News

Wed
23
Apr

Council reviews zoning matters

By Shelia Tomkins

Discussion on the powers and duties of the city planning and zoning commission and zoning board of adjustment highlighted a special city council meeting on Monday, April 14. 

Mayor Russ Loven, council members Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter, Steve Friedlein and Jane Parker, City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Mike Schuster were in attendance.

Members of the P & Z board — Dan Parker, Howard Hubbell, Don Herkes, Jim Eglseder, Janette Hansel, Steve Dikkers and J.J. Rochford — were present as City Attorney Michael Schuster reviewed the  purpose and history of zoning regulations. "The idea is to balance the needs of individuals with the welfare of society as a whole," he said.

In the 1970s Guttenberg prepared a comprehensive plan that included its first zoning ordinances.  The city's Planning and Zoning board serves in an advisory capacity, making recommendations to the council. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is a stand-alone quasi-judicial body that hears appeals and grants variances. Schuster explained the relationships between the P &Z board, the Board of Adjustment and the city council. Discussion was also held on what the city's zoning ordinance specifies about building garages on contiguous lots.

Wed
16
Apr

Food vendors needed for RAGBRAI

The RAGBRAI Committee is still in need of food vendors for Saturday, July 26. Nearly 20,000 visitors are expected here that day.

If you have a club, organization or business that has a need for a fundraiser, consider becoming a food vendor for RAGBRAI. The deadline to register is May 15.

Following is general information for food vendors. More detailed information is available from Linda Benskin at 252-2020 or 252-3538, or Jane Augustyn at 252-3820 or 252-1938.

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Wed
16
Apr

Money matters occupy council

By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council, meeting in regular session on April 7, took the first step in increasing water and sewer rates, heard a request to replace an ambulance,  accepted responsibility for maintenance of a park restroom, listened to a RAGBRAI update,  and moved forward on funding for the Acre Street project.

Mayor Russ Loven, council members Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter, Steve Friedlein and Jane Parker, City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Mike Schuster were in attendance.

Water, sewer increases

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will increase water and sewer rates each $1 per month. Before final passage, the ordinance must be approved at a second and third public reading. Upon final approval, the new base rate will be $24.25 for water and $24.50 for sewer. 

"The revenues for the utilities are not keeping up with expenses," City Manager Willett told The Press. "The council is looking to examine the revenues and expenditures and evaluate the rates every year, instead of having large rate increases."

Wed
16
Apr

Following the garbage truck: Where does our trash go?

By Molly Moser

As the world around us comes back to life, we once again dedicate a day to celebrating and protecting its splendor. Though we might be better served by observing Earth Day every day, this year marks 44 since the day many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, capitalized on directing the energy of the anti-war protest movement, and bringing attention to environmental concerns.

Collecting litter is a typical way to honor Earth Day, and Guttenberg is offering several special collections on April 26. The Guttenberg Police Department will sponsor its annual prescription drug drop-off that Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the alley behind the Municipal Building. A shred-a-thon, for secure disposal of sensitive documents, will be held that day thanks to Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol. In conjunction with these events, the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital is sponsoring a sharps disposal at the site.  

The GMH Auxiliary recently heard a presentation from Todd Kuhse, a representative of Waste Management (WM), who spoke in detail about what happens to Guttenberg’s trash and recycling after it’s been picked up by the company. 

Waste Management states that Guttenberg's trash is sent to the Winneshiek County Landfill, located between Frankville and Decorah. Yard waste ends up in a compost site in Prairie du Chien. 

Wed
16
Apr

Local children start business, fundraise to foster friendship


Clayton Ridge fourth graders are selling handmade bracelets to raise money for a buddy bench. Front from left are participants Mark Mommer, Brodie Wahls, Boston Pierce, Mara Pierce, Chloe Freeman, Destiny Kemp, Callie Freeman, and Sierra Sheber; back row, Maddie Radabaugh, Madison Meyer, Emma Roth, Jillian Leliefeld, Payton Nuehring, Emma Kulper, JayLyn Moore, Emily Zimmer, Danyel Rieck, Lily Kann, Ms. Geuder and Aaron Taake. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge fourth grade is abuzz with excitement about a new piece of equipment for the playground – but it’s not a slide, a swing, or a merry-go-round. It’s a bench.

Fourth graders in Mr. Robert Sweers and Ms. Karen Geuder’s classes have been using looms to make bracelets, which they sell to raise money for a buddy bench. The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. “When someone doesn’t have anybody to play with on the playground, then they go sit on the bench and someone knows they need somebody to play with,” says fourth grader Payton Nuehring. 

Many of the students received looms for Christmas, and bracelet making quickly became a favorite pastime. Chloe Freeman asked her teacher, Ms. Geuder, if it would be possible to sell the bracelets and use the proceeds for an act of kindness. After talking with principal Shane Wahls and brainstorming possibilities, the students decided to fundraise for a buddy bench.

The students have raised over $400 since opening for business on April 1. They set up shop every morning, making colorful rubber band bracelets and selling them to other students before school. Many students give up their free time to make bracelets at home and during recess. They research new patterns and techniques online or in books, and each new design spreads like wildfire through the classroom as students teach each other. Even Ms. Geuder has a loom. “She’s getting good at it!” smiles fourth grader Emma Roth.

Wed
09
Apr

Prescription drug drop-off April 26

The Guttenberg Police Department will sponsor its annual prescription drug drop-off on Saturday, April 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. 

The alley behind the Guttenberg Municipal Building will be designated as the drop-off point and will be set up for one-way traffic.

Purpose of the event is to allow area residents to safely dispose of unused prescription medications.

Wed
09
Apr

Dan Berns named a 2014 Sports Media Person of the Year

Dan Berns

The Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association recently recognized Dan Berns of Garnavillo as the recipient of a 2014 IHSADA Sports Media Award.

Dan Berns is a 1987 graduate of Garnavillo High School and a 1988 graduate of Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minn.  He started working at KCTN/KADR in 1986 when he was still in high school. He has been the general manager at KCTN FM/KADR AM in Elkader since 2003, where he is also the news and sports director.

Wed
09
Apr

Stakeholders plan for future of Iowa Great River Road corridor


David Dahlquist facilitated a Great River Road stakeholders meeting at the Driftless Area Wetland Centre. Five panelists from the area and members of the audience were encouraged to voice their ideas for the future of the byway, and all voted on their top six priorities before the meeting concluded. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Iowa Mississippi River Parkway Commission held a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday, April 3, as part of the process of updating the Iowa Great River Road corridor management plan. David L. Dahlquist and Associates (DDA), of Des Moines, facilitated the meeting at the Driftless Area Wetland Centre of Marquette, during which a panel of community members presented their ideas for missions, goals, and objectives for the future of the Iowa Great River Road. 

DDA surveyed both residents and visitors along the Great River Road during 2013, gauging awareness and determining the perceptions of the byway. Results of the survey were presented to those in attendance at Thursday’s meeting, along with a menu of potential actions for the future. 

“This is Iowa’s best tourist attraction,” said Dahlquist of the byway. “800,000 people live within 10 miles of the Iowa Great River Road.” The road winds through 10 Iowa counties and follows the Mississippi River through 10 states. 

“We have a lot of loyalty and commitment to the area,” said Breann Bye, Associate at DDA. Seventy percent of those surveyed are repeat visitors, and 40% of those have been visiting the area for over 25 years. 

Wed
09
Apr

Junior Achievement guides students to economic success


St. Mary Immaculate Conception School students, from left, Sam Brimeyer, Morgan Tujetsch, and Elayna Simon navigate the risks and rewards of the various insurance options as part of the Junior Achievement program. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

In a classroom at St. Mary Immaculate Conception (SMIC) in Guttenberg, seventh and eighth grade students are gathered into small groups. The room is abuzz with conversation; students alternately cheer and groan. Classroom volunteer Diane Bieber races from group to group, passing out cards that represent various cash values, and students cross items off a shopping list as they are able to make purchases. At the end of the activity, the team with the most purchases and the most remaining money wins the game.

This is Junior Achievement, a volunteer-delivered, K-12 program that fosters work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, harnessing experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and to equip them with the skills to make their dreams reality.  

SMIC principal Steven Cornelius became familiar with the program during his 36-year career as a principal in Dubuque. “Junior Achievement (JA) is so beneficial to our kids. All of my Dubuque schools participated,” he said. Cornelius connected with Bieber, who retired to Guttenberg in 2012. “I mentioned JA and she just sparked. This was something she really wanted to do.”

“I volunteered with Junior Achievement while working for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Cedar Rapids.  After retiring to Guttenberg in 2012, I discovered that JA wasn’t available in the area so I contacted Father Bries and Mr. Cornelius, the Principal at St. Mary's, about starting the program here,” Bieber said.

Wed
02
Apr

New location for Easter egg hunt

By Shelia Tomkins

The annual Easter egg hunt traditionally held on the grounds of the Guttenberg Care Center will continue this year on Saturday, April 19,  at the fenced-in Rotary park just south of Clayton Ridge High School.

The Guttenberg Rotary Club is parternering with the Guttenberg Care Center to continue the tradition. 

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