Sometimes I can't believe how fast time flies. I cannot believe that winter is already gone and spring is here. We had a relatively mild winter with only a couple of major storms. That is fortunate for our city, since it saved on the snow removal budget.
Now that spring is here, we see construction activity returning. The city is making repairs to the 800-900 block of East 4th Street and on the south apron at the airport. We are also working with Iowa Homeland Security and FEMA in the managing of the properties the city purchased through the buyout program. There will be at least a couple of new parks created through this process, so please get out and enjoy them!
We also see a lot of activity downtown. The other day I heard the comment that if you want a store front downtown, you better hurry! We see businesses filling empty storefronts and buildings being rehab. There is continuous traffic downtown on weekdays and on the weekends. A new restaurant is planned and a bakery will be opening soon.
We have also noticed some increased interest in home building and additions. During my first couple of years here, we were seeing 10-12 new houses being built each year. Last year, we only had a couple largely due to the recession. This year we have 3-4 in the planning stages already.
Our town meeting for the comprehensive plan is on May 3 at 7:00 PM at the Vinton-Shellsburg High School Commons. The high school is located on 21st Street. We want the plan to be representative of the community as a whole. In order to accomplished that, we need you to attend this meeting. We will be talking about the future of the city and what you would like to see happen.