Christmas Past Road Closure

A note for the upcoming Christmas Past event!

To ensure pedestrian and event safety, Wetherell St. will be closed from Friday December 7th, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. until Saturday December 8th, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. from the intersection of South Poplar Street east to the intersection of North Downey Street.

Vehicles entering the area from Main Street will do so by entering through the Enlow parking lot and exiting via South Poplar Street.

Trick or Treating 2018

Trick or Treat – Oct. 31st from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
The downtown businesses will be participating in the ‘Trick or Treat Downtown’ event again this year from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Pick up your Trick or Treat bags at Heritage Square and trick or treat at the participating businesses. Stop back at Heritage Square for free hot dogs, chips, drinks and drawings for prizes!

Sponsored by West Branch Parks & Rec, West Branch Public Library and the West Branch Community Development Group (CDG).

Halloween Safety

The West Branch Police Department would like to remind everyone that the first part of having a Happy Halloween is everyone being safe when its done!

Tips for Halloween Safety:

  • Try non-toxic face paint – masks can obstruct your vision
  • Costumes should be light colored and not long to avoid tripping
  • use reflective tape on costumes, flashlights, or glow sticks
  • Don’t carry swords or sharp sticks
  • Don’t snack while trick or treating – inspect your candy first
  • Consider decorating pumpkins with markers
  • If you carve a pumpkin, use battery powered candles
  • Walk (don’t run), stay on sidewalks, use crosswalks, and walk with a group
  • Don’t go into strangers’ homes and don’t knock on doors of houses that are dark
  • If kids go trick or treating alone, know the route and have a return home time
  • Kids 12 or under should be with a parent

Fireworks Use Prohibited

With the Independence Day holiday approaching, the West Branch Police Department would like to remind residents that it is illegal to use fireworks within the city limits of West Branch.

  • 1st Violation – $100.00
  • 2nd Violation – $500.00

Please respect your neighbors this holiday season and have a safe and happy 4th of July!

TIF 101 Workshop

On April 12th, Maggie Burger of Speer Financial provided a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) 101 Workshop for city council, representatives, and members of the community. Anyone interested in the basics of TIF and it’s possible use within our community are invited to view the recording of the workshop below:

Solar Power Hours Coming to West Branch

Residents in Johnson County and West Branch have an opportunity to learn more about solar energy and potentially invest in affordable solar through a new program called Solarize Johnson County. The program builds on the success of Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County, where more than 500 individuals attended free solar education sessions and nearly 100 property owners added solar to their properties in 2017.

Now, Johnson County, Johnson County Public Health, Johnson County Conservation, and six municipalities are teaming up with a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization to launch a similar program. Cities helping host free educational events, called Solar Power Hours, include Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Solon, Shueyville and West Branch. Regardless of where a person lives in the county, or West Branch, and regardless of whether a city is a formal partner, residents throughout the county are welcome to attend any Solar Power Hour that is most convenient for them. The free educational sessions will help prospective participants learn how solar works and get their questions answered.

For detailed information, visit SolarizeJohnsonCounty.com.

Solar Power Hours for West Branch:

May 3, 2018 – Thursday – 6:30pm
West Branch Public Library
300 N Downey St., West Branch

June 27, 2018 – Wednesday – 6:30pm
West Branch Public Library
300 N Downey St., West Branch

Public Safety News Release

The City of West Branch has recently experienced a criminal phenomenon that has never happened before in our community. This criminal activity commonly referred to as ‘car shopping’ has already plagued other neighboring communities both large and small. Unfortunately, this type of activity will probably not go away with our close proximity to I-80 and this makes our community very vulnerable.
We are asking the community to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity. If you see suspicious persons don’t confront them yourself, call 911 or Cedar County Dispatch at 563-886-2121 and West Branch Police will be notified. For non-emergencies, call 643-2222.

The crimes committed on Sunday 10-15-2017 were committed by at least four people on foot with unknown number of support vehicles or look out vehicles. These people came from outside our community.

As a result of this criminal activity, the West Branch Police are actively:

  • Reviewing surveillance videos from area businesses
  • Reviewing evidence and working with the DCI Lab and other outside agencies
  • Increasing patrols and after hour traffic stops.
  • Enforcing the curfew for minors as a safety pre-caution (see Chapter 46 of the West Branch Code of Ordinances)
    • Sunday – Thursday 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
    • Friday and Saturday 12:00 midnight to 5:00 a.m.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Lock your vehicle, house and your garage door
  • Have house numbers marked clearly
  • Don’t leave valuable items visible from the outside of the vehicle (including extra key fobs)
  • Use motion lights
  • Try to park in well lighted areas
  • If you don’t take valuables inside, put them in the trunk. (purses, billfolds, cameras,etc.)
  • If you hide keys don’t keep them in typical locations
  • Never store unattended firearms in a vehicle
  • Inventory valuables (by make model and serial numbers.) Use a digital camera and keep the SD card in a safe, separate location
  • Be careful what you post on social media (personal information, checking – in, photos, etc)
  • The West Branch PD would also recommend video cameras for area businesses

When on going on vacation

  • Notify neighbors that you trust to watch your house (with emergency call numbers)
  • Call the West Branch Police Dept.to be put on a vacation list – (phone 643-2222)
  • Use inside light timers
  • Make arrangements for mail, newspapers, and mowing.
  • Be careful what you post on social media (photos, checking –in, etc)

Outdoor Warning Sirens Repaired

The two warning sirens which were under repair have been fixed and are now again operational, making all three functional again.

Please note that to help improve your safety, outside of the sirens range or indoors, the City of West Branch still highly encourages that you sign up for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS) which will provide Text, Voice, and Email alerts for all weather emergencies including tornado watches and warnings.  WENS registration is available online at http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/west_branch_ia/wens.cfm or on a paper form available at the city office (110 N Poplar St.) and public library (300 N Downey).

For questions regarding this issue, please contact the city office:

City of West Branch
110 N Poplar St.
PO Box 218
West Branch, Iowa 52358
Phone: (319)643-5888