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Metro Pursuit Iowa City

Whether you're a lifelong resident of the Corridor area, a University of Iowa student, or just visiting the area, you've come to the right place if you're looking for information about lodging, dining, activities, finding a good mechanic, a lawyer and otherwise in the Metro area! Looking for a refreshing dinner experience? Find a restaurant that intrigues you in Metro Pursuit. Have some relatives coming into town and need some entertaining ideas? Find some in Metro Pursuit. Need to move? Find a house or apartment to your liking in Metro Pursuit. Serving the entire Corridor and the metro areas of Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Tiffin, Riverside, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Marion and surrounding communities!



City of Coralville Participates in COVID-19 Memorial on January 19

LuminariesThe City of Coralville will participate in the nationwide memorial for lives lost to COVID-19. On Tuesday, January 19:

  • The northwest lobby of Xtream Arena at 200 E. 9th Street will be open from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm. Luminaria bags and decorating supplies will be available. The public is invited to decorate a luminaria with the name of a friend or loved one who has been lost to COVID-19. Decorated luminarias will be placed on the plaza area outside of the arena and lit at 5:00 pm.
  • At 5:00 pm, luminarias will be lit throughout the Iowa River Landing, including E. 9th Street, Ponseti Way, Iowa River Landing Place, and the north half of Quarry Road and E. 2nd Avenue.
  • Businesses and residents throughout Coralville are invited to leave their lights on through the night as an expression of remembrance.

Ashley Vanorny Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ 2021 Community and Economic Development (CED) Federal Advocacy Committee

Cedar Rapids, Iowa — Cedar Rapids City Council Member Ashley Vanorny, has been appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2021 Community and Economic Development (CED) Federal Advocacy Committee. Vanorny was elected to a one-year term and will provide strategic direction and guidance for NLC’s federal advocacy agenda and policy priorities. The appointment was announced by NLC President Kathy Maness, councilmember, Lexington, South Carolina. 

“I’m looking forward to representing Cedar Rapids on the CED committee, and learning from my fellow committee members throughout the process,” said Vanorny. “Participation in the National League of Cities committees and conferences allows me to represent the needs of Iowa and Cedar Rapids nationally, while also bringing new ideas from other communities to help us improve our city.” 

As a committee member, Vanorny will play a key role among a diverse group of local leaders in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocating on behalf of America’s cities and towns before Congress, with the administration and at home. 

“Our federal advocacy committees are the voices of what’s happening on the ground in our communities,” said Kathy Maness, councilmember of Lexington, South Carolina, and President of the National League of Cities (NLC). “I am proud to have Ashley join NLC's CED committee on behalf of her residents. Together with a team of local leaders from around the country, we will work to solve the most pressing challenges facing our communities.” 

For more information on NLC’s federal advocacy committees, visit: www.nlc.org/advocacy/committees.  

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org


City Offices Open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Coralville City HallCity of Coralville offices will be open normal hours on Monday, January 18, 2021, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Trash and recycling will be picked up on schedule.

Coralville Transit will run a Saturday route and schedule on January 18. To view bus maps and schedules, visit www.coralville.org/transitmaps.


City of Cedar Rapids Invited to Apply for $218 Million in EPA Water Infrastructure Funding

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Today the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will invite the City of Cedar Rapids to apply for a $218 million loan to upgrade its Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF).

Nearly 70 public and private entities submitted letters of interest to apply for Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) program financing available in 2021. Following a robust, statutorily required review process, the WIFIA Selection Committee chose the Cedar Rapids project — along with 54 other projects — to submit applications for loans this year. The average loan amount in this financing cycle is approximately $93 million.

WIFIA is a federal credit program administered by EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Benefits of WIFIA include low, fixed interest rates; flexible financing terms; and extended repayment periods. The program is expected to provide significant cost savings, due to historically lower interest rates when compared to traditional financing, across the first two phases of planned capital improvements projects at WPCF.

The WPFC is one of few advanced wastewater treatment facilities in the State of Iowa — capable of treating as many as 125 million gallons of residential and industrial wastewater daily. Thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity depend upon the facility.

“A key factor in the success of our city’s economic development and community development is strong infrastructure,” said Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz. “Continuous improvements and upgrades to our water systems ensure we are ready to address the needs of our growing community for years to come.”

Planned improvement projects focus on solids handling and nutrient reduction at WPCF. Improvements will span four phases over the next two decades, with costs estimated to reach $427.6 million over the life of the projects. “WIFIA is an incredible tool that will allow us to save money while embarking on important clean water infrastructure upgrades. This work will refresh and enhance our wastewater treatment facility, providing cleaner water in a more sustainable way,” said Roy Hesemann, Utilities Director for the City of Cedar Rapids. “We are incredibly pleased to be selected to apply for this program. I especially want to thank our industrial users who understand the needs at our plant and the benefits of participating in this federal loan program. Letters of support from our industrial users and congressional representatives played an important role in securing this financing opportunity.”

Early Phase 1 engineering and design for upgrades at the plant began in March 2020, following several years of feasibility studies and implementation planning. “Phase one and two improvements will focus on upgrading aging solids-handling facilities,” explained James Flamming, an engineer with the City’s Utilities Department who is managing the project. “Over the course of the phased improvements, we’ll focus on improving resource recovery and efficiency at the plant, ensuring long-term sustainability, meeting air quality standards, and improving water quality in the Cedar River watershed.”

“EPA built one of the greatest financing tools for investing in America’s water infrastructure in history when it stood up the WIFIA program in 2018,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These 55 new projects will facilitate $12 billion in water infrastructure to help address some of the most pressing challenges faced by water systems across this country.”

Find more information about the WPCF Nutrient Reduction & Solids Handling Plan on the City’s website at http://www.cedar-rapids.org/residents/utilities/projects.php

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Background on WIFIA

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.

EPA news release: EPA Invites 55 New Projects to Apply for WIFIA Loans to Improve Water Quality

To learn more about the 55 projects that are invited to apply for WIFIA financing in 2021, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wifia/wifia-selected-projects


Coralville Is Accepting Applications for Home Buyer Assistance Program

The City of Coralville has funds available for home buyer assistance. The Coralville Home Buyer Assistance (HBA) program will provide financial assistance of up to $24,999 to five eligible home buyers.

This funding is provided by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) in Cedar Rapids.  

How to Apply
To apply, complete the Coralville Home Buyers Assistance application at www.ecicog.org/housing.html. For additional information, contact Paula Mitchell at ECICOG at paula.mitchell@ecicog.org.

Eligibility
Eligible persons will:

  • Purchase a home in Coralville that is outside of the 100-year flood plain.
  • Purchase a property that will serve as their primary place of residence for at least five years.
  • Have an annual gross household income that does not exceed 80% of the current area median income for Johnson County.
Household Size 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person
Eligible Maximum Income $54,950 $62,800 $70,650 $78,500

 

Eligible Homes
Eligible home types are:

  • Single family property
  • Condominium
  • Existing or newly constructed property
  • Manufactured home:
    • Built in 1976 or later
    • Permanently affixed to a site-built foundation
    • Towing hitch and running gear removed
    • Installed on land owned by the potential property owner
    • Dwelling and site taxed as real estate

Financial Assistance
Financial assistance will be up to $24,999 to assist with up to:

  • 50% of the lender required down payment
  • $350 toward a property inspection fee
  • $3,500 toward closing costs

Assistance will be in the form of a receding forgivable loan, with 20% of the loan forgiven annually over five years. If the property is sold or transferred before five years have passed, or if the property is not used as a primary place of residence for the program participant, the participant will repay the remaining principal amount to the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  

Property Standards
The following property standards apply:

  • Property must meet either state and local housing codes 
  • Repairs to comply must be completed before closing, and costs for these repairs should be negotiated between the buyer and seller
  • A full Uniform Relocation Act-compliant appraisal must be conducted by a licensed appraiser, and an inspection must be conducted by ECICOG’s Housing Specialist.
  • Program is subject to HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule, and home must be inspected for lead based paint hazards. A limited amount of funding is available to address lead-based paint hazards identified by ECICOG’s inspector, subject to budget approval.

Today's Weather Outlook for the Corridor

Today's weather forecast and a four day outlook.  Check this page for the latest weather reports in the corridor area.  Up-to-date weather conditions for the Iowa City area are observed at the Iowa City, Iowa City Municipal Airport, IA.  For weather conditions specific to other cities outside the corridor area, just type in your zip code below.


Coralville, Iowa, weather forecast

Type in your zip code for your weatherecast

 

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It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

2021 Girl Scout CookiesGirl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) kicked off the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season during a challenging time when many Girl Scouts are selling in creative, socially distant, and contact-free ways to keep themselves and their customers safe.

Even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls are adapting their sales methods to share the joy of Girl Scout Cookies through the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program—including taking contact-free pickup and delivery orders through a new national collaboration with Grubhub. Additionally, GSUSA is making online cookie ordering available nationwide on February 1 so consumers who don’t know a Girl Scout can still purchase cookies from a local troop for direct shipment to their homes or donation to local military and first responders.

Innovative Girl-led Sales Methods

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has long taught girls how to run a business via in-person booths, door-to-door activity, and the Digital Cookie® platform online, which GSUSA launched in 2014. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the middle of the 2020 season and girls were faced with the same challenges as other small businesses, girls in quickly pivoted their sales methods. Girls as young as five years old are continuing to embrace their entrepreneurial spirits, stay connected to their communities, and have fun by participating in the Cookie Program. And, the proceeds from each and every purchase stay local with the troop and its council to power Girl Scouts’ essential leadership programming.

This year, Girl Scouts is also providing new materials as part of their cookie badge program to support girls as they run their cookie business online and via social media, helping them be best equipped to sell during these times. 

Ordering Now Available Through Delivery Platform Grubhub

This season, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is participating in a national collaboration with food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub so girls have an additional way to facilitate contact-free cookie orders. In Waterloo, Quad Cities, and Cedar Rapids, consumers can order Girl Scout Cookies for pickup or delivery on Grubhub.com or the Grubhub app on select weekends in February and March. A hands-on experience in managing e-commerce, local Girl Scouts will track and fulfill orders, manage inventory, and more, all using Grubhub’s back-end technology. As always, the proceeds benefit the troop and council while providing another innovative way to safely run the cookie program virtually. GSUSA is grateful to Grubhub for waiving all fees for the organization to make this new delivery option feasible for sales without reducing troops’ and councils’ proceeds.

Online Ordering Available Nationwide February 1

GSUSA is making it possible for all consumers nationwide who don’t already know a Girl Scout to purchase Girl Scout Cookies online for shipment to their door. Beginning February 1, customers can enter their zip code into the Girl Scout Cookie Finder to find a local troop to purchase from through the Digital Cookie platform for direct shipment or donation to local organizations. This additional contact-free method supports local girls while keeping their safety and skill building top of mind.

How to Safely Purchase Girl Scout Cookies This Season

Locally, Girl Scout Cookie season runs until March 14, 2021. Consumers can support Girl Scouts by purchasing cookies in a few different ways:

  • If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to find out how she’s selling cookies in ways that meet local and state safety protocols.
  • If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org, text COOKIES to 59618 (message and data rates may apply. Text STOPGS for STOP, HELPGS for help), or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for free on iOS or Android devices to find socially distant or contact-free cookie booths if they are available in your area.
  • Visit www.grubhub.com/food/girl_scouts to order via contact-free delivery from Grubhub in Waterloo, Quad Cities, and Cedar Rapids on weekends in February and March.
  • Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is grateful to many businesses for opening space outside their retail locations for Girl Scouts to sell cookies in a safe and socially distant manner, when allowed by local COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Beginning February 1, enter your zip code into the Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www.girlscoutcookies.org to purchase from a local Girl Scout troop online for shipment to your door or to donate cookies to first responders and local causes.

Traditional cookie flavors are $5/package and the specialty gluten-free Toffee-tastic® cookies are $6/package.


Vehicles Parked Along the Street since December 29 Snow Storm Being Towed

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Police Department has been working with the City’s towing contractor to remove over 60 vehicles that have been parked along area roadways since the Tuesday, December 29, 2020 snow storm impacted our community.  Vehicles parked more than 48 hours upon any street or in the area between the sidewalk and the curb or roadway is considered a street storage and the vehicle can be ticketed and/or towed to a storage place.

Police officers have received several complaints from neighbors about vehicles that have not moved since the snow storm over a week ago.  Failure to move parked vehicles prevents the City’s snow plow equipment to effectively clear roadways.  Further, the parked vehicles surrounded by snow can interfere with public safety response to neighborhoods and create traffic hazards for other motorists.  Officers have identified and had the tow company remove over 60 vehicles both Thursday and today. 

Additional vehicles will need to be towed if they are not moved. Warnings will not be issued to owners of motor vehicles that have left their vehicle parked along roadways and there is evidence the vehicles haven’t moved since the late December snow storm. 


Municipal Code does not allow use of the street or the area between the sidewalk and the curb or roadway to be used for storage purposes, or to park vehicles for the purpose of displaying them for sale, or for the repairing of any vehicles except where is may be necessary to for a short time to make emergency repairs.

Vehicles left parked on the street often interfere with the orderly removal of snow and/or ice.  Vehicles left parked for an extended period of time can also disrupt the repair, construction, and maintenance of streets, or create a hazard or obstruction to the normal flow of traffic. 

The registered owner of a vehicle that is left parked on a street for more than 48 hours can be issued a street storage citation ($25 parking citation) and can be held responsible for towing, preservation, and storage charges.  The City’s contract with a towing service involves a minimum $95 towing fee and storage fee of $18 per day.  Additional towing fees are applicable if the towing contractor needs to remove snow from around a vehicle, for example.  There is also a $60 Police Department administrative fee when towing is involved.

The Police Department will notify the last known registered owner of the vehicle, all lienholders of record, and any other known claimant to the vehicle or personal property found in the vehicle, that the vehicle has been taken into custody. Vehicles not reclaimed after the expiration of a 10-day claiming period after being impounded are considered abandoned and may be subject to disposal by sale or destruction.   


Cedar Valley Nature Trail Closure During Flood Control Projects

Cedar Valley Nature Trail ClosureCEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Permanent flood control efforts continue in the area north of Cedar Lake. Work is currently underway on the first phase of flood control at the Shaver Road NE bridge, over McLoud Run (aka Cold Stream). Starting today, the Cedar Valley Nature Trail will be closed from 10th Street NE, along McLoud Run, and south to the Cedar Lake Loop located at the northwest corner of Cedar Lake. A detour has been established along 10th Street NE.

The trail closure is associated with the work taking place at Shaver Road, which will include elevating the bridge and constructing a trail underpass. The trail segment in this area will remain closed for approximately the next three years as work is completed at the Shaver Road bridge and levee construction begins.

Future flood control in this area will include a new levee and trail system west of Shaver Road and south of McLoud Run, with the trail built on top of the levee (similar to the Sinclair levee). The levee and trail system will include amenities such as a trail parking lot, pedestrian benches, and scenic viewpoints. When all flood control measures are completed in this area, it will wrap around Cedar Lake, tying into high ground at I-380 near J Avenue, and will protect homes and businesses threatened when the Cedar River backs up into McLoud Run and Cedar Lake. Residents can view a map of the flood control alignment on the City’s website: www.cityofcr.com/floodcontrol.

About the Shaver Road Flood Project

Work began early December 2020 on the first phase of flood control measures at the Shaver Road NE bridge. Shaver Road will remain open to two-way traffic during this phase of the project, with lane reductions in effect. This phase of the project will include the extension and partial demolition of the existing box culvert under the bridge, as well as utility relocations – all precursor work for replacing and elevating the Shaver Road bridge as part of the permanent flood control system. The Shaver Road bridge will be elevated 8 feet over a floodwall, and will be designed to remain open during flood emergencies. Future phases of the Shaver Road project will also include separate roadway and trail bridges over McLoud Run, and environmental improvements in the streambed to restore McLoud Run to a natural condition, which is supportive of fish habitat.

Phase one of the project is scheduled to be completed May 2021. The Shaver Road bridge replacement is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2021 and be completed in 2022.  Stream improvements and the new trail bridge are scheduled between 2021 and 2023.

To learn more about the City’s permanent flood control system, please visit www.cityofcr.com/floodcontrol.


Animal Services seeks assistance identifying dog’s owner following bite

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, Iowa City Animal Services received notification of a person who was bitten by a dog. 

According to the information provided, the bite occurred in the afternoon on Jan. 6, while the victim was skiing in Hickory Hill Park. The dog that bit the person was described to be black and tan.

Iowa City Animal Services is seeking information regarding the rabies vaccination. If anyone has any information about the identity of the owner, they are encouraged to contact Iowa City Animal Services directly at 319-356-5295 or the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-6800.