North Liberty names major accomplishments

April 12, 2012 — Every two years Jeff Schott of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa visits with North Liberty city council and department heads to discuss goals, trends, opportunities, and commitments. His findings are then published as a report sent to city administration and council; this report was approved at the city council meeting on Tuesday, April 10.

Schott says, “I have been very impressed with the City of North Liberty’s commitment to ‘acting strategically’ – addressing critical issues, identifying priorities, and developing plans to accomplish the priorities – is a fundamental means by which municipal policy leaders can provide effective policy leadership. North Liberty’s goal-setting process has been very beneficial in meeting this strategic objective and assisting the mayor and city council and staff in developing a future focus, discussing issues and identifying opportunities facing the community, setting strategic directions, and determining priorities for the upcoming two year period.”

City Administrator Ryan Heiar says, “We listed nearly 60 major accomplishments for the last two years. Everyone works very hard to make on-going improvements, which truly make a difference to residents, businesses, and the community as a whole. We are particularly proud of our investment in streets, the annexation agreement with Coralville, our sustainability initiatives and the planning we are doing for future growth.”

The report, which was unanimously approved, included the following City Council goals:
1. Develop a plan for ball field needs to include planning for the future of Penn Meadows Park and the future west side park.
2. Complete Jones Boulevard – Phase II
3. Partner with developers to assure the easterly expansion of North Liberty in a planned fashion
4. Establish Centennial Celebration committee
5. Branding program

The entire report is available as a PDF at northlibertyiowa.org/goals; however, the list of accomplishments is described below. For additional information contact the City of North Liberty at 626-5700.

The following were identified as major City of North Liberty accomplishments during the past two years:

1. Expansion/building plans for library, city hall and streets departments
o Fundraising for Library completed and ready for bid
2. Relocation of City Hall, Council Chambers and Police Dept.
3. New council chambers, which includes wireless connection and fiber line for NLTV viewer ability
o Council Chambers also includes side monitors rather than relying on projections and easel displays.
o All Board and Commission meetings televised
o Chambers includes audio system for audience amplification.
o Chambers includes room dedicated to closed session meetings
4. Paperless council and commission packets via iPad
o One of the first in the state to do so. Featured in American City and County magazine, as well as Iowa League of Cities Cityscape magazine
5. Streets
o Phase 1 Jones Boulevard project
o 965 Phase 1 completed with Phase 2 being planned and $1.125 million in Surface Transportation Funds awarded
o Traffic signals
o Continued monitoring of 965 for added lights and “tweaks” on annual basis
o Penn Street widening project with stop light at Jones Blvd
o Cherry Street signals
o Golfview Drive Connection
o Alignment of Golfview and Fairview
o Dubuque St. added to MPO 20 yr plan
o Forevergreen Road
6. Library increased hours of operation
7. Staff
o Hiring of city attorney
o Hired support staff for HR
o Updated personnel manual
o Ongoing training/”Lunch & Learn”
o Street Dept. additional employee
o Police Dept. additional staffing
8. Development of a city wide safety committee and updated safety programs.
9. Discussed multi-family land use and zoning at joint Council/Planning Commission meetings
10. Executed an annexation agreement with Coralville
11. Updated City Codes
12. Started Economic Development Plan, including publication and working with outside organizations to create programs for small businesses.
13. University of Iowa Community Credit Union project (other parties/rezoning/economic development)
o Reprecincting completed
14. Trails
o Dubuque Street Trail installed
o New trail extension Liberty Centre Park
o New trail tie in Meade Barn
15. Parks
o New parks facility
o New playground Penn Meadows Park
o Community Gardens
o Using a percentage of compost on city park grounds in lieu of traditional fertilizer
o DNR Free Fish weekend at Liberty Centre Park
o Parking lot/Rain Gardens at Penn Meadows Park
o Completed development of Cornerstone Park
o Harvested prairie seed from some of our existing landscape areas and seeded a 20,000 sq foot area at Cornerstone Park with this seed
o Parks department staff completed much of the demolition work in preparation for the new council chambers project, tearing down of old homes and cleaning up and seeding of the Main Street property
o Stock fish with the DNR in City owned ponds
o Met with Parks and Rec and P & Z for joint planning
16. Completed sanitary sewer study – infrastructure
17. Accomplished a lot in last two years while maintaining tax rate and cash reserves
o Increased general fund reserve (maintaining 25%)
o Excellent financial shape
18. Police
o Completion of first police contract
o Police providing 24/7 service
o Additions to Police Dept staff
19. Fire Dept
o Fire Dept space expansion
o Purchase of new fire attack truck
20. Transit
o Transit Committee appointed with transit study. Recommended extension of existing route. City executed agreement with City of Coralville for providing the service effective March 2012
o MPO reps supported Future Transit Needs in 20 year Master Plan
21. Adopting Golf Cart Ordinance
22. Completion of Hazard Mitigation Plan
23. NLTV
o New live streaming system for NLTV broadcast
o New NLTV programming system, which displays schedule with ease and makes view ability cleaner
o Backup system acquired for NLTV – the 25TB combined Drobo drives keep large files off city server, but still create a backup
24. Completed citizen survey
25. Landscaping
o Highway 965 intersections
o Golfview Drive
o St Andrews Drive and Jones Blvd
26. Trees
o Planting trees at Quail Ridge Park North dry detention basin – received grant
o Received Trees Please grant for Cornerstone Park
o Awarded the Tree City USA award for 16 years in a row
27. Meade Barn remodel
28. Annual Muddy Creek Clean-up
29. Ranshaw House roof replacement
30. Host of the State Baseball tournament
31. Upgrade Babe Ruth baseball field and new scoreboard
32. Assisted Nick Kaeding from the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau installing the “Bookmarks” statues around Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty
33. Blues & BBQ Celebration
34. School Alliances – Sports & Rec; Addition of Buford Garner BASP/Gymnasium Use
35. Lift Stations
o Installations of 4 lift station generators, 8 lift stations now have permanent stand-by power
o Cedar Springs Lift Station was upgrade with larger pumps, motors and electrical systems. This will meet the current and future growth in that area of the city
o Required Penn Meadows Lift Station for the development in that area of the city
36. Changes made to water shut off policy have reduced the work load
37. New program to store service line/curb box information
38. Finished the ASR well testing got the ok to start filling
39. Improved valve exercise program
40. Water meter change out program
41. Replaced 12” water main along Penn Street
42. Replacement of the Water Pollution Control EQ Liner.
43. Completed a number of Zoning Ordinance amendments in order to stay current
44. Increased use of social networking such as Twitter and Facebook. (Over 500 “Likes” on Facebook)
45. Library growing partnerships with various organizations, such as creating The Tall Corn Book and Going Green series
46. Fiber network – all city facilities (in process)
47. Replaced crack sealer
48. Updated snow removal equipment
49. Named as one of Money Magazine’s top 100 small town towns.
50. Building Inspectors obtained certifications and met State requirements
51. Web-based building permit software program (in process)
52. Established program recognizing new businesses in town
53. Upgrading city facilities’ telephone system (in process)
54. All police marked squad cars have on-board computers
55. Library now has downloadable audio books, e-books and laptops
56. Library is first in state to go to subject-based catalog system
57. Ramped up public outreach on city activities