Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Richmond resident protests sewer system

A proposed dual lagoon sewer system in Richmond has some community residents concerned. Bonnie Knutsen says it will be costly to scrap individual septic systems and hook on to the proposed lagoon operation. Knutsen says she favors allowing home owners to keep individual septic systems, and mandating that those who aren't in compliance update their systems. County officials say while the lagoon was not mandated by DNR, it is the system recommended by the engineering firm they hired.

Washington identifies urban reserve district

The city of Washington is identifying where they want, and expect future growth. The city council and planning and zoning commission held a special joint meeting last night. Mayor Sandra Johnson expects expansion towards Iowa City. The city is devising an urban reserve district as Washington County moves forward with a zoning ordinance. The district serves as an area set aside for expansion, and would be put in place as to not conflict with the counties zoning.

City council preview

Washington City Council members will hear about a proposal for Highway 1 and 92 intersection tonight (7/15). They're having a special work session with representatives of the Iowa Department of Transportation. They could also reopen talks on setting cost of living salary adjustments for non union employees. This has been a contentious issue among councilors. They're also expected to set a date for a public hearing for the Washington Bandstand renovation project. The workshop the DOT starts at 6:00. The regular meeting starts at 7:00 in the public library.

Washington business owners invited to hear consultant

Washington business owners are invited for a brown bag lunch with a little advice tomorrow (7/16). Business consultant Margie Johnson is will address a number of issues including sales and marketing, customer retention and team building. Johnson is being brought in through Main Street Washington's downtown revitalization effort. She'll be speaking at the Presbyterian Church from noon to 1:00. It's free and open to the public.

Crop update

It's been a very cool wet July which is exactly what Iowa farmers don't need. The USDA says producers continue to struggle with bailing hay and draining excess water from low lying cropland. In southeast Iowa, 43% topsoil is listed as having surplus moisture, while 42% of subsoil moisture is in the excessive range. The federal agency says crop conditions are still in decent shape. Locally 19% of corn has tasseled, compared with 14% statewide. 23% of southeast Iowa soybeans are blooming, compared with 32% statewide.

Policy changes at WACO

The WACO School Board will have their hands full with a number of policy changes at next weeks meeting on Monday (7/20) at 7:00 in the high school library. The board will consider a grand total of four policy changes that will cover topics from home school assistance programs to even the schools policies on bomb threats. The public is invited to attend, however those wishing to speak must submit their request in writing to the superintendent no later than noon on Monday.

Summer travel not hindered by economy

Despite a tough economy, it seems people still want to get out and see the world. Barb Arnold with Paradise Travel in Washington says while families are trying to budget their vacations, she has still seen interest in places like Italy, Mexico, and Hawaii. Arnold says even with internet travel booking popular, people still turn to travel agents to find the best overall deal when it comes to flights and hotels. She says summer is also a popular time for business travel and honeymoons.