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Q: Is Freddie Highmore of the “Good Doctor” actually autistic?

A: No, he’s just a good actor.

Q: On the second phase of reconstruction of University Avenue in Cedar Falls they lowered the new bed over a foot lower. Why did they lower it so much? What did they do with all the fill they removed?

A: Cedar Falls Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz replies: “The final profile of University was driven by the planned improvements, drainage and impacts to right-of-way. A key driver was minimizing grading impacts to private property and driveway accesses along the corridor. Approximately one-third of the material was suitable for re-use with the project. Two-thirds was hauled off-site. This was provided for in the approved plans.”

Q: Is Christine Kemp, CEO of People’s Clinic, related to Ron Kemp, who was also at the Peoples’ Clinic?

A: No, said Augusta Sires, Peoples’ community relations specialist.

Q: Can you offer insight as to how Sharon Juon, who has not been a member of the city council before, was elected mayor pro tem?

A: People are not elected to serve as mayor pro tem, they are appointed by the mayor. Quentin Hart selected Juon.

Q: Is it true if I finished my basement but not the ceiling my taxes won’t go up?

A: We assume you are asking whether your assessed value will go up. Your taxes can rise even if you do nothing to a home. The assessor’s office will assess what is there. If the ceiling is not finished but the walls and floor are, it will be a lower square foot price compared to if the ceiling were finished.

Q: A John Deere downtown site is listed on the EPA hazardous waste site registry. In 2007 John Deere donated or transferred 40 acres to the Waterloo TechWorks for redevelopment. Primary public health concern for this site was potential contamination of surface water and public drinking water. With the new hotel just opening, what is the TechWorks plan to mitigate contamination under their building site plus the protection of drinking water for guests of the hotel?

A: While the donation of the 43-acre Deere property was transferred to the Cedar Valley TechWorks Inc. in 2007, the environmental condition of the property has been regulated and monitored by EPA since 1992 when Deere received a permit from the EPA that outlined a remediation process for hazardous waste removal and water quality. All of those recommendations and requirements have been met and continue to be monitored by the EPA, DNR and Deere environmental officials, according to TechWorks officials. The developer of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel has recently instituted an additional groundwater monitoring plan that has been approved by the EPA and will continue to be monitored. The drinking water for the hotel and all of Waterloo is supplied and monitored by the city of Waterloo, which meets or exceeds all federal and state drinking water requirements to keep it safe to drink.

Questions 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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