Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1117598

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 18, 2014

Community Center plan awaits bond issue

By Mary Zielinski | Feb 19, 2014

KALONA — Outcome of the Mid-Prairie School District’s $10.6 million bond issue April 1 is a factor in further discussion and planning for a joint recreational facility between Kalona and the school district.
“We want to wait and see how the April 1 vote goes,” said City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh who Monday told the council the advisory committee will wait until April 1 to meet again.  Both the city and the district already are on record that there is no urgent time line for the project that could give Mid-Prairie a second gym at its middle school and the city a community center.  Site for the possible facility would be near the middle school, north of Highway 22.
However, work is continuing on the storm sewer improvements from A Avenue south toward the English River, cost of which is estimated at $75,000 to be finance from TIF revenue.  The city just learned that the project will not fit the “rebate” criteria for the city’s State Revolving Loan. Goal is to get the project bid and underway this spring, said Schlabaugh.
Because farmland is involved in the area, Schlabaugh said there are arrangements being made with Mairlyn Farms that, “fortunately, this year are planting the field in hay, so it will give us some additional time.”
In other business in its 25-minute session, the council:
• discussed briefly traffic control on Highway 1 and West H Avenue in regard to the planned Dollar General to be built on part of the Harvest Hill Subdivision’s commercial frontage area along Highway 1.  A letter was sent to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s field office in Fairfield about safety and traffic concerns, but it can take up to six months to get  reply from the DOT.  Currently, the city is seeking prices for solar yellow traffic lights to be placed on the east and west sides of HIghway 1.  They will required a DOT permit, but Schlabaugh noted it will be quicker than obtaining a speed change;
•learned that a review of possible projects for the coming Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) grant cycle is underway to be turned in early in April.  Projects include a scoreboard for the north slow pitch field and resurfacing of tennis courts;
•learned that the DNR and state are reviewing the city’s State Revolving LOan Fund application for the sanitary sewer lining and force main.  It learned that it will not need a state floodplain permit and probably the county will not need one either;
•learned the city purchased three loads of sand expected to take it through the end of the year;
•learned that the quarterly meeting for the English River Watershed Management Authority is February 20 at the Williamsburg Library and that the Washington County Board of Supervisors approved the $10,000 allocation request for the ERWMA in its fiscal 2014-15 budget; and
•learned that a Trials Study will be done to gauge interest in trails within the community, as well as providing information  for the Safe Routes to Schools program.  Additional, there is a recreational marketing program being done by recreation superintendent Ryan Farnsworth as part of his master’s work at the U of I.  Presentations on the projects will come at March 3 meeting.

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