News, Metro Feed

Video Update: Police Chief, Mask Mandate, Scanlon Gym

Iowa City Update is a weekly video featuring City of Iowa City projects, programs and events. Topics this week include the new Police Chief, the extension of Iowa City’s face mask mandate, and registration-only activities at Scanlon Gym. Select the image below to watch Iowa City Update.


Iowa City Update: Police Chief


Police Chief Dustin Liston Sworn-In

Learn about the experience and background of the new chief of police at the Iowa City Police Department, who was sworn-in on January 11, 2021.

Face Covering Order Extended

Mayor Bruce Teague’s face covering order, which requires every person in the City of Iowa City to wear a face covering in public places, has been extended through May.

Pre-registration Activities at Scanlon Gym

Iowa City Parks and Recreation will be reopening Scanlon Gym for pre-registered time slots for walking, singles pickleball play, and reservation-only basketball court use.

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


Mayor Reappointed to National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment, & Natural Resources Committee

LundellJohn Lundell, Mayor of Coralville, IA, has been reappointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2021 Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Federal Advocacy Committee. Lundell 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.

Lundell has served on the NLC EENR Committee for the past six years. “The City of Coralville has consistently been recognized for our environmental leadership,” Lundell stated. “Coralville has received national recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for our extensive Brownfields Program that enabled redevelopment of the highly successful Iowa River Landing District. I am equally proud of Coralville’s innovative stormwater management programs that have received numerous awards from multiple environmental agencies.”

As a committee member, Lundell continues to 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 federal administration and at home.

“Our federal advocacy committees are the voices of what’s happening on the ground in our communities,” said Maness. “I am proud to have Mayor Lundell’s continued service on the NLC EENR committee. Together with other a team leaders from around the country, we will work to solve challenges facing our communities.”

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

About the National League of Cities
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


Coralville Mayor Extends Face Covering Proclamation to April 15

Coralville Mask UpCoralville Mayor John A. Lundell has extended a proclamation through April 15, 2021, requiring that persons wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place and one cannot stay six feet away from others. Public places include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, retail stores, and public transportation.

Exemptions from the order are included for certain populations and activities. View the extended face covering proclamation.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate across the state including in our community, the Coralville City Council and I believe that it is critical to take this step requiring the wearing of masks when in public. Scientific evidence clearly indicates that mask wearing is the most effective method for curbing the spread of this virus until a vaccine or other measures are developed. The Council and I appreciate the cooperation of our citizens, visitors, and businesses as we do our part to avoid spreading the virus,” said Mayor Lundell.


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


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.


Scanlon Gym to reopen with pre-registration

Iowa City Parks & Recreation will be reopening Scanlon Gym for pre-registered time slots for walking, singles pickleball play, and reservation-only basketball courts on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The cost is $1 per person per 45-minute block. Reservations will be available for individuals 12-years or older. Parents or guardians must accompany children under the ages of 11. All users must bring in their own equipment including pickleball paddles, pickleballs, and basketballs. No one will be admitted without a reservation; no drop-ins.

Time slots for walking and singles pickleball play will be available Monday-Friday mornings. Only 2 players will be allowed per court for pickleball. Participants may be from separate households.

Basketball courts slots will be available Monday- Friday afternoon. Reservations will be for single use only. Only individuals in the household will be allowed to share a court. Basketball games are prohibited; shootaround only. 

Mercer Park Aquatic Center remains open for pre-registered lap lane swimming and water walking. The Parks and Recreation Department is extending pool operations to include Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Sunday, January 17, 2021.

Book Club? Knitting group? Coffee Klatch? The Procter and Gamble room is still available for small group room rentals on a reservation-only basis. This opportunity is being provided to the community to provide a socially distanced space for small social or family groups to meet. The cost is $10 per time block. Time blocks are available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A maximum of ten attendees will be permitted to use the space during the rental period. 

How to register

Reservations for pre-registered walking time slots, singles pickleball play, and reservation-only basketball courts must be reserved by phone and paid in advance. Customer service representatives are available to assist by calling 319-356-5100 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No one will be admitted without a reservation. Both residents of Iowa City and non-residents can make reservations. Visitors will be asked to follow the general COVID-19 safety practices and guidelines. Those include maintaining 6 feet of distance from one another, wearing a mask, refraining from gathering, and exiting the facility promptly at the end of the reservation.

For all Iowa City COVID-19 news, updates and resources, visit our web page at icgov.org/Coronavirus.


Crews to tow parts of Iowa, Jefferson, College, Washington, Prentiss, Clinton streets for snow plowing

Snow Plow image


The City of Iowa City will tow vehicles to allow plows to clear the entire width of the street beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. 

During this time, on-street parking will be prohibited in posted areas. Vehicles that are not moved will be towed. Crews posted 'No Parking Due to Maintenance' signs at least 48-hours in advance in impacted areas.

UI students should pay special attention, as many park their vehicles on the street in these areas. 


Tow Schedules 

Crews will begin at 7 a.m. Vehicles should be off the street before crews begin work at 7 a.m. 

Friday, Jan. 8: 

  • Jefferson Street, from Gilbert Street to Evans Street (south side only)
  • Iowa Avenue, from Van Buren Street to Muscatine Avenue (south side only)
  • Washington Street, from Johnson Street to Muscatine Avenue (south side only)
  • College Street, from Van Buren Street to Muscatine Avenue (south side only)
  • Prentiss Street, from Capitol Street to Dubuque Street (south side only)
  • Clinton Street, from Prentiss Street to the railroad tracks south of Prentiss (west side only) 

For more information, call the Streets Division at 319-356-5181.


If you are towed

If your vehicle is towed, call the Parking Division at 319-356-5151 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours call the Iowa City Police Department's routine line at 319-356-5275. Do not call 911

Be prepared to provide your vehicle information and license plate number to find out if your vehicle is on the impound list. To recover your vehicle, you will need to show an ID and pay for all unpaid City of Iowa City citations in cash. After payment is made, you will be given instructions on how to reclaim your vehicle. Towing charges and any vehicle impound storage fees will also need to be paid. These are the responsibility of the vehicle owner.