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News

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.

Angry, and fighting back

Johnson County’s agricultural community voices opposition to proposed Unified Development Ordinance

IOWA CITY– Former Johnson County Supervisor Pat Harney didn’t mince his words when he described the sections of a proposed Unified Development Ordinances relating to agriculture.

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.

City and school elections combined in November

Filing period for candidates runs through Sept. 19

JOHNSON COUNTY– It’s time for the presidential candidates to step aside.
There’s a local election to be held this November.
For the first time since a change adopted by the Iowa Legislature in 2017, local city council and school board elections will be combined Tuesday, Nov. 5.
According to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office, city and school elections will be combined in November of odd-numbered years.

Supervisors and farmers at odds, again

Johnson County’s proposed ordinances may impact animal agriculture

IOWA CITY– Six farmers and supporters of agriculture addressed the Johnson County Board of Supervisors during the public comments portion of a work session Wednesday, Aug. 14, in the county’s administrative building in Iowa City.

Graham Champions 4-H Club

2019 Johnson County Fair Results

DES MOINES– Area participants in the 2019 Johnson County Fair received the following awards listed by event and award received.
Olivia Bonnema received the following recognitions:
Educational Presentation: Excellence Award.
Junior Pet: Champion Junior Pet.
Poultry: Non-Commercial Standard Pair, one male one female fowl of same breed blue,
Non-Commercial Standard Individual, male or female fowl.
Britt Bowersox was the recipient of the following recognition:
Breeding Beef Cow/Calf: Champion Commercial Cow/Calf, Grand Champion Cow/Calf.

CAT grant makes a splash (pad)

No pump and dump for Solon Work delayed until final plans approved

SOLON– Solon’s splash pad should be cooling off kids next summer.
The site at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) has been prepped and is ready to roll, and the city is only waiting on final approval of its plans by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The water amenity has been delayed by a change in the original plan, explained Public Works Director Scott Kleppe.
“What threw a wrench into this for the most part was the recirculation, recycling of the water,” he said.

Creek Fest puts the “Fun” in Tiffin

Something for everybody at Tiffun Creek Fest

TIFFIN– This year’s Tiffun Creek Fest offered an afternoon and evening of fun for all ages. The Saturday, Aug. 10, event kicked off with a Kid’s Fishing Derby and featured Tiffin City Council member Jim Bartels as the Grand Marshal for the afternoon parade.

Roll camera, ACTION!

“East of Middle West” begins filming in Solon 1990s vehicles and extras needed this month

SOLON– “We’ve got some scenes that we’re going to need a bunch of extras,” noted Bill “Ginks” Ginkens.
Ginkens, of rural Solon, spent much of his summer as location scout for “East of Middle West,” a feature film written and produced by University of Iowa (UI) graduate Mokotsi Rukundo and directed by Brian Lucke Anderson.
The independent film was scheduled to film at various locations in and around the Solon area from Thursday, Aug. 8, through the end of the month.