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Doug Lindner

New software program approved for water, wastewater

Council authorizes $19,000 for start-up and subscription

SOLON– Dave Richards placed a huge three-ring binder stuffed full of pages onto the table.
“That’s 2018 just for the sewer plant,” Richards explained.
Inside the binder were the monthly reports for Solon’s wastewater treatment facility, which Richards oversees.
The stack of reports was on display at an Oct. 4 city council meeting where Solon Public Works Director Scott Kleppe proposed a new cloud-based software program, WaterTrax, to reduce the time his employees spend managing reporting requirements.

Lady Spartans coming closer

Beckman, West Delaware still deliver 3-0 sweeps

SOLON– WaMaC powerhouses Beckman Catholic and West Delaware took 3-0 wins from Solon’s varsity volleyball team last week.
But the Lady Spartans’ scores keep creeping up.
Beckman, ranked No. 3 in Class 2A and atop the WaMaC East standings came to Solon Oct. 1 for the conference sweep, while the Lady Spartans traveled to Manchester Oct. 3 to face the fifth-ranked (4A) Hawks.
Beckman rolled (25-12, 25-14, 25-18), but Solon came closer on the road against West Delaware (25-13, 25-19, 25-19).

Dungeons and Dragons, anyone?

Kurth hopes to develop new adult programs for library

SOLON– Solon is a lot like home for Alexis Kurth.
Kurth, the new adult services coordinator for the Solon Public Library, grew up in XXXX, Ore., a small town south of Portland.
“It’s actually very similar to Solon in a lot of ways,” she said, except XXXXX has a hop festival instead of Beef Days. “It was very much the same feeling when I went to Beef Days as it was being a kid at the Hop Festival, so that was pretty cool.”

Spartans chase Bloodhounds for Homecoming win

Miller throws five TD in 45-7 blowout

SOLON– Senior quarterback Cam Miller had himself a night.
Miller went 15-20 for 323 yards passing and five touchdowns against the Fort Madison Bloodhounds for Homecoming Sept. 27, and the Spartans rolled to a 45-7 victory.
Solon racked up 410 yards of total offense while holding Fort Madison to 143 and scored six of touchdowns in the first two quarters for a 38-0 halftime lead.
“Overall it was our best performance of the year,” assessed Solon Head Coach Kevin Miller. “We didn't have a single penalty and didn't have as many missed assignments as the previous week.”

A brush with sunset

Pinterest partiers paint with Westcot

SOLON– The sun trailed slowly into the west, illuminating a tall tree.
And there was Lianne Westcot’s subject.
Westcot, a local artist, had her easel and paints set up in front of the large windows in the Solon Public Library’s reading area. A group of women were gathered around her Sept. 18 as part of the library’s latest Pinterest Party– a crash course on plein air (outdoor) painting.
Westcot is a member of the Iowa Plein Air Painters, a group of four-to-eight regular Solonites who paint every Sunday at a variety of outdoor locations, announced each week on the group’s Facebook page.

Moxie: Let the sun shine

Local solar company, now in seven states, makes case to legislators

NORTH LIBERTY– The power of the sun was on display for state legislators at the North Liberty Public Works campus Aug. 14.
Members of the Iowa Future Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of millennial lawmakers, visited one of the city’s solar arrays and listened to concerns from Moxie: America’s Solar Company representatives regarding the state’s approach to renewable energies.
Moxie and the City of North Liberty partnered on a series of solar arrays to power municipal buildings in 2016.

Hoover Trail coming together

All but Ely Road underpass done this year

SOLON– It’s close.
Oh, so close.
The Hoover Trail link between Solon and Ely will be mostly filled in yet this year, with only the Ely Road underpass to construct in 2020.
A gravel, at-grade crossing is in place at the underpass site north of 140th Street providing access to the entire trail, according to Brad Friedhof, program manager for the Johnson County Conservation Board.
But there are still small stretches of concrete to pour between Polk Avenue and Ely Road along Highway 382 near Solon.

Lady Spartans fall to Mount Vernon

Girls rebound at Vinton quad, Linn-Mar tourney

SOLON– There was a chance in the first game, but it slipped away.
The Mount Vernon Mustangs, ranked first in Class 3A at the time, swept the Solon volleyball team at home Sept. 10.
The Mustangs dropped the Lady Spartans 25-23, 25-17, 25-14.
Solon kept pace with Mount Vernon in the first game, closing to within two points and a single point at 24-23 before the final Mustang kill put the Lady Spartans away.
Solon found itself in a 1-6 and then a 2-10 hole in game two, but clawed back within five before falling.

Bicycles hijack capital improvements list

Council work session focuses on connecting Main Street with trail

SOLON– Getting bicyclists safely downtown quickly jumped to the top of the list.
The Solon City Council revisited its capital improvement program (CIP) at a Sept. 4 meeting, and extending the Hoover Trail from its head at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) to Main Street dominated the conversation.
The CIP is a list of ranked projects, with estimated costs and projected scheduling used to help plan for short- and long-term municipal upgrades.

New playground equipment for Fox Ridge park

SOLON– Thanks to donations from the Solon school district and the FORE Solon Committee, the city is beefing up its playgrounds.
The immediate impact has been at Fox Ridge Park, although improvements are planned for next year at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA), according to Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“This has always been a long range plan to improve something over on this east side of Highway 1,” he explained.

On location at Sam’s Main Street Market

“East of Middle West” cameras and crew invade grocery store

SOLON– It was a little bit of movie magic.
Customers at Sam’s Main Street Market shared the aisles with movie cameras, sound equipment, actors and technicians from the production crew of “East of Middle West,” on the afternoon of Aug. 28.
For about seven hours, scenes were filmed throughout the grocery store, including at the front register as rush hour was starting for owner Sam Lensing and his staff.
“I was kind of worried it might hinder the flow,” Lensing said. “It went pretty smooth.”
Lensing said the film’s director wanted a lot of bodies moving around in the background.

City puts hotel/motel tax on November ballot

Could impose up to 7% tax

SOLON– They know it’s likely coming at some point.
Solon City Council members voted to place a hotel/motel tax proposal on the ballot for the Nov. 5 city-school election.
The measure will require a simple majority for passage.
The city has been preparing for the possibility of a hotel or other short-term rental properties for months.
The Solon Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has been working on a number of revisions to the city’s zoning code, including the creation of bed and breakfast (B&B) and short-term rental ordinances.