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Solar array coming to Waverly after council's approval

WAVERLY — A new installation in Waverly’s industrial park will be a “reflection” of the energy-saving wishes of the city’s residents.

The City Council unanimously approved a new 1,700-panel solar array as a special provisional use on 3.27 acres of city-owned land in the Waverly Industrial Plaza.

The solar array will have a 500-kilowatt capacity, said Curt Atkins, director of business operations for Waverly Utilities.

“Last year we did a survey — would you be interested in this? And the results in that was very favorable ... which kind of persuaded us to look for land,” Atkins told the council Monday.

Atkins said, much like how Cedar Falls Utilities runs their solar program, customers will be able to buy one or more panels they can then get credits back for on their utility bills. Financing of the panels, which he did not give a price for, is also available.

“One of the main reasons we’re pursuing it is community input, and for customers who can’t put solar on their own property,” he said.

Ward 3 council member Rodney Drenkow asked how the credits would be generated.

Atkins said the total energy produced on the array will be divided between participants.

The plan was approved by the city’s planning and zoning commission in January on a unanimous vote. Atkins said there was no feedback from adjoining property owners.

Waverly Utilities would set up the panels on Lots 9 and 10, which sit on the south side of 16th Avenue Southwest about 300 feet west of Eighth Street Southwest. It will be a “fixed tilt array,” or one that does not move, and will face south.

The approved resolution does not transfer the land to Waverly Utilities, which is city-owned, but instead allows the utility to use it on a provisional basis.

The utility company will surround the solar array with a 6-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with barbed wire.

Deliberations continue in Logan Avenue slaying trial

WATERLOO – Jurors headed home without reaching a verdict for a second day in the trial of three people charged in the 2016 shooting death of a Waterloo man.

Jurors began deliberations Tuesday morning in trial of Armand Rollins Jr., 18, Shavondes Martin, 22, and Doncorrion Spates, 17, and they returned Wednesday morning and continued through the day before heading home again.

Deliberations are expected to resume today.

The three are charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and intimidation with a weapon with intent in the July 17, 2016, shooting on Logan Avenue that killed Otavious Brown, 21, and wounded two others.

Photos: Logan Avenue murder trial

Jurors can also consider lesser charges ranging from second-degree murder to variations of assault.

Prosecutors said the trio was in a sport utility vehicle and opened fire as it drove past a group of people in front of 817 Logan Ave. The driver, 26-year-old Jacques Williamson, pleaded to lesser charges as part of an agreement to testify as part of the state’s case.

Williamson denied shooting and testified Martin fired from the front passenger seat and he also heard gunfire from the backseat, where Spates and Rollins were sitting.

He said he didn’t know his passengers were armed and said they forced him at gunpoint to drive past the address while he was taking them on a trip to a convenience store.

Witnesses were unable to identify the assailants, and police found spent shell casings from two different weapons.

Defense attorneys attacked Williamson’s credibility, noting he initially told police someone had stolen his vehicle and used it in the shooting.

Metro Briefs: Jazz band clinic slated for Friday

CEDAR FALLS — The Cedar Valley Big Band will host a clinic for the Janesville High School Jazz Band at 5 p.m. Friday at the Cedar Falls band hall to help the jazz band as they head to the state competition.

The CVBB donates all proceeds from all performances back to youth music programs in the area.

Casino night
fundraiser set

WATERLOO -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa will host the fifth annual Big Casino Night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Black's Building Skyroom, 501 Sycamore St.

This year’s event will kick off with a social hour and gambling, followed by appetizers and desserts, with a short welcome program. There will be a silent auction with donations from 40-plus area businesses.

A bingo room will feature celebrity bingo callers Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, Sen. Jeff Danielson, KWWL’s Kyle Kiel, and Waterloo City Councilors Pat Morrissey and Sharon Juon.

All funds raised will support both community-based and school-based mentoring programs in the Cedar Valley.

Tickets are $25 per person, $40 for a couple or $200 for a table of 10, available online at or 2530 University Ave. The event is presented by University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

RSVP by email to at 235-9397 or online at