LOCAL DEVELOPER DENNIS WILSON HAS BEEN CITED FOR A HANDFUL OF CITY CODE VIOLATIONS, IN CONNECTION WITH THE NEW YEAR’S DAY FIRE AT ONE OF HIS APARTMENT BUILDINGS…A FIRE IN WHICH 6 PEOPLE WERE INJURED.
BURLINGTON POLICE THIS(THUR) MORNING CONFIRMED THAT WILSON STANDS ACCUSED OF HAVING SIX APARTMENTS IN THE BUILDING AT 11-15 VINE STREET, EVEN THO HE ONLY HAD RENTAL PERMITS FOR FIVE. HE’LL APPEAR IN COURT ON THE 25TH (AT 1 PM).
A FORMER TENANT…43-YEAR OLD CHRISTINE RICE OF BURLINGTON…HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ARSON FOR ALLEGEDLY STARTING THE FIRE, AFTER AN ARGUMENT WITH NEIGHBORS. Continue Reading
THE WEST BURLINGTON CITY COUNCIL VOTED LAST(WED) NITE TO RAISE THE CITY’S TAX-LEVY RATE. NOT 74 CENTS…AS WAS PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER…BUT 35 CENTS…AS PROPOSED BY COUNCILMAN RICK RALEIGH.
IT’LL PUT THE CITY’S PROPERTY TAX RATE AT 10-DOLLARS-AND-10-CENTS PER THOUSAND DOLLARS…BUT MAYOR HANS TROUSIL SAYS WEST BURLINGTON RESIDENTS ARE STILL AMONG THE LOWEST-TAXED, BY THEIR CITIES, IN THE AREA. THE ONLY RESIDENT TO TAKE EXCEPTION WITH A TAX INCREASE AND VOICE HIS OPINION AT THE PUBLIC HEARING DOESN’T SEE IT THAT WAY. JOE SHANNON SAYS IT FEELS LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOING UP AND HE DOESN’T SEE WHY SOMETHING ELSE COULDN’T BE CUT FROM THE CITY BUDGET. Continue Reading
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department is warning of yet another scam targeting older citizens. Sheriff Jim Sholl said a group of ladies from the Jackson Township, near Keokuk, came to the station yesterday about a letter they received… “The letter was promising a sweepstakes win of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if the recipient of the letter only pays a processing fee. The postage and phone number on it indicated it was from Ireland. Our investigator called, they [those who answered] passed the phone around and spoke broken English. Continue Reading
A local state senator says a case of apparent child sex abuse in Burlington involving a home schooling family highlights the need to reestablish some kind of oversight of home schoolers. The education reform package that became law last year got rid of the requirement that home schooling parents register with their local district. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat, says that was the wrong move. He points to the recent arrest of 20-year-old Andrew Wells of Burlington, who told police he had sexually abused his siblings for years. Wells lived in a home where 10 children were allegedly being home-schooled and his parents have been charged with child endangerment. Continue Reading
THE DES MOINES COUNTY BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET YESTERDAY(TUE) AND IT’S CLOSE TO STATUS QUO FROM LAST YEAR’S, ACCORDING TO BUDGET DIRECTOR CHERYL MCVEY.
ONE POINT SHE TRIES TO MAKE EVERY YEAR IS THAT MUCH OF THE COUNTY’S TAXABLE PROPERTY IS TIED UP IN “TIF” AREAS — LAND THAT’S SET ASIDE TO SPUR DEVELOPMENT. THE DARK SIDE IS THAT THE LOCAL TAXING UNITS DON’T GET THOSE FUNDS.
THE STATE ROLLBACK ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY NEXT YEAR WILL BE A LITTLE MORE THAN 54 PERCENT, COMPARED TO 52 PERCENT THIS YEAR…AND THE ROLLBACK ON AG LAND WILL BE 43.4 PERCENT, COMPARED TO ALMOST 60 PERCENT NOW. COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL & RAILROAD PROPERTIES USED TO BE TAXED AT 100 PERCENT OF THEIR ASSESSED VALUE, BUT NEXT YEAR IT’LL DROP TO 95 PERCENT…AND THEN TO 90 PERCENT THE FOLLOWING YEAR. Continue Reading
Southeastern Community College is in the process of renovating their campuses a couple sections at a time. Their first projects to tackle on the West Burlington Campus, are the health and science programs. In Keokuk, the industrial maintenance program is their main focus for renovation. Vice President of Administrative Services, Kevin Carr, says they are meeting with the architects today. One problem they have run into, is a high pressure gas line that runs through the campus in WB. They can put a parking lot over it, but not a building. Continue Reading
The Burlington City Council heard from Planning and Parks Director Eric Tysland last night about a plan to transform the old Perkins School into apartments. Sunshine Builders has a purchase offer on the building and have asked to rezone it, which would restrict the number of units in the building to 32 and require off-street parking. The planning commission is convinced it’s a worthy project, but not all the neighbors are. Tysland says some of the concerns have to do with parking, traffic, and low-income housing.
Burlington’s Public Works Director and Engineer presented their 5-year street plan to the City Council last night. Steve Hoambrecker says the biggest project, the Mt. Pleasant Street Overpass, won’t happen until fiscal year 2018. Steve Hartman agrees that the bridge will be a “biggie”… “We’ve called it rehab, but at this time, we’d be unsure whether it would be a major rehabilitation or a reconstruction. Continue Reading