May 2017

Solar Group Buy coming June through September: Get on the list, or stay tuned!

Partnering with Midwest Renewable Energy Association and Linn County, the City of Cedar Rapids is participating in a solar group buy--the first in Iowa.
Between June and September, join us at one of twenty Solar Power Hours held across the County to learn about solar and the program.  For those that choose to install solar, the total amount of kilowatts are aggregated for all participants (homes, businesses, farms), and participants achieve price reductions at the following milestones: 50kW, 150kW, 250kW, and 350kW.  

Can Linn County reach 350kW?  Urbana-Champaign, IL, reached 605kW last the answer is, "Yes, it can be done!" 

Click here to see successes in  Urbana-Champaign  and  Milwaukee .

Dates are being scheduled for Solar Power Hours now.  Roughly 20 Solar Power Hours will be held across the County to provide basic education on Solar and how to get involved in the Group Buy.  The Solar Installer, Alliant Energy, and City or County staff will also be present to field questions and provide guidance. 

Contact Eric Holthaus at, or call 319-286-5927 to express interest in learning more.  Solar Power Hour dates and places and information on our website will be coming soon.    
By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator (; 319-286-5927)
Mayor Ron Corbett kicks off Bike to Work week with the Mayor's Ride Proclamation each year.
May is National Bike Month...

...and for one week every year during the month of May, the City of Cedar Rapids recognizes Bike to Work Week.  From Monday, May 15 th through Saturday, May 20 th , cyclists city-wide are encouraged to dust off their seat covers and oil the sprockets on their favorite bicycle to join others in celebrating the fun and benefits of cycling.
  • Monday: Mayor's Bike Ride and Proclamation
    5/15, 7am, Red's Public House
  • Tuesday: Pit Stop (Info, Fixit station, Water, Prizes)
    5/16, 7-9am, 4-6pm, New Bo Market 1st Ave @ Trail & Rockwell Collins
  • Wednesday: Bike to Lunch with Mayor
    5/18, 11-1pm, Meet at City Hall & bike to Sag Wagon
  • Thursday: same as Tuesday
  • Friday: Handlebar Happy Hour / Wrap-Up Party
    5/19, 6pm, Lion Bridge Brewery
  • Saturday: Bike Swap & Ride
    5/20, 8am-3pm, New Bo Market
Everyone is welcome at the following events!  Learn More at and the Facebook event page .

By Ron Griffith, Project Engineer, Public Works
Learn more about STAR Communities at

Cedar Rapids Pursuing STAR Communities

Using the national STAR Communities framework, Cedar Rapids will embark on an effort to comprehensively measure sustainability performance.  STAR stands for Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating.
The framework defines sustainability, identifying critical factors for long-term
community health that fall under social, economic, and environmental realms. 
The assessment results in a 3, 4, or 5 star rating for Cedar Rapids. Results will be public and increase transparency and build a common language around sustainability.
The City's Sustainability Integration Committee will use the STAR findings to build our first Sustainable City Government Plan.  Data collection begins this summer.
Sustainability Integration Committee members include:  Steve Hershner (Co-Chair, Utilities Director), Jennifer Pratt (Co-Chair, Community Development Director), Sandi Fowler (Assistant City Manager), Kevin Ciabatti (Building Services Director), Casey Drew (Finance Director), Jen Winter (Public Works Director), Sven Leff (Parks and Recreation Director), Mark English (Fire Chief), Maria Johnson (Communications Manager), Eric Holthaus (Sustainability Coordinator), Dara Schmidt (Library Director), Marty Lenss (Airport Director)
By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
City Leaders Pursuing Sustainability

The third Sustainable City Talk on 4/24 featured our City's directors and  manager discussing the City's pursuit of sustainability to an audience of 100.   Audience members priorities most important to them, highlighted in the word cloud to the right.  Word size corresponds to frequency of comment.
Concluding the three-part series, the City's Sustainability Integration Committee, will begin the STAR Communities assessment.  Once completed, data and priorities will form the City's first Sustainable City Government Plan.   
By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
My job is a sustainability job:
Matt Myers, Traffic Engineer Manager

My name is Matt Myers, Traffic Engineering Manager in the Public Works Department. Our division is responsible for traffic signals, pavement markings, and traffic control devices throughout the community. Many people may not realize how important our jobs are to pedestrians and cyclists, in addition to motorists. Our division ensures roads can support choices, whether by foot, transit, bike, or car.  We work with city, state, and county officials to ensure roads, sidewalks, and trails are dependable and easy to use. This means closing the "gaps" by adding crosswalks, bike lanes, and other amenities to make our roads accessible for all.

By Matt Myers, Traffic Engineer Manager, Public Works
What do you think?

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram