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Q: KWWL did a story on the most expensive listing in the Waterloo area at $1.69 million. On the Black Hawk County website this house at 4544 William Drive has an assessed value of $1 million, a taxable value of $38,749 with taxes of only $1,404 per year. Why are the taxable value and taxes due so low?

A: Waterloo’s City Limits Urban Revitalization Area, or CLURA, program provides three years of full property tax abatements on any new single-family or twin home constructed in the city. The home in question is currently paying taxes only on the land. When the CLURA abatement expires next year, the tax bill also will include the home value.

Q: Can you explain the purpose of the Black Hawk County Health Department?

A: Here’s the mission statement: “The (department) is responsive and accountable. Through collaborative efforts, planning and policy development, we promote population health, prevent disease and protect the environment for all Black Hawk County residents and visitors.” If you want to look at detailed programs offered through the department we would suggest you visit the agency’s website.

Q: Are those speed cameras on the top of the lights at the intersection of University and Ansborough?

A: No. There are no fixed speed cameras or red-light cameras in Waterloo at this time. The police have hand-held speed cameras.

Q: In the early 1960s it was a nice day, but by the end of the day we had a really bad snowstorm. Do you know the date of this storm?

A: We asked state climatologist Harry Hilaker for help: “I looked up the daily weather records for Waterloo from 1960 through 1964, looking for days with snow, but also with relatively high temperatures. I did not find anything with both on the same day. The closest to meeting that criteria was Nov. 22, 1963. However, I strongly doubt that would have been the day that they were thinking of as it was far more memorable for another event and didn’t really fit ‘nice day’ nor ‘really bad snowstorm’ as it was raining for most of the morning (but did reach 62 degrees) and then began snowing around 6 p.m., but with a total snowfall of only 0.4 inches (but was windy with northwest winds gusting to 37 mph). ... Our memories can really play tricks with us ... maybe this event didn’t occur in the early 1960s or perhaps the ‘nice day’ and the ‘bad snowstorm’ were on consecutive days and not the same day?”

Q: Which country invented ice hockey? Was it Canada?

A: The sport began in Canada in the early 1800s. The official rules of the sport — the Montreal Rules — were set in 1877.

Q: The terrible shooting in Florida was at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — who was she?

A: Douglas was a journalist, author and conservationist — she worked for years to prevent efforts to drain the Florida Everglades.

Q: Will “The Guestbook” and “People of Earth” be returning to TBS?

A: They have both been renewed, but it doesn’t look as if starting dates for the new seasons have been announced yet.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.


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