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John

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Weeks before a new school is set to open.

Craft taking a hard look at school traffic spike


School entrance could become a city street

School entrance could become a city street

Brenden West/Clinton HeraldThe new Clinton Middle School entrance could become a city right-of-way as decisions make their way through Clinton City Council discussions.

Geezer

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Aw-w John, certainly you did not expect the Clinton taxpayer to pay for the new street did you?  After all, streets and all the infrastructure that goes with development are the City expense.  So here you have the one cent sales tax paying for City infrastructure (of which a major portion is paid by people who do not live in Iowa, let alone live in Clinton).

Maybe you are upset about the number of parents who will be driving their kids to the school, instead of making them walk, uphill both ways, like we did when we went to school.  All that increase in traffic has to be accommodated somehow.  Would you like to pay for the street to do that out of property taxes? 

What about the street being placed where it is, at the request of City officials several years ago, when asked about street placement to tie in with future residential development east of the school site.  After all, in the last couple years there has not been any new residential development close by...unless you count the Villages development and the new low-middle income housing development behind Fareway.  Those two alone only added 50+ residential sites.

Careful now, even more major employers are looking at locating here, and their first foray into researching an area is by computer.  We could be left to pay for it all ourselves, instead of getting more people and business in to help.  Their second step is to send people in unannounced to look around and listen.

Grow the tax base, lower the rate.
Geezer

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So, a majority of the City Council voted to NOT accept a free city street.

When the school district took their site plans to the City for approval, they wanted to place the entrance driveway to the far east side of the property.  This would have put the entrance at the top of the hill, where sight distances would not be a problem.  It was the City who asked the school district architects to design the entrance to the school in direct line north of North 14th Street, so it would open a couple hundred acres for future development, and to design it to city street construction standards so the City could accept it when built.  Odd concept?  Go out to the Dolan subdivision off North 18th Street where one of the current councilmen lives at.  Those are City streets out there, built without your tax dollars, but built to city standards and given to the City.

Rather than building a "driveway" to the new school from the east side of the lot, we now have a entrance designed and built to city street specifications, at a cost of maybe $250,000, and now the City doesn't want it.

So just where do you think the City will plot streets north and west of the current Westview Heights subdivision (an area that is basically full now)?  Where will the City wish to tie in sewers for new development out there?  The City will not own the street that the school district was giving them, so later when they need the access, it seems the City can just buy it.  H-m-m, won't take it for free now, make you lose $250,000 of sales tax money to build it and make it a private drive instead, and then expect to just give it to them later when it is needed and the City needs access to the new sewer that runs from the school out to the Mill Creek sewer main.  All those who think that will happen can wake up now.

Talk about short-sighted.  You want to save money, yet elect people who will not accept free, and make you spend money to re-locate and build to a higher standard than necessary.  Re-elections can not come soon enough.  I wonder who will run against this crew?

There is still time to turn this around.  It is time to call your elected council people and tell them to fix this mess.
John

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Thank You!! Councilman Rowland and all the council that had the courage to vote against the back room deals and shady decisions that border on criminal acts to the Citizens of Clinton. Using Sales tax funds to circumvent the public scrutiny for a new road. No matter how enticing it sounds, it just isn't right. And this is only a drop in the bucket. They wonder what's wrong and why people are leaving. 

Letter to the Editor: School district late, short on road plan information

Geezer

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By golly, it's about time the School District learns that city leaders expect them to be responsible for a "written detailed corridor plan for Public Safety and Road Improvements".  After all, the City has done such a good job at that over the last couple decades.  Maybe the School District can also throw in detailed plans for a new county jail, public safety communications, and police department offices, all built in an area for which the School District will plan new traffic directions, sidewalks, and traffic controls around.  After all, the City has only known about a new middle school being built there since July 2012 when plans were approved by the City.  Apparently more than 2 years is too much of a rush to even begin thinking about this stuff, so let's blame someone else.

Maybe now the School District will learn that in the spirit of cooperation between government agencies, they should have not given hundreds of cubic yards of dirt to the City taxpayers as part of the flattening of the ditches in the re-built 16th St. NW.  Next time make them buy the dirt they need, after all, it's just tax dollars.  Everyone knows that when dealing with the City, cooperation must be assumed to be a one-way street.  (Hint: for further proof look at the push for hiring someone to market the Rail Port).

Make no mistake going forward, when a street gets built, it will be at the expense of city property taxpayers, either directly in property taxes and/or special assessments, or in the form of TIF reimbursements.  This stuff of building the street and not putting the cost on property taxpayers is done, we don't want any free streets.  (By the way, the new "driveway" to this school was built using one cent sales tax proceeds.  How much of that money comes from people paying sales taxes on things purchased here when they don't even live in Clinton, or do not even live Clinton County, let alone don't even live in Iowa).

Now that it is out in the open that there is an issue with traffic around a school, we now have to decide how to address much higher traffic counts around Whittier Elementary by shutting down 2nd Ave. So. and North 13th St, shutting down both Bluff Blvd. and So. 14th Street around Bluff Elementary, blocking off 8th Avenue South in front of Clinton Hi, and of course stopping all traffic on South 4th Street and both 3rd and 4th Avenues South around Prince of Peace.  After all, if that is the reason for one, it must apply to all where it is an even bigger issue with higher traffic counts.

How audacious of anyone to think that since the West View Heights area is now full, there will NEVER be any more development north and west of the Fareway grocery store.  Why do we need a street at the west edge of any development that is never going to be allowed anyway, because it will just bring more traffic?  Let's see now, where will any new development go.....?  H-m-m

This event points out how too many people have not been paying attention for years now.  Who among us stood up against the July 2012 change in plans to move the "driveway" from the east line of the property to instead line up with No. 14th Street, and built to city street standards.  When those plans were presented in a public meeting for Board approval, someone should have stood up and screamed "Nay".  Why are so many more than two years behind being smart?

No, by golly, free is not what we need.  Cooperation between agencies?  We see how that works.  New elections can't come soon enough.  Are you in John?
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