Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
April 28, 2011     N. Warren Town and County News
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April 28, 2011

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR AND NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT I b] i -; i ti ll'l"l"l"l'l,l,,I,,I,,I,,i,l,,i,l,ll .... II .... Ill,,,I,l,l,I Warren Town and County ws 50 Community Wide Garage Sales pages 14 & 15 Vol. 42 No. 40 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 305-120 Phone 081-0406 email: news@ norwalknewspaper.com Thursday, April 28, 2011 Annual Clean-Up Weekend Norwalk residents are reminded that the annual Norwalk Clean-Up Days is this weekend. The pick-up service is provided for City of Norwalk residen- tial garbage customers only. All items must be placed at the curb before 6 a.m. Monday, May 2nd. Do not place clean-up items in regular trash totes. Regular trash totes will be picked up on Wednesday, May 4, with household waste only. White goods will be picked up Monday, May 9. This is the only time that appliance stickers are NOT required. The regu- lar cost of white good dis- posal is $35 per item. Other items that may be placed on the curb are met- als, furniture, fluorescent bulbs, concrete (manage- able pieces, 50 pounds of less with a total of one cu- bic yard only), construc- tion materials (bundled in four-ft, lengths of 50 pounds or less with a total of one cubic yard only) and garbage in bags or containers of 50 pounds or less. Hazardous waste will NOT be picked up at the curb. Hazardous house- hold waste and tire drop- off sites are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7; at either the Cherry Street Garage or the new Public Works Facility. Items ac- cepted at the sites include thinners, insecticides, her- bicides, drain cleaners, brake fluids, chemical bleaches, oven cleaners, oil-based paint, varnishes, paint thinners, oil, anti- freeze, tires and batteries. Latex paint will not be accepted. Latex paint can be poured over floor dry or cat litter, dried and then disposed of with your weekly solid waste pick- up. Brush, leaves and other organic material will be picked up with regular trash on scheduled day. (Premium Yard Waste Totes, Compost It! bags or stickers MUST be used.) A white-headed robin has taken up residency in the 100 block of Center Street. Neighbors have been see- ing the bird, but it doesn't keep a regular schedule for its visits. One neighbor says a friend who lives at the Good Life Retirement Center said they saw the bird in their yards last year. Nature is truly a wonder! Photo submitted by Margaret Guthrie. Passport Changes This May a change in the requirements for offices ac- cepting passport applications will force the Warren County Recorder's office to make some changes in ac- cepting those applications. At this writing, we are go- ing to continue to process passport applications. The stated reason for the change in policy from the Passport Services in New Orleans is concerns over the same offices issuing birth certificates and passport ap- plications. After receiving this information, the Recorders in Iowa have tried everything possible that would allow them the ability to continue to process the applications, including contacting US Senators and Representatives, states Polly Glascock, Warren County Recorder. There are two stipulations in the new requirements. First applies to location. Separate physical space is re- quired under the new policy, including separation of the birth records from the passport duties. Also, no over- lapping of duties, including passport agents having no access to any birth vital records. There will be two em- ployees issuing birth records and two processing the passport applications. Passport applications will be in a separate room. The Passport Agency will be sending inspectors shortly after May 1st to see if the Recorders are comply- ing with the new rules. At this time, staff feels they will not need to take appointments; however, it may be in your best inter- est to call before you come in to be certain there is a passport agent available. The county receives a substantial amount each year from each passport application they process. Glascock added, "I would hate for the county to lose that rev- enue. Thank you in advance for your patience and un- derstanding to these new requirements." Call the office if you have any questions at 515-961- 1089. GRAND MARCH. Saturday, May 7, at 5 p.m. at Lakewood Elemen- tary School gym, the Norwalk Community is welcome to come support the community's young adults by coming to the second annual Prom Walk. Come see the young men and women donning their beautiful attire before they head out for their 2011 Prom evening. They are so proud of this glam- orous evening and want to share it with the Commu- nity. It is a great opportu- nity for you to see your fa- vorite Warriors all decked out! You will see the dif- ferent athletes, neighbors, students or even your fa- vorite check-out clerk from the grocery store. Admission is $1. Come show your support on their special evening. +Mother's Day Shopping Night Members of Fellowship Community Church (FCC) are sponsoring a Mother's Day Shopping Night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Legacy Pool Clubhouse. The event will provide Dads and others an oppor- tunity to purchase gifts for Mother's Day. Vendors in- clude Avon, Signature Homestyles, Tastefully Simple, Gold Canyon Candles, Pampered Chef, Usborne Books, Tupperware, Close to My Heart, purses, jewelry and more. In addition to gifts, wrapping and cards will be available. Mother's Day is May 8. A portion of the pro- ceeds will support an FCC trip to SE Asia to help high-risk girls. Agenda TOWN MEETING Thursday, April 28, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. Norwalk Public Safety Building, 1100 Chatham Ave. I. Capital Improvement Project (CIP) update II. Discussion of potential alternative revenue sources for the City of Norwalk III. Other general business SCHOOL UPDATES By Kate Baldwin Business Manager Norwalk Community School District No Property Tax Levy Increase in 2011-2012 School Budget Iowa law requires school districts to prepare and cer- tify a budget with the county auditor by April 15 th. This  year, local school boards were forced to complete the budgeting process without knowing next year's rev- enues. The Iowa legislature and the governor failed to determine school funding by February 28 th as required by law. It's like flying a plane in the. dark. You don't know where you will land. The new governor and the legislature have not been able to reach a compromise on school funding with respect to allowable growth (the annual percentage increase in state funding per pupil) or the continued funding of the four-year-old state vol- untary preschool programming. The prolonged debate has left schools confused and forced to make program- ming decisions that are based on assumptions. The Norwalk School District has chosen to follow a conservative approach that is in line with the Governor's proposal of zero allowable growth for school funding. Zero allowable growth will mean another loss in state funding. In the absence of state funding to maintain current programs, Districts are faced with three options: cut expenditures; use Cash Reserves (if available); or raise property taxes. The District implemented budget reductions during the current school year and will main- tain these reductions next year. To balance the budget, the District will rely on current local Cash Reserves to maintain the continued lack of state funding. The Board of Directors approved the 2011-2012 Cer- tified Budget holding tight to the current levy of $20.16. To avoid a property tax increase, the Board has used Cash Reserves to back fill mid-year state aid cuts and reductions in annual appropriations for the past three .4m,. years. At the end of 07-08 school years, the District had a strong Cash Reserve balance of $6,191,171. Cash Re- serves dropped to $5,376,255 at the end of 09-10 and is expected to drop to $4,681,433 at the end of this year (10-11), with yet another drop to $3,961,405 at the end of next year (11-12). This represents a $2,229,766 de- cline in Cash Reserves over the past three years. Dur- ing this same time period the State has cut Norwalk lo- cal school funding by $2,095,214. Had the State fully funded their commitment to our local school district, Cash Reserves would have been able to hold steady. The District has used the Cash Reserves to maintain pro- gramming but eventually the Board will be faced with the ultimate decision to cut programs or raise property taxes. In 08-09 and in 09-10, the governor implemented mid-  year cuts to all state agencies, including local school districts, knowing the only option available to restore these revenues for schools would be increase in prop- erty taxes at some point in the future. Last year the State legislature approved 2% allowable growth but chose to fund only 50% of their financial commitment. Again, the legislature knew the only option available to restore these revenues for schools would be an increase in prop- erty taxes at some point in the future. For Norwalk Schools, these state aid cuts during the past three years represent a property tax etuivalent of $5.94 per $1000. It will take several years for the Norwalk School Dis- trict to fully restore this loss in state revenue. As Cash Reserves continue to decline in the absence of adequate state funding, the Norwalk School Board Concluded p.2 9"