roth with the Kalona Historical Village says the rough economy encourages travelers to stick close to home, and the village has seen a higher number of visitors due to this. Roth says tourism at the village was a little slow towards the beginning of the summer, but July is typically the hot month. She says tourism at the village helps the local economy by helping other area businesses see a greater number of visitors as well.

Washington Co. Fair 2 weeks away

The Washington County Fair is less than two weeks a way, and organizers say this year's entertainment should be one for the record books. Fair board Vice President Don Lewis says Washington County's Fair has been named as a "blue ribbon fair" by the Iowa Association of Fairs. This year's grandstand events include sanctioned tractor and truck pulls, rodeo riders, a demolition derby and up and coming country musician Jake McVey. The fair starts July 19 and runs through the 24th.

Sub-drain added to downtown enhancement

Washington's downtown enhancement project recently got a little more expensive. City engineer Rob McDonald told councilors they'd need to spend as much as $10,000 on a sub drain. He says the drain is necessary to keep water from accumulating under the pavement and causing damage when it freezes during the winter months. The third ward's Mike Roth wanted more time to consider approving the expenditure, but didn't want to hold up the project. He says the downtown enhancement and new library projects are both coming along on schedule and will hopefully be done around the same time.

I-DOT gets $3 million for SE IA roads

Southeast Iowa will receive more help for recovery efforts for last years floods. The Iowa Department of Transportation will soon receive over $3-million to repair and maintain traffic routes that were damaged after the June floods of last year. Funds such as these will be of great importance to area communities, including Columbus Junction which has an important bridge on Highway 92 over the Iowa River and saw severe damage by floodwaters.

92 bridge work starts today

The bridge over the Iowa River in Columbus Junction will be reduced to one lane today (7/7) as crews begin approach repair. The Iowa Department of Transportation's website says traffic will be guided by temporary signals. A 12-and-a-half foot width limit on the span also goes into effect today. The DOT's website says they expect to lift the restriction by the end of August.

RR crossing work in Washington

The City of Washington Engineers office reports that 12 Avenue will be closed to traffic beginning this morning due to construction on IC&E Railroad crossings. 12 Avenue joins B Avenue as the two roads affected by the construction. City Engineer Rob McDonald says detour routes will be available for both north and southbound traffic.