Category Archives: News

Try a Blind Date with a Book

Do you judge a book by its cover? Maybe you shouldn’t. During the month of February Hawkins Memorial Library is celebrating with a very special display: Blind Date with a Book. Choose a wrapped book from the display area, take it home, and read it. You won’t know what your date is until it is uncovered!
These blind date books are single and ready to mingle, and we’re letting you judge them based simply on the genre. No cost, no long term commitment, and the book won’t stand you up. Take a chance in finding love at first read and accept Hawkins Memorial Library’s invitation for a blind date.

Historic Wasson Building New Home For La Porte City Insurance


After doing business for many years in the 500 block of Main Street, LuAnn Elliott  and the La Porte City Insurance Agency is enjoying a change in scenery (and elevation), having recently moved into the historic Jesse Wasson building at 203 Main Street. The Wasson building was the home of Ken’s Electronics for more than a quarter of a century after Ken and Pat Benda opened the business in 1976. Following their retirement, the building was closed to the public for many years before Dave and Vi Neil purchased it and began making extensive renovations.

Report Details Progress of Water Quality Initiative

Last week, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey highlighted the Iowa Water Quality Initiative 2016 Legislative Report during his presentation to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.
“We continue to see engagement and investment in water quality efforts and it is exciting to see the progress that is being made. Thanks to the support we have received from the Governor and Legislature the Iowa Water Quality Initiative continues to expand and work with additional farmers. This report provides an update on the initiative to legislators and outlines our request for the next fiscal year,” Northey said.
The 8-page report provides an update on the $3.5 million made available for statewide cost share for water quality practices and on the 29 demonstration projects that were operating across the state last year to help implement and demonstrate water quality practices. The report also gives and update on Tracking/Accountability and efforts by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University. The Iowa DNR also provided an update on the efforts of point sources that is included in the report.
During the hearing Northey also highlighted the $10 million request for the Water Quality Initiative would allow the Department to continue offering cost share statewide to farmers trying new water quality practices, expand work in targeted watersheds to achieve measurable water quality improvements, and continue to develop new programs to help engage all Iowans in water quality efforts. The Department received $9.6 million for the current fiscal year for the Water Quality Initiative.
A copy of the report can be found at under “Hot Topics” or at
The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established in 2013 to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is a science and technology based approach to achieving a 45 percent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus losses to our waters. The strategy brings together both point sources, such as municipal wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban stormwater runoff, to address these issues.
The initiative seeks to harness the collective ability of both private and public resources and organizations to deliver a clear and consistent message to stakeholders to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality.
The initiative is seeing some exciting results. Last fall, Northey announced that 1,800 farmers committed $3.5 million in cost share funds to install nutrient reduction practices in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. The practices that were eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Participants include 980 farmers using a practice for the first time and more than 830 past users that are trying cover crops again and are receiving a reduced-rate of cost share. Farmers using cost share funding contribute 50% or more to the total cost of the practice.
In addition, 32 demonstration projects are now located across the state to help implement and demonstrate water quality practices. This includes 16 targeted watershed projects, 7 projects focused on expanding the use and innovative delivery of water quality practices and 9 urban water quality demonstration projects. More than 100 organizations are participating in these projects. These partners will provide $16.72 million dollars to go with the $11.11 million in state funding going to these projects.
More than $325 million in state and federal funds have been directed to programs with water quality benefits in Iowa last year. This total does not include the cost share amount that farmers pay to match state and federal programs and funds spent to build practices built without government assistance.
More information about the initiative can be found at

Council Approves Public Works Projects


The City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met in regular session on January 25, 2016. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7 PM with council members Eric Allsup, Kristi Harrill, Mike Johnson, Brent Sadler and David Williams present. Also present was Jacob Huck and Nick Stocks.
Following a public hearing, Jacob Huck with MSA Professional Services reviewed the plans with the City Council related to the reconstruction of Bishop Avenue from Main Street at Six Corners out to the railroad crossing near ECI Co-op, including the curb and gutter, storm sewers and sidewalk. As presented, the cost for the project is estimated at $645,000.
The Council also held a public hearing on the construction of a new Public Works facility. Plans call for the construction of a 9,000 square foot maintenance facility and attached 900 square foot office to be located on Commercial Street near the intersection of Schull Avenue. The Council approved Resolution 16-03, accepting the plans and specifications with an Engineer’s estimated cost at $350,000.
Three resolutions that are required components of the City’s Downtown Façade Grant Program were approved: Resolution 16-05, Residential Anti-Displacement and Relocation Plan, Resolution 16-06, Equal Opportunity Policy Statement, and Resolution 16-07, Policy on Prohibition on Use of Excessive Force.
The Council also adopted Resolution 16-09, setting the salary for part-time patrol officer Nick Stocks at $14.79/hr.
The Council reviewed proposed plans for temporary and permanent realignment of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail around the bike trail bridge over Wolf Creek. The bridge was deemed unsafe by engineers in the fall of 2015 and closed to all traffic. The temporary realignment calls for a nine mile detour on county roads from Gilbertville to Canfield Road to Spruce Street in La Porte City. Signage for the detour is expected to be in place by spring. The Black Hawk County Conservation Board is working with railroad officials, the Iowa Department of Transportation and adjacent landowners on a plan that would permanently detour bike traffic through La Porte City. This detour would allow for the permanent removal of the bike trail bridge over Wolf Creek and bring trail users into the downtown district. Conservation officials are currently working to secure crossing agreements with affected parties. Completion of a permanent detour is not expected to be complete until summer, 2018.

La Porte City Police Report – December 2015

December 2015
4 Warnings
22 Citations
39 Complaints
5 Assist other agency

7 – Speeding
1 – Failure to Obey Stop Sign
1 – No Insurance
1 – Failure to Obey Stop Light
5 – No Registration
1 – OWI/Drugged 2nd

Noel Mahood, 21, of Cedar Falls, Possession of Marijuana and Drug Parahernalia, on 12/06/15.
Cory Newell, 44, of La Porte City, Assault D/A Enhanced Aggravated, on 12/7/15.
Thomas Lawrence, 21, of Waterloo, Possesion of Meth, Possession of Marijuana, Drug Parahernalia, and OWI 2nd, on 12/8/15.
Allan Bergom, 17, of La Porte City, Possession of Marijuana, on 12/27/15.
Austin Hart, 15, of La Porte City, Possession of Marijuana, on 12/27/15.
Camron Biemann, 16, of La Porte City, Possession of Marijuana, on 12/27/15.
Jordan Jones, 34, of Evansdale, Possesion of Meth w/Intent to Deliver +5G, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Prescription Drug and Drug Parahernalia, on 12/28/15.