Tag: 053117

Celebration Planned for Pastor Rose Blank

Following the Sunday, June 18, 2017 10 AM church service at St. Paul United Methodist Church, the congregation and community members are invited to celebrate Pastor Rose Blank’s retirement with her. The open house will continue until 2:30 PM at the church, located at 501 Sycamore Street in La Porte City.

Adventures at the Museum – May 31, 2017

By Jan Erdahl, Museum Director
In the 1960’s a wonderful thing was “invented”…leisure time. Applying all the science and technology developed to support the war effort for domestic uses gave us microwaves, vacuum cleaners, and a host of other electric appliances to lighten the burden of the housewife. Suddenly the overburdened mom had some free time. This resulted in a host of clubs and groups springing up.
If YOU have free time and are looking for some interesting things to do, the Museum has a number of upcoming events to offer. Mark your calendars for these don’t miss activities!
June 8-August 1: Summer enrichment classes for preschool through middle school students ranging from birds and butterflies to painting to macramé to dance. Visit our website at www.lpcmuseum.com for class descriptions, stop by the Museum for a registration form, or watch next week’s Progress Review for a complete listing of the classes.
June 9-11: Buy some ice cream or any of Tootsie’s other delicious menu items and help your local museum. Tootsie’s will donate 10% of their total sales over these dates to support the educational programming at the Museum. THANKS TO TOOTSIE’S FOR THEIR CONTINUING SUPPORT!
June 12-18: Iowa Museum Week. Iowa’s museums play a crucial role in preserving the historical fabric, natural resources, identity, and memory of our state through the careful stewardship of art, artifacts, archives, the built environment, flora, fauna and historical sites. Stop in and help us celebrate this important week.
June 18: Festival of Trails Open 11AM-2PM. FREE ADMISSION. Join us for the Iowa State University’s Traveling Insect Zoo! Sponsored by the La Porte City Council on Aging, the ISU Bug Zoo will let you touch all those creepy, crawly things that go bump in the night! Learn about the insects that live in the world around us. Hissing cockroaches, spiders, scorpions and tarantulas are just a few of the critters that will be waiting for visitors to hold. Learn about the importance of bugs in the world around us. This traveling insect zoo is not to be missed! A great way to encourage kids to get up and explore the world around them.
June 25: Country Charm Garden Walk, 12-4PM Get your summer sizzling! Whether you are an avid gardener looking for new ideas or you simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of a well-tended space, our garden walk promises to get your senses sizzling. It will feature four gardens brimming with country charm and inspiration, plus our newest nursery, Escapes Landscaping and Design. Funky Monkey will also so join us with their metal artwork. Don’t miss our special garden shop that will hold many one of a kind pieces of garden art plus bargains galore!
July-Oct: Family Fun Days Take time the fourth Sunday of each month from 2-5PM to celebrate family and join us for some good old fashion fun! Watch our website and the Progress Review for more details to come.
Sept. 7: Girl’s Night Out Wine, women and wonderful food. Grab a friend for a great night out. This always proves to be a sellout. Get your tickets early.
Annual FFA Pancake Breakfast in November. Thanks to the FFA students for their continued support of the Museum. Come enjoy a great breakfast and support the Museum. Watch for more details to come.
Stop by and see us soon!

ViewPoint: Two Things You Need to Know Before Enrolling in Medicare

The Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) talks to thousands of Iowans every year about enrolling in Medicare.
“There is a lot of information for Iowans to digest when they are deciding whether to enroll in Medicare,” Kris Gross, director of SHIIP said. “The top two misconceptions we hear from Iowans are that there is a requirement to sign up for Medicare Part A at age 65 and to enroll in Medicare Part B even if the person is continuing to work and has employer health insurance. Neither is true.”
Iowans with questions about Medicare may call SHIIP at 800-351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942) or visit www.therightcalliowa.gov. SHIIP counselors are available in communities across Iowa and are available to help answer your questions and assist with problems you have concerning Medicare and related health insurance. SHIIP is a service of the State of Iowa Insurance Division. All services are free, confidential and objective.
Correct information about the top two misconceptions that SHIIP hears from Iowans are below.
First Misconception: You’re required to sign up for Medicare Part A at age 65. (This is not true.)
If you or your spouse continue to work and have insurance from this work, you are not required to enroll in Medicare. Medicare Part A is free for most people because of their FICA contributions while employed. For this reason, people usually sign up for Part A when they become eligible.
However, since Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with high deductible health plans have become more popular as an employee health benefit, automatically signing up for Part A needs to be reconsidered and may not be in your best interest. If you continue to work and enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B, you and your employer can no longer make contributions to the HSA. There may be a tax penalty if you do. You can use the money in your HSA but you cannot make new contributions.
Even if your current employer does not offer a HSA, delaying Part A keeps this option open for potential future employment. Keep in mind, those entitled to free Part A will automatically be enrolled once you start receiving your Social Security benefit.
Remember, if you delay enrollment, when you finally do apply for Medicare the effective date of Part A may be back dated up to six months from the date you apply. To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your HSA the month to which your Part A is back dated.
Second Misconception: I need to enroll in Medicare Part B even if I continue to work and have employer health insurance. (This is not true.)
A person who is actively employed with health insurance from that employer, can delay enrolling in Medicare Part B without a penalty until they quit working—no matter the employer size. Large employers must pay primary (first) while the person is working and Medicare pays secondary. Small employers do not have to pay primary.
Often workers are told the small employer insurance will continue to cover them, not understanding that the language in their employer health insurance may require they enroll in Medicare. If they don’t, the policy will pay secondary to Medicare even if they don’t enroll. It is very important to talk to the insurance company providing your employer coverage to verify if Medicare enrollment is necessary because the plan will only pay after Medicare pays.

Excess Groundwater a Drain on La Porte City’s Wastewater Plant

“April showers bring May flowers.”
For the city of La Porte City, the seasonal rain that accompanies the arrival of Spring and gully washer thunderstorms common to Iowa summers can also bring about a far less fragrant side effect- trouble with the city’s sanitary sewers and water treatment plant.
The trouble usually begins when a large amount of water arrives in a short period of time. The sudden influx of water has to go somewhere. Much of it is funneled away by storm sewers, which are designed to handle rain and groundwater that comes from roof drains, beaver drains (seepage collection systems), gutters, driveway and sidewalk drains, as well as sump pumps. The rain water collected from these sources is relatively clean. That is why the storm sewers bypass the city’s water treatment plant altogether, returning the water directly back to the environment.
It’s the city’s sanitary sewers that do the job of transporting the “dirty” water that originates from the toilets, washing machines, showers, bathtubs and the like in La Porte City homes. In theory, the system should be a closed one, meaning the water treatment plant should be processing no more water than what the city’s water tower delivers to residents’ homes. Such is not the case, however, as the wastewater treatment plant has, at times, been forced to process more than double the amount of water used by La Porte City residents.
So where is the extra water coming from? Much of it comes from sump pump and drains that are connected to the city’s sanitary sewer system. Unfortunately, this excess “clean” water is being directed to the water treatment plant anyway, putting a strain on the facility, causing a number of potential problems:
Excess water from the sewer mains has resulted in sewer backups in some La Porte City homes
Treating the excess flow causes the plant to operate inefficiently.
Higher energy consumption results from the increased cost to use of blowers and circulation pumps at the water treatment facility and the extra pumping hours needed at lift stations.
Extra hours of operation increases the cost of maintenance, repair and replacement of equipment used at the wastewater treatment facility and lift stations.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources sets limits and monitors the flow from watewater treatment facilities throughout the state. The extra flow puts the city at risk for being in violation of those limits, which could result in the assessment of a fine.
In response to these challenges, the City Council has initiated a special Footing Drain Inspection and Disconnection Program. With the passage of Ordinance No. 520 (see page 4) last week, footing drain connections to the city’s sanitary sewer system have been disallowed. In the coming months, residents will be contacted by letter to schedule a brief, 5-15 minute inspection that will determine if their home has such a connection that needs to be terminated. If a home is found to be in violation, the owner will have 180 days to make the correction and have the home re-inspected.
Participation in the Footing Drain Inspection and Disconnection Program is mandatory. The failure to schedule an inspection upon receipt of the notification letter from the City, or to carryout the necessary repairs as a result of the initial inspection, will result in a sanitary surcharge equal to the amount of the base monthly sewer fee being added to the building owner’s sewer bill each month.
City officials have acknowledged that the inspections, which will be conducted by employees of the Public Works Department, will take a minimum of 3-5 years to complete. To expedite the process in an orderly fashion, the city has been divided into seven distinct zones, with property owners in the first zone having until August 31, 2017 to complete the initial inspection.
For additional information about the Footing Drain Inspection and Disconnection Program, contact City Hall at 342-3396 or logon to www.lpcia.com.
La Porte City’s Drain Inspection and Disconnection Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What will be inspected?
The inspector will be looking to verify that sump pumps, roof drains, and other clear water sources are not connected to the sanitary sewer system, or have the potential to do so. The inspector will need access to homeowner’s property and basement to observe exterior grading, roof drains, sump pit/pump, and seepage collection system, if present.
When will I have my inspection?
The city will be divided into seven sectors to conduct inspections in a timely manner. Homeowners will be notified by letter prior to the scheduling of inspections in their area.
How long does an inspection take?
A typical inspection is completed in under 15 minutes. Many are complete in about 5 minutes.
Is there any cost for inspections?
There is no charge to property owners for initial inspections completed during this program. All inspections will be scheduled and conducted by Public Works staff who will present proper identification. No door-to-door inspections will be conducted. Inspections will be completed between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM.
Are inspections mandatory?
Yes. Chapter 101 of the La Porte City Code of Ordinances authorizes the application of a sanitary sewer surcharge equal to the base monthly sewer fee be added to sewer bills for buildings that have not been inspected and passed.
I don’t have a sump pump. Do I still need an inspection?
Yes, in the interest of fairness to all residents, all buildings with a sanitary sewer account will be inspected, regardless of the presence of a sump pump.
What is the penalty for a home that is not compliant?
There is no penalty for a home that does not pass the initial inspection. Non-compliant homes will be subject to another inspection once the homeowner has made the necessary corrections. Failure to take corrective action within 180 days after receiving notification from the City the home is non-compliant will subject the owner to a surcharge equal to the base user fee. The surcharge will be added to the homeowner’s utility bill each month until an inspection reveals the necessary corrective action has been taken.
Can my basement floor drain be hooked into the sanitary sewer?
Yes, your basement floor drain is supposed to hook into the sanitary sewer.

Freckles’ Adopt a Pet – May 31, 2017

Freckles and The Progress Review encourage potential pet owners who are loving and responsible to consider adopting a pet from the Cedar Bend Humane Society.
Ziggy is about 4 years old, with a unique personality and appearance! He is believed to be a Manx mix, which causes him to have a short, stubby tail. Ziggy also appears to have an old injury to his ear, which has resulted in him having a “crinkle” ear. His adoptive owners will likely need to it on a regular basis to prevent infection from occurring; this should not be a difficult task as he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a fantastic boy who loves to be around people! He also appears to get along fairly well with other cats. Stop by Cedar Bend to check this handsome boy out! His adoption fee is $80.
For more information about adopting a pet, contact: Cedar Bend Humane Society, 1166 W. Airline Highway, Waterloo, Iowa 319-232-6887
cbhsadoption@mchsi.com  –  www.cedarbendhumanesociety.com


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