News


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


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:


Cubby Park Bid Documents

Cubby Park Improvement Construction Meeting

  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 6:00pm
  • West Branch Council Chambers- 110 N Poplar Street, West Branch
  • Contact Parks and Recreation Director Melissa Russel at 319-930-0393 or melissa@westbranchiowa.org with any questions or concerns.
  • This meeting is open to the public and citizens are encouraged to attend with any questions or concerns they have regarding the construction phase.

 

 

Following are the links to download the plans, specifications, and contract documents for the Cubby Park Improvements.

2017_1114 16-072 Ph2 Bid

2017_1114_16-072 Ph1 Bid

2017-11-03 BID SET Cubby Park – West Branch – D0576-01

Specifications Book

Performance, Payment, Maintenance Bond (rev.1)

Cubby Park is proposed to be bid as one large project with the project to be completed by November 2, 2018. There is an intermediate milestone to have the ball fields constructed and seeded by June 15 in order to establish the playing surface adequately to allow for use in the 2019 season. Also note there is a proposed 4-year maintenance bond (warranty) period for the entire project. Some individual items will have extended warranties depending on supplier/manufacturer.

The proposed schedule for bidding the project is as follows:

December 4 (regular meeting) – approve plans and specs; set dates for hearing and letting

December 5 – issue plans and specs to contractors (mail notices)

Publish notice between December 23 and December 28 (this will be a problem for the Times since they do not publish between Christmas and New Year’s; could publish in the Press-Citizen instead)

January 2 (regular meeting) – public hearing on plans and specs

January 11 – letting

January 15 (regular meeting) – review bids and award

 

January 16, 2018 Update

Cubby Park Project received 5 responsive bids on January 11, 2018.  The lowest bid was Needham Excavating, Inc. from Walcott, IA..  January 16, 2018 the  West Branch City Council accepted and awarded the Cubby Park Project  to Needham Construction for a total of $2,945,427.39.

Click here for Cubby Park Bid Tab.  16-072 – Bid Tab

Click here for Cubby Park rendering. 16-072 Cubby Park Render

 

 


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

 


Upcoming Maintenance Projects

The City Of West Branch has several projects beginning in August. These projects involve water main, sanitary sewer and street repairs.

North First Street Improvements – Begins August 14, 2017

UPDATE- August 31, 2017 9:00 a.m. – The boil order has been lifted for the following properties:  116 N. 1st St., 117 N. 1st St., 126 N. 1st St.,  115 E. Main St., 201 E. Main St., 211 E. Main St.  For information on boil orders, please click here.

On Monday, August 7th reconstruction of N. 1st St. will begin. The intersection of Parkside Dr. and Main St. will be one lane traffic only with temporary, full street closures possible. This is expected to last through Monday, August 21st.  N. 1st Street will then be closed from Main St. to E. Green St. for the remainder of the project. This project will require temporary water disruptions for water main repairs. The areas affected will be on Main St. from Downey St. east to Second St. and 1st St. from Main to Green St.  A boil order will be in effect after water main repairs are completed.   All affected buildings will have a notice posted on their doors.

Main Street Water Main Improvements

The City will be replacing the water main on E. Main St. from N. 5th St. east to near the city limits. This water main project will be replacing a 4 inch main with an 8 inch main. The majority of this work will be completed on the north side of Main St. with partial, temporary lane closures possible. This project will require water disruptions to the east side of town and will require boil orders. A boil order will be in effect after water main repairs are completed.   All affected residents will have a notice posted on their doors.  This project will include replacement of all water services up to and including the curb stop along this main.  Affected residents will receive a notice delivered to them prior to these repairs being made.

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 2

The City will also begin lining and grouting the second phase of our I & I program. This project should not cause any major disruptions and most of the work will be on the east side of town from N. 2nd St. east. A small repair will also be made on N. Poplar St. and W. Main St. All affected properties will receive a notice delivered to them. If you do not receive a notice you are not affected by this project.

Questions or concerns regarding these projects can be directed to Public Works Director Matt Goodale (319)325-8213 or City Offices (319) 643-5888.


Outdoor Warning Sirens Under Repair

Two of three outdoor warning sirens in West Branch (primarily used as tornado sirens) are currently inoperable and require repairs.  While repairs are underway, it’s believed that this outage will continue for an extended period of time.  The operable siren is located at the West Branch Fire Station and will continue to provide notice to those within range.  However, until repairs are completed, the warning coverage in areas further away from the West Branch Fire Station has been greatly reduced.

To help ensure safety, residents are encouraged to register 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 the siren outage, please contact the city office:

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