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April 2021

March 2021

Controlled prairie burns at select parks to begin April 1

Attention: Controlled Burn

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department will conduct controlled prairie burns at select City parks over the next month, with one expected to begin on Thursday, April 1, 2021, depending on wind direction and weather conditions.

The park scheduled for a controlled burn on Thursday is:

  • Hickory Hill Park, 1439 Bloomington Street

Due to the highly unpredictable nature of weather, wind, and ground conditions, there are no guaranteed dates for controlled burns for any of the parks. Burns typically occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Parks slated for prairie burns within the month are:

  • Iowa City Kickers Soccer Park, 4400 Soccer Park Road
  • Sand Prairie Park, 1150 Covered Wagon Drive
  • Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Boulevard
  • Waterworks Prairie Park, 2875 N. Dubuque Street

A comprehensive burn plan was prepared and approved by the Iowa City Fire Department, and considerations will be made for wind direction and required weather conditions. Privately-owned land areas and structures will be protected, and fire breaks will be established along all sides of the burn area.

Seasonal burning of native vegetation in Iowa promotes species diversity, habitat and suppression of invasive species. Controlled burning is an established and powerful conservation management tool that, when utilized by professionals under strictly defined parameters, can be safely used for great benefit to natural areas.

For more information contact Parks and Recreation Director, Juli Seydell Johnson, at 319-356-5104

Residents can now apply for rent, utilities, mortgage assistance programs through Iowa Finance Authority

IOWA CITY -- Two programs aimed at helping Iowans through COVID-19 related financial hardships are now open for applications: the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program, as well as the Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program. 

Both programs became open for applications on Monday, March 29, 2021. 

The Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program will provide eligible COVID-19 impacted renters with rent and/or utility assistance for a total of up to 12 months. General eligibility requirements require that applicants:

  • Be current renters earning no more than 80% of their county’s area median income
  • One or more individuals in the household must have either qualified for unemployment benefits or have experienced a documented financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Resident must be able to demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability which may include a past due utility or rent notice or eviction notice

The Iowa Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Program provides eligible COVID-19 impacted homeowners at imminent risk of foreclosure with mortgage assistance for up to four months, with a maximum assistance of $3,600 per household. The short-term program will be available until funds are exhausted or a new federal program is launched.

To learn more about both programs, visit For more Iowa City-area COVID-19 resources, visit

Spring Leaf Vacuum Collection Starts April 5

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Starting Monday, April 5, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling division will begin operating leaf vacuum trucks. The trucks are scheduled to run through Friday, April 30. Residents can expect leaf collection on their regular garbage day unless the trucks are slowed by weather or volume. If service is slowed by weather or volume, the division will strive to reach any missed properties the next day.

Residents should place leaves and other lawn rakings in long rows on the grass or parking area beside the street for collection. Leaves must be kept out of the street and away from obstacles like mailboxes, signs, poles and trees. Customers are advised to NOT rake leaves into the street. 

The Solid Waste & Recycling division URGES RESIDENTS to REMOVE any twigs, sticks, and lingering debris from leaf collection piles:

  • Sticks larger than 6 inches in length can clog the leaf vacuum equipment and cause serious damage, delaying collection operations.
  • Leaf piles must be free of twigs and branches to be collected by the leaf vacuum trucks.
  • Small brush piles of twigs and sticks can be discarded in a customer’s YARDY cart.
  • Larger tree debris piles can be set in a separate pile for the next round of curbside debris collection. All tree debris needs to be placed at the curb by the April 19 collection deadline.

Loose leaf vacuum operations help keep the storm sewer system clear from clogs and backups, cleaning our waterways. Leaf collection also assists in removing debris from the roadway, ensuring safe streets for vehicles/motorcycles and bikes.

The vacuum truck will not collect leaves from alleys. Leaf piles should be free from brush and debris. Sticks and twigs can be placed in the YARDY cart for collection and litter should be bagged and placed in your garbage can. During vacuum collection periods, paper leaf bags can be used for any leaves that do not fit in your YARDY cart. Leaf bags will ONLY be picked up if they are placed at the cart collection area alongside a filled YARDY cart. Each leaf bag must weigh less than 40 pounds. Please do not park cars in front of leaf piles; the truck will not be able to collect the leaves.

For more information about the Solid Waste & Recycling Division’s yard waste collection program, visit or call (319) 286-5897. Sign up for text and email alerts about garbage and recycling at To report a City concern or issue, use the new My CR reporting tool at

Video Update: Community Garden Plots, Library Services, and more

Iowa City Update is a weekly video featuring City of Iowa City projects, programs and events. Topics this week include registration for community garden plots, phase 4 of the reopening of the Iowa City Public Library, and more. Select the image below to watch Iowa City Update.

Community Garden Plots

Registration for Community Garden Plots

Sign up to reserve a community garden plot at one of four City parks. Watch to learn how to register and practice your gardening skills this growing season.

Express Access at the Library

As part of a phased plan to safely open services back up at the Iowa City Public Library, people are now allowed to browse items for 30-minutes at a time.

The Oracles of Iowa City Community Survey

Public input is wanted for this public art project that’s aimed at strengthening social justice and racial equity in Iowa City. The project will include a large mural, community discussions, and a documentary on the process.

Start Time of City Council Meetings

Be aware that City Council Work Sessions and Formal Meetings will both be starting one hour earlier from here on out.

Iowa City Update - Your source for Iowa City news and information.

Traffic Alert - Dodge Street

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, beginning on Monday, March 29, 2021, lanes of traffic will be shifted on Dodge Street between Governor Street and Summit Street, and also near its intersection with Bristol Drive, to facilitate work on underground communication lines.  Work will occur during daylight hours only and it is anticipated normal traffic will resume by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 30th.

Motorists are to take note of this work and allow extra travel time as delays may occur.  As always, caution should be exercised when driving through all construction areas.

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

Traffic Alert - Muscatine Avenue

IOWA CITY -- Iowa CityWeather permitting, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, Muscatine Avenue, from Juniper Drive to Scott Boulevard, will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic to facilitate work on overhead communication lines.  Flaggers will be on site to direct traffic through the area.  It is anticipated normal traffic will resume by the end of the day.

Motorists are to take note of this work and allow extra travel time as delays may occur.  As always, caution should be exercised when driving through all construction areas.

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit

1st Avenue East and 27th Street Pedestrian Bridge Removal

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The pedestrian overpass bridge on 1st Avenue East at 27th Street was damaged during the derecho, and will be permanently removed on March 31, 2021.

1st Avenue East will be closed to all traffic at 27th Street between 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31 until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 1 to allow crews to remove the structure.

The bridge, which is not ADA-compliant, was built in 1981. A new pedestrian underpass is scheduled for completion this year on 1st Avenue between 29th Street and 32nd Street, which will have continuous LED lighting and will serve as a safe and ADA-accessible route across 1st Avenue. 

The removal is being completed as part of the 1st Avenue East project already scheduled at the 27th Street intersection this year, which includes new traffic signals and intersection realignment. Several pedestrian safety enhancements are part of the overall 1st Avenue project, including: new pedestrian-friendly traffic signals at 27th Street, 29th Street, and 32nd Street; sidewalk repairs; ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps at all intersections; and the completion of the pedestrian path under 1st Avenue.

Food Review: Red's Egg'wich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

20210326_081907Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I'm always looking for new options.  I prefer a hot breakfast and my go-to is typically a Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and cheese Croissant.  I also enjoy the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls, but my Lady friend pointed out the sodium levels in those.  The Meat Lover's Bowl has 1,280 mg of sodium, that's 53% of the recommended daily intake - in one meal!  Yikes!

So looking to reduce that sodium intake, as well as keep the carb count low, I picked up a box of Red's Egg'wiches when shopping at Costco the other day.

Featuring turkey sausage, cheese and egg 'patties' for a bun, the egg'wich packs 17 grams of protein, only 3 grams in carbs and 590 mg in sodium - 26% of the recommended daily intake.  Another plus, these are only 190 calories each.

So enough with the nutritional information, "How do they taste?" you ask.....

20210326_083024Not bad, not bad at all.  The turkey sausage is seasoned well, you would be hard pressed to distinguish this sausage patty from a pork patty in a blind taste test.  The egg is fluffy, in an 'almost' bread kind of way, but trying to eat this egg'wich like a sandwich - hands on - well the texture and feel made me opt for a fork.  Not that it's off-putting, I was just reaching for the napkin too often.  Overall, a decent breakfast offering, the egg, cheese and sausage provides a close-to-classic breakfast sandwich flavor.  It was satisfying and kept me full through most of the morning.

Costing me $12.99 for a box of eight egg'wiches, that's $1.62 per sandwich making it Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly.  Easy to prepare in the microwave, nuke it for 50 seconds, flip, then nuke again for another 50 seconds and then let sit for a minute, Red's Egg-Wich is convenient, a repeat buy and I'm giving it 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It won't be my first breakfast sandwich option, but a solid Plan B.  Jimmy Dean makes a similar product, I gave that 4 out of 5 stars.

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Fire Hydrant Flushing in Coralville

Fire hydrantThe City of Coralville Water Department will flush fire hydrants north of Oakdale Boulevard in Coralville starting the week of March 29. Crews will begin in the northeast part of Coralville, and will work from east to west. Hydrant flushing is expected to last until late April, weather permitting. Hydrant flushing locations will be updated weekly as crews progress through Coralville.

As a result of hydrant flushing, residents in the vicinity may notice water running down the street, or a temporary discoloration of their water which does not affect the water safety. In the event of discolored water, run cold water from a faucet until the water clears.

Hydrant flushing is an annual water system maintenance practice that moves water through the pipelines fast enough to remove sediment, and allows the City to service fire hydrants and check water pressure. For more information, please contact the Coralville Water Department at 319.248.1770 or the Utility Billing Department at 319.248.1715.