Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 14, 2017 Iowa City developer reports anonymous threats to city council
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Lone Tree

Marty Gaffey of Iowa City, who will be building condominiums and a duplex on North Perkins near Dollar General and who recently purchased properties owned by Brian and Joanne Havel on Devoe, informed the City Council that he had received at least two threatening phone calls within the past week. Both calls were anonymous, caller ID blocked. The callers said, in effect, that Gaffey better not be renting to any of those Section 8 people from Chicago. Gaffey told City Council that he does accept Section 8 vouchers, but that virtually all of his Section 8 tenants are disabled and special needs.

According to Iowa City’s Housing Authority 58% of those benefiting from Section 8 housing within its jurisdiction are elderly and/or disabled, 44% are households with children and 47% are working families. The only real difference between people who qualify for rent subsidies and people who do not is income.

Although Gaffey was upset by the calls, he is not canceling any of his plans for building housing in Lone Tree.

On a more cheerful note, Mayor Sandy Flake is talking to people at the Lone Tree School about getting Local Access Cable TV up and running again. Lone Tree does have a local access station, but it’s been dead for several years. Getting it running again is seen as an opportunity to give students hands on experience with broadcasting.

Durk Sterner addressed the Council with a complaint and a solution. The complaint was drivers coming into Lone Tree on Wapsi/Devoe from the south ignoring the 25 mph speed limit posted at the city limit line. They are driving 55 mph, often faster, and they don’t slow down. His solution is to install solar powered flashing speed limit signs of the type installed in Hills and Nichols. The Council voted to accept his proposal.

The Council also addressed flooding concerns with regard to the creek that runs under N. Devoe over by the American Legion. The engineer’s report, delivered by Jay Anderson of Hart-Frederick Consultants, was that although ditches in that area needed grading, drainage pipes carrying run-off from the east side to the creek are adequate and the chances of the road ever flooding are slim to none.

Ruby Dickey, accompanied by School Superintendent Ken Crawford, addressed the Johnson County Board of Supervisors’ most recent work session with concerns regarding the fact that Lone Tree is in a “no growth” zone. Housing may be built within Lone Tree’s jurisdiction but it is virtually impossible to build housing out in the County. Lack of housing has a negative effect on the local school because families cannot move here if there is no place to live. She left the meeting hopeful and plans to attend the next work session October 9.

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