Q. Would the city consider correcting the sequence of the traffic lights on Washington Street to prevent vehicles from having to stop at every traffic light in town?
A. The signals are optimized for minimum delays. A state-of-art intelligent traffic signal control is being installed on Washington from West 11th Street to San Marnan Drive. A consultant is studying the downtown area to re-time the signals.
Q. Regarding the Black Hawk County’s Most Wanted list that appears in The Courier regularly: Are these people being sought after and arrested or just a list of people who didn’t appear for their court dates?
A. Any person who misses a required court date is wanted and being sought after by law enforcement. But there are other reasons a person may be wanted -- missing a required meeting with a parole officer, walking away from a halfway house or eluding police. Law enforcement may have multiple individuals who are considered "wanted" any given week, but they choose a high-priority one to feature and send to The Courier each week.
Q. I’m having problems understanding the expansion of the Waterloo Career Center at Central Middle School at a cost of $15.6 million. I thought we voted against the career center there, so how is this proceeding?
A. What Waterloo Community Schools’ residents voted down in February 2016 was a $47 million bond issue to construct a new $35 million building that would have housed 30 career programs. The plan also included $6 million each in improvements at East and West high schools. If the bond issue had passed, it would have meant a property tax increase to repay the bonds. After the referendum was defeated, Board of Education and district officials decided to go forward with a scaled-down alternate plan that involves remodeling unused space at Central Middle School to create a 15-program career center using existing funds. This latest and largest phase will renovate space for 10 programs. It is expected to be paid for with the district’s 1 percent sales tax revenues. Currently, five programs are located at the career center, now in its second year. Construction contracts of $468,200 and $560,354 were awarded for the first two phases.
Q. Regarding the second phase of the University Avenue reconstruction: They laid down a black rubber mat or mesh and then put a thick layer of gravel over this mat. What is the purpose of the mat?
A. Cedar Falls Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz replies: "The question may be referring to a 'geogrid' that is put in place. This is one of several acceptable techniques that can be used in road construction. The contractor cuts the dirt to the proposed grade, compacts it and then rolls it smooth. The geogrid is then placed on top of that and functions as a support between the dirt and rock layers."
Cubs fans let us know that the white flag with the blue W is flown whenever the Cubs win, not just for winning the World Series.
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.