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December 2023

Update: Willow Creek Trail now open

Iowa CityIOWA CITY -- The Willow Creek Trail is now fully reopened to the public. The new trail bridge has been installed and temporary pavement is in place.

The trail will close again in spring 2024 in order to install permanent pavement. Final grading and seeding will also occur in spring 2024. The trail will remain open until that time.

Original press release from Dec. 6, 2023:

Weather permitting, work will begin on the Willow Creek Trail Bridge Replacement Project on Monday, Dec. 11. Willow Creek Trail will close at Shannon Drive, Irving Drive, and near Westwinds Drive on Friday, Dec. 8.

The project will include the replacement of the existing trail bridge and 104 square yards of the trail leading up to the bridge. Work is expected to be complete in January 2024.

A signed detour route has been designated along Shannon Drive, Irving Drive, and Jensen Street.

Second snow of the year brings reminder to clear sidewalks of snow, slush

With an end-of-year snowstorm covering our town, Iowa City reminds residents to clear their sidewalks of snow, slush, and ice within 24 hours of the accumulation ending. With the snowfall stopping around 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, and the upcoming New Year's Day holiday, enforcement will not begin until Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Snow and ice removal

To ensure the well-being of neighbors and those who require sidewalk access for their commutes to work, school, and other needs, snow should be cleared within 24 hours of a one-inch or greater snowfall, or after any accumulation of ice has ended.

During winter, temperatures can rise above freezing during the day and melt snow away, then cool back down at night, creating an icy layer. Please be sure to check that sidewalks remain cleared of ice, as well as snow. Doing so helps protect the many pedestrians who use sidewalks daily in Iowa City. Those who do not remove snow and ice could face a fine; something we all want to avoid.

Salt/sand mix available for residents

The City provides a limited amount of salt/sand mix available at no charge at the Streets Division parking lot, located off of South Gilbert Street in the parking lot at 3901 Napoleon Lane. Iowa City residents should provide their own five-gallon bucket and shovel to obtain the salt/sand mix, which is intended for local residential sidewalks, and not for commercial or contractor use. The mix is currently available.

Sidewalk regulations

Property owners are responsible for ice and snow removal from all sidewalks that abut their private property.

  • The entire width of the sidewalk must be cleared down to concrete.
  • Renters should check their leases to verify if snow and ice removal is the responsibility of the landlord or the tenant.

Clearing curb ramps and crosswalks keeps sidewalks accessible

We encourage residents to help keep curb ramps clear. Snow and ice-free curb ramps are needed to keep sidewalks accessible to everyone.

Snow and ice that accumulate in crosswalks make it difficult and dangerous for many of our residents, especially those with limited mobility, or children on their way to and from school. When you get to the end of your sidewalk, please shovel a few extra feet to clear the crosswalks and curb ramps if you are able. Your extra effort is greatly appreciated. 

A screenshot of a video about City snow shoveling rules.

Watch this video to learn more about Iowa City's snow removal ordinance. 

CDBG/HOME and Emerging Aid to Agencies funding applications now available

Iowa CityThe City of Iowa City is now accepting applications from organizations for public services, public facilities, and affordable housing projects for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024.

Applications are due by noon (on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.)

Emerging Aid to Agencies

Emerging Aid to Agencies (A2A) provides flexible operational funding for nonprofits providing public services. The City expects approximately $37,000 to be available for nonprofit agencies not currently receiving Legacy Aid to Agencies funding.  


The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) programs help develop viable urban communities by providing safe and decent affordable housing, suitable living environments, and expanded economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. The City expects about $754,000 in CDBG/HOME funds to be available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for this competitive application.

  • Of this, around $453,000 must be allocated to affordable housing activities: acquisition, rehabilitation, new construction, or direct assistance for renter- or owner-occupied housing.
  • $224,000 may be used for housing or public facilities projects.
  • An additional $77,000 is estimated to be available for certified Community Housing Development Organization reserve activities.

The Housing and Community Development Commission (HCDC) and City Council will review applications and allocate funds to projects through a public process based on the needs and priorities in City Steps 2025. Funds become available for use after July 1, 2024. HCDC and City staff strongly encourage CDBG/HOME applicants to attend the applicant workshop before applying.

The applicant guide, application materials, and a calendar of key dates in the funding cycle, including applicant workshops, are available at Upon request, staff will email or mail application materials.

Questions about these grants or the funding process may be directed to staff at 319-356-5240 or [email protected].

Iowa City to host Lead Reduction Program Open House at Library Jan. 24

Iowa City Police make arrest following fire investigation

At 1:22 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, the Iowa City Police and Fire departments responded to a fire alarm at 229 S. Dubuque St.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered smoke and water coming from one of the second floor units. Firefighters entered the unit and found the fire had been extinguished by the building's sprinkler system. One person was located on the apartment's balcony. 

There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.

As a result of an investigation into the fire, Victoria R. Lea, 20, of Iowa City, faces one count of first-degree arson.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. No other information is available at this time.

Iowa City Traffic Alert – S Riverside Drive / Hwys 1 & 6

Iowa City LogoIOWA CITY -- Weather permitting, travel on the following street will be impacted beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023.

  • S Riverside Drive / Highways 1 & 6
  • Between Myrtle Avenue and Benton Street
  • Southbound traffic reduced to one lane

It is anticipated normal traffic will resume by Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. This lane reduction will facilitate work on a temporary sidewalk installation in the area.

Iowa City Fire Department responds to residential fire

G Street Fire