CRMEA innovation councils name chairs, vice chairs
One of the key features of the new Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance structure is the creation of innovation councils that will help connect customers to the organization and ensure broad involvement in the shaping of the strategic focus of the organization.
Innovation Councils were created to focus on three of the economic alliance's core functions: business support, community development and economic development. The chair and vice chair for 2012 are as follows:
Business Support Innovation Council
Chair: Julie Hein, KZIA Z102.9 and 1600 ESPN Radio
Vice chair: Mike McGrath, McGrath Powersports
Community Development Innovation Council
Chair: Brian Brandt, Principal Financial Group
Vice chair: Cathy Terukina, SourceMedia Group
Economic Development Innovation Council
Chair: Rod Dooley, Rockwell Collins
Vice chair: Dan Smith, Whirlpool
IC issues update on landfill fire
The stir, burn and cover operation at the Iowa City landfill is expected to continue through the weekend. Since the operation began on the evening of June 4, city officials estimate that about 50 percent of the fire site has successfully been covered with a layer of clay soil. The work is being conducted by Environmental Restoration LLC, with assistance from Connolly Construction.
Weather permitting, city officials estimate that the fire site will be completely covered in three to five days. After the fire site is covered, the city will continue efforts to contain the fire, as it is expected to burn underground for an extended period of time. Flare-ups on the surface and in the landfill space near where the fire originated are expected to occur and will be appropriately addressed by the Iowa City Fire Department.
Although significant progress has been made in covering the fire and the amount of emissions has been reduced accordingly, the health precautions previously issued by the Johnson County Health Department remain applicable throughout the region.
The city continues to work to dispose of the pyrolitic oil that is produced by the burning tires. To date, about 38,000 gallons have been shipped offsite to out-of-state locations. The remaining oil, totaling about 80,000 gallons, has been successfully transferred into enclosed storage tanks. Those tanks significantly reduce the fire risk previously associated with open air storage. It is expected that it will take a couple of weeks to remove all of the pyrolitic oil generated by the fire to date. Additional oil will continue to be produced, captured and transported as the fire burns under the clay cover.
The total cost of the fire will not be known until damages can be fully assessed and a remediation strategy can be developed. At this time, the city estimates the total cost to be between $4 and $6 million. The city has submitted a notice of claim to its insurance carriers. It is expected that the insurance carriers will need several weeks to process the claim and communicate their findings to city officials.
More information on the status of the fire is available on the City's website at www.icgov.org. On that website there is a Frequently Asked Questions document and copies of media releases. Interested persons can track the event through Facebook by linking through the city's website or searching for Iowa City Landfill Fire. The public can also access the in-depth presentation from June 5th on the website or through InfoVision on-demand available on City Channel 5.
CR stormwater utility improvement meetings planned
The Cedar Rapids Public Works Department will have a feedback opportunity for residents, business and industry representatives and all other interested groups on the possible changes to the stormwater utility.
This will be the first meeting in a series of meetings to discuss the stormwater utility. The city of Cedar Rapids has had a stormwater utility since 1979. The funds generated from this utility have gone toward the upkeep of storm sewer. With changing regulations, increase miles of storm sewer/intakes and increase number of publically-owned detention basins, the city felt it was time to look at the level of service provide by the stormwater utility.
The city of Cedar Rapids has concluded a study of how other cities in Iowa have set up their stormwater utilities. The city has entered into a six-month process to discuss the stormwater utility program.
The first meeting is 4:30-5:30 p.m. June 14 at public works, 1201 Sixth St. SW.
At the end of this six month process, the city will decide whether there are reasons to change the program and what those changes may be for fiscal year 2014 budget.
For more information, visit
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News items provided by KGAN/KFXA
Cedar Rapids is considering a ban on feeding geese to combat a population boom. Geese numbers have soared -- and so has the mess they're leaving behind. Parks Superintendent Daniel Gibbins says other options include asking the city council to allow geese hunting in the city and recruiting local dogs to move geese from high traffic areas to other spots. The city may also oil geese eggs next year to prevent them from hatching, though the effort requires licensed workers to do the job. For now, officials are asking people not to feed the geese.
An online petition is circulating to save the sledding hill at Thomas Park and sections of the Legion Park Disc Golf Course in Marion. The City of Marion is currently considering a land swap with a residential developer. Under the trade deal, the city park gains just over 4.5 acres in exchange for 1.3 acres.
Surveillance video sparks controversy in the Johnson County Auditor's office. The allegation is that Auditor Tom Slockett broke election security policy by bringing his campaign intern into the ballot room Monday --- the day before the primary election. Mr. Slockett says he did nothing wrong and that it's common for him to show people how elections work, including the ballot room, in an effort to maintain transparency. Board of Supervisors Chair Rod Sullivan heard complaints from two different employees and decided to report it to the county attorney. He concedes Mr. Slockett probably did nothing wrong, but wanted to be thorough. He says the fact he's on the committee to elect Travis Weipert, the man who defeated Mr. Slockett in Tuesday primary - has nothing to do with the investigation.
CBS 2 FirstWarning Weather -- The forecast will remain fairly quiet this weekend as a large area of high pressure dominates our weather. We will see mostly sunny skies for the weekend Sunday as temperatures and humidity slowly increase. Highs on this afternoon will be in the upper 80s with upper 80s and lower 90s on tap for the weekend.