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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
Lyft
October 29, 2015     N. Warren Town and County News
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October 29, 2015
 

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Thursday, October 29, 2015'. A N/Warren Town and County News Page Thirteen LESTER Concluded from p. 12 planning of the 4th of July festivities in Norwalk. I also am a member of the fireworks crew for the Norwalk 4th of July fes- tivities. I am a past presi— dent and previous trea— surer of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce. I am a past board chair and past treasurer of the Norwalk Christian Church. I have been a leader in Cub Scout Pack 103 and with the Bo Qui District of the Mid Iowa Council, Boy Scouts of America. I am currently an adult leader in Boy Scout Troop 30. I have served on several committees for the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants and currently am the chair of the Financial Institutions Committee. I am on the board of Easter Seals Iowa (CampSunnyside) where I am the past board chair. I also have been a member of the Norwalk High School Business Advisory Council. I have been a coach in many seasons of Norwalk Parks and Recre- ation Soccer, Baseball, Bas- ketball, and Flag Football. I also have coached several seasons of Norwalk Soccer Club soccer for my son and daughter.” Q. Do you have member- ships in professional, civic, social, church organiza- tions? A. “I am a member of the N orwalk Lions Club, Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce, Norwalk Chris- tian Church (Disciples of Christ), Iowa Society of Cer- tified Public Accountants, Boy Scouts Troop 30, Easter Seals Iowa Board of Direc- tors, and Norwalk Soccer Club Board.” Q. What are your hobbies and/or special interests? , A. “I enjoy spending time outdoors camping, hiking, fishing, etc. Ienjoy spending time with my children at their sports and activities. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my family!" (NAPS)—The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer edu- cation campaign promot— ing the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. For a copy of the council’s “Car Care Guide” or for more infor- mation, visit www.car care.org. *** Star brite’s Star Tron En- zyme Fuel Treatment has a unique formula that allows for a more complete burn of the fuel charge to ensure easy smoke-free starts, max- imum power and improved fuel economy. Learn more at www.startron.com or (800) 327-8583. RIVA Concluded from p. 1 opment City Improvement Advisory Committee (CIAC). Within the past five years, I also served as a member of the Norwalk Community Infrastructure Group (NCIS), the Com- prehensive Plan Update Steering Committee; and the Economic Develop— ment Commission.” Q. Do you have any spe- cific changes within the city you would like to see made: If so, what are they? . A. “Fair representation is a top concern I’ve heard from residents since I started my door-knocking campaign. The current City Council is heavily weighted toward Lake- wood residents, but the city, at a population of roughly 10,000, is a diverse mix of older and newer neighborhoods, apart— ments, townhomes and acreages. That diversity adds to the character of Norwalk, and it calls for unbiased City Council representation. I would like each Council member appointed as liaison to one or more neighborhoods. The liaison would attend neighborhood gatherings to learn firsthand about is- sues in that area, bring those issues to the atten— tion of the .entire Council, and serve as the main Council contact for neigh- borhood residents. "To further support fair representation across the community, I would like an online forum devel- oped for residents to ac- tively exchange ideas and provide input to the City staff and Council, either proactively or in response to posted questions about City activities and projects. An online forum, MindMixer, was used with great success to gather community input for the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which I was heavily involved in drafting. Speaking at the podium . during each Council meeting’s public input time intimidates many, and not all residents can attend the meetings. The Internet is available 24/7, and most residents are constantly connected to it. I would like to use technol— ogy to foster better City communication with citi- zens at a time and in a way that works best for them. “I would like all major City expenditures/projects justified through a de- tailed cost/benefit analysis as part of the budgeting process, and I have the fi- nancial and business plan— ning skills to oversee that effort. Too many past projects were planned and approved, and vendors se- lected, without adequate vetting from a financial perspective. "In conjunction with continued efforts to proactively recruit and en able commercial develop ment in Norwalk, I woulc like more city Council at- tention focused on build- ing the City’s infrastruc- ture in a way that accom- modates future growtl and better connects the community.” Q. Have you been a can- didate for either council 0} mayor in the past and if so when and what position? A. "No." Q. Have you been active in other community projects and if so, what are they? A. "I’ve volunteered or an ad hoc basis for Norwalk Chamber 01 Commerce (RUNorwalk; Party Before the Works) and Norwalk Lions Club (Fireworks, Bingo) events. In the greater Metro area, I’ve participated in past service projects as a mem- ber of the Rotary Club of Des Moines AM and the Greater Des Moines Lead— ership Institute Commu- nity Leadership Program. In addition, I’ve been ac- tive in community projects for many area non—profits, particularly those for which I served as a board member (Youth Emer- gency Services and Shelter, Principal Volunteer Net- work, Des Moines Wood- workers Association) or committee chair (United Way of Central Iowa Women’s Leadership Con- nection - Advocacy, Invest- ments). Q. Do you have mem- berships in professional, civic, social, church orga- nizations? A. "I am currently a member of the CFA Insti- tute, Editorial Freelancers Association; Association for Women in Communi- cations (Secretary, Greater Des Moines chapter); Iowa Romance Novelists; Ro— mance Writers of America; the Consortium (a busi- ness club; President) and the Des Moines Wood- workers Association.” Q. What are your hob- bies and/or special inter- ests? A. “Woodworking, golfing, reading.” A recent study found that people who ate nuts at least five times a week had half the risk of heart dis- ease as those who didn’t eat them as often. Nuts are high in beneficial monoun- saturated fat and fiber. Call 9ll for emergencies! This year, the City of Norwalk began tackling the first of many Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects. In addition to the CIP’s, the City also set plans in motion to begin work on the first Regional Stormwater Retention Fa- cility in Norwalk. This is not actually a building as the name may suggest. Pic- ture instead a lush green park with a walking/bike trail and ponds. Not only does the City look for cost- effective ways to complete projects but also for ways to be innovative at the same time. The following projects offer you a brief overview of the scope of their work, their timelines and ap- proximate project costs. Library Roof The leaking library roof was identified as one of the CIP projects that needed to be addressed this year. Based on the scope of the work, this project required the City to seek bids to re- place the library roof. In order for the City to solicit bids, plans and specifica- tions needed to be devel- oped by a licensed archi- tect or engineer. Since this is not a position the City has on staff, an architec- tural firm was secured to do the work. Ultimately, the roof was determined to be in worse condition than originally thought. Exterior Sheet Metal of Grimes was awarded the job and began working on the roof in September. This project is scheduled to be completed around the middle of November. Project Cost: approxi- mately $225,000. NCIS Projects A committee comprised of elected officials, resi- dents and city staff com- pleted the Norwalk Com- munity Infrastructure Study (NCIS) in July 2012, with McClure Engineering facilitating. McClure was hired to assess what needed repaired and/or re- placed and to assign a dol- lar amount to each item identified on the list. A capital improvement plan on how the City can ac- complish-every item on the list was put together along with funding mechanisms. Once the list was compiled and priori- tized, the committee began looking at funding options city governments could use on capital projects. Norwalk last completed a CIP project nearly 10 years ago. The committee came up with the plan to have the property owners as- sessed for a portion of the project and the City would cover the remainder of the cost. With funding options identified, Wakonda Drive, Happy Hollow Drive and Holly Drive were the inaugural projects. Project Pulse NCIS Happy Hollow Drive - Sidewalk project. This project was identified because there was a need to give children a safe way to get to and from Lake- wood Elementary. This area did not have side— walks and forced kids to walk either inlthe street or through residents’ yards. This project began May 4 and wrapped up August 9. Project Cost: This project was included in the over— all NCIS Wakonda Drive project. Property owners will contribute $29,500 to- ward the overall project costs by assessments. NCIS Holly Drive — Replacement of the street, sanitary sewer main, water main, storm sewer and sec- ondary storm sewer < This project also neces- sitated that driveway ap— proaches and sidewalks be replaced as part of this work. Work on Holly Drive began in mid-April and should be complete by October 31. Project Cost: approxi- mately $1,135,659 NCIS Wakonda Drive ~ Replacement of the street, storm sewer and secondary storm sewer, driveway approaches, sidewalks, a two-block section of the sanitary , sewer main and a 72” cul- vert at Finger Pond. This project began in early June and is con- tracted to be complete by October 31, but will likely wrap it all up around No- vember 15. Project Cost: approximately $1,849,185 Regional Stormwater Re- tention Project at Eliza- beth Holland Park Construction will begin in late fall 2015 on a re- gional stormwater collec- tion facility. This system will control water runoff from approximately Cedar Street on the West, Beardsley Street on the North, Capital City Fruit on the East and Chatham on the South. The regional stormwater collection fa- cility will consist of three- water retention ponds sur- rounded by a park and trail and may include ad- ditional amenities that are yet to be determined. This project has a significant benefit to land owners in this area. They will not have to stormwater retention on their own property and will allow them to maxi- mize the use of their own land. The benefit the City of N orwalk receives from this project is it provides the ability to maintain and ensure the long-term Vi- ability of the stormwater management system. It becomes a challenge for the City or private indi— viduals to maintain a num- ber of little stormwater ponds because they can quickly fill up with sedi— ment. The Elizabeth Hol- provide 1 land Park and regional stormwater collection fa- cility should be complete in the fall 2016. Project Cost: approxi- mately $1,000,000 There are a number of other projects taking place this year. They include the Colonial Parkway Storm Sewer (completed coun- cil accepted), NW Area Trunk Sewer #4 (almost. complete), SE Trunk Sewer (anticipated completion date fall 2015), Founders District Water Main Re- placement project (begin— ning fall 2015), Orchard View Stormwater Deten- tion project, Traffic study to begin on Beardsley Street (from 50th Ave to Fleur Drive), and Cedar Street Extension (begin- ning fall 2015). The City’s Capital Im- provement Program, along with a great deal of information about the City’s finances, is available at www.norwalk.iowa .gov/YourGovernment/ CityFinancialInformation. If you have any ques- tions related to these projects, please do not hesitate to contact the City Manager at 981-0228. Protecting And Recovering Your Wages (NAPS)-——For too many workers in the U.S., a fair day‘s pay for a fair day’s work doesn’t ring true. That’s espe- cially the case in certain sec- tors of the economy including construction, food service, agriculture, janitorial, retail and hospitality. Too often, employers mistakenly or intentionally deny workers the wages to which they are legally entitled, such as the minimum wage and overtime. EWII U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S WAGE AND HOUR DlVlSiGN Workers who may be due money from an investiga- tion have a new online tool. That’s where the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division comes in. The agency enforces federal labor laws. If it investigates and finds that an employer failed to pay at least the min- . imum wage and overtime, it can recover unpaid wages on behalf of workers. ' The Wage and Hour Divi- sion wants to make sure those wages are quickly ' handed over to the workers who earned them, yet find- ing workers can sometimes be a challenge. But there’s now a new online tool called Workers Owed Wages. It’s available in English and Spanish and allows Workers or their advo- cates to find cub-through a Set of user-friendly ques- tions—if they are owed wages currently held as the result of an investigation. To use the Workers Owed Wages tool, visit http://web apps.dol.gov/wow. For more information on wage laws or to file a complaint, visit www. dol.gov/whd or call (866) 4-USWAGE.