Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 27, 2014

Kalona council sets bid letting; OKs contracts

By Mary Zielinski | Mar 05, 2014

KALONA — Work on an estimated $75,000 storm sewer project on Kalona’s A Avenue should start this spring, the council learned Monday after setting the bid letting for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 3.  The project, among other concerns will relieve flooding in the area.
There was equal unanimous action for two contracts with Washington County, both of which are less than what was originally budgeted: the $65,504 contract with the county Communications and the $78,085 with the sheriff’s department for law enforcement services.
Major part of the less-than-hour meeting dealt with two projects to be done by University of Iowa graduates students: a possible recreation marketing and promotion plan and a master plan to develop walking and biking trails in Kalona.  Both are part of graduate student projects.
The first, which involves Kalona’s Recreation Superintendent Ryan Farnsworth and other students, will be for the exiting recreation program and would use a variety of means, including social media.
“We want people to know what we have here,” said Farnsworth, “to make them aware of the center and Kalona.  We will focus on what exists now.”  That means, he explained, there will be nothing about a possible future community center as a joint project with the Mid-Prairie School District.  A final representation will be made in May.
The second plan derives from the original outline done by RDG as part of the long-range Kalona Comprehensive plan.  Vanessa Fixmer-Oraiz, Kalona’s watershed planning intern, and three UI graduate students, who are just beginning to review and prepare a plan that would provide routes for recreational walks, walks to work and to school and for simply touring the community.  Kalona already has funding and plans for the safe school routes program that will get under way this year, and Fixmer-Oraiz said the trail proposal would tie into it.
They expect to contact and deal with other community groups for suggestions and input, including the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee and the home owner associations.  Part of the plan will be to distribute flyers to residents.
One concern, as noted by council member Mark Robe, is crossings for Highway 1 and Highway 22, especially Highway 22 that divided Kalona almost equally into north and south segments.  A full plan is expected to be ready in May.
In other business the council approved a Class B Native Win permit for the Kalona Historical Village and passed a resolution supporting the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort and opposing the proposed casino for Cedar Rapids.

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