Labor Day weekend work schedule for Woods Estates

Labor Day weekend work schedule for Woods Estates

 

According to the developer of the Woods Estates sub-division, the sub-contractor hired to do the grading for Phase I of the project will be working regular hours on Saturday, September 1st but will not be working on Sunday or Monday during Labor Day weekend.

Please plan accordingly.

Crime Prevention Task Force holds first meeting

Crime Prevention Task Force holds first meeting

 

A half dozen concerned residents showed up for the first meeting of the City of Riverdale’s Crime Prevention Task Force at 3pm on Friday, August 31st. The task force was convened in response to auto break-ins and an auto theft on August 11.

The task force’s job: to learn more about the nature of the threats facing Riverdale’s neighborhoods, discuss possible solutions, conduct research (if needed) and formulate a series of recommendations for consideration by the Riverdale City Council.

Council member DCamp spent part of the first meeting reviewing notes from a presentation made by Sheriff Tim Lane to the City Council at last Tuesday’s meeting. (Those notes can be viewed by clicking here. A summary of Sheriff Lane’s presentation can also be viewed by clicking here.)

Among the various suggestions made by the group was establishing a Neighborhood Watch Program and a city-wide messaging system that would allow certain individuals the ability to send group text messages to residents about suspicious activities and impending severe weather emergencies.

Mayor Bawden will also reach out to Davenport’s Mayor Klipsch about that city’s efforts to address criminal juvenile behavior (the Quad-City Times reported on Mayor Klipsch’s most recent public meeting on the issue) and to state legislators about what actions might be taken in Des Moines to allow local law enforcement to deal more effectively with the juveniles perpetrating most of these crimes.

Minutes of the task force meeting will be posted as soon as they become available.

Initial recommendations that will be explored in more detail will be posted as soon as they become available.

Next Task Force Meeting

The next meeting of the Crime Prevention Task Force will be set once the initial research project (determining interest in setting up a Neighborhood Watch program and implementing a city-wide, text-messaging alert system) is complete.

Sheriff Tim Lane addresses City’s crime concerns

Sheriff Tim Lane addresses City’s crime concerns

Scott County Sheriff, Tim Lane, attended the Riverdale City Council Meeting on August 28, 2018 and provided an overview of the size and scope of the juvenile crime problem that reached into the City last August 11th, when several cars were broken into and one car was stolen from in front of a residence on Manor Drive. Sheriff Lane offered a sobering assessment that caught many of those present off guard – both citizens and City officials.

According to Sheriff Lane, the juvenile crime problem in Scott County is growing dramatically. So far in 2018 (through the first three and a half weeks of August), over 600 cars have been reported stolen compared to around 800 cars stolen in all of 2017 and 517 in 2016. But that wasn’t the end of the bad news.

“The problem is getting worse,” Sheriff Lane said. “These juveniles are extremely violent.”

The county’s chief law enforcement officer told the Council that he’s seen surveillance footage of these youths pulling guns and entering homes they knew (or at least thought they knew) were occupied.

So, just how do these young criminals get their weapons? “The guns are taken from the cars they steal, left there by their owners,” Sheriff Lane explained.

There are an estimated 100 kids involved in this local crime spree. And as the Sheriff explained, many of them view breaking into and stealing cars as a kind of competition – often taking pride in running the stolen vehicles into each other, into parked cars or into innocent people.

Sheriff Lane also explained that there is not a “preferred time” for these crimes to occur. Police departments and the Sheriff’s office have reports of vehicles being broken into and stolen at all hours of the day. As the young assailants get more and more bold and gain access to weapons, Sheriff Lane expressed his concern that car thefts could eventually turn into car-jackings.

“People have to be careful,” he explained, “especially as cold weather sets in … Don’t leave your car running outside to warm up. Don’t leave your car unlocked. And even when you’re filling up with gas at the pump, don’t leave your keys in the car.”

What can be done?

Council members asked the Sheriff what can be done to make Riverdale residents safer in light of the ever-increasing rate of car thefts and the possible for more violent behavior from these juveniles – ranging in age from 9 years to 18 years of age. He offered the following tips:

  1. Spread the word about what’s happening and the simple prevention steps that you can take to keep you from being an “easy target” of this kind of crime;
  2. Buy and install a home security system – even if that system is as simple as having a noisy dog, a little prevention goes a long way.
  3. Watch out for each other – a neighborhood watch program can be very effective at protecting your home as well as your neighbors’.

A complete summary of Sheriff Lane’s presentation to the Riverdale City Council (prepared by Council Member Paul DCamp) can be viewed here.

We also encourage you to participate in the City’s Crime Prevention Task Force which held its first meeting on Friday, August 31st at 3pm.

Neighborhood News: A very special birthday and opera student returns from Austria

Neighborhood News: A very special birthday and opera student returns from Austria

 

A very special congratulations to long-time resident, Ava Griswold, who turned 97 earlier this month and celebrated with an open house. Friends and family attended and wished her well (and she’s doing great)! Check out the pictures below (courtesy of proud son, Mark) …

 

Congratulations, also, to 22 year-old Madeline Bawden who has recently returned from spending 6 weeks in Graz, Austria studying opera as a part of the AIMS program (Americans In Music Studies). This is the second time she’s participated in that program – the first time studying Lieder (German Art Song).

Madeline is a recent graduate from the Boston Conservatory of Music (B.A. in Vocal Performance) and, between graduation (in May) and leaving for Austria (in June), managed to raise nearly $2,400 for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Lesson Program. Her efforts there were recently featured on KWQC-TV …

Do you have neighborhood news to share? Let us know!

August 28, 2018 Regular Meeting

August 28, 2018 Regular Meeting

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, August 28th at 7pm.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

A copy of the agenda for the meeting can be found by clicking here.

A copy of the information packet sent to Council Members can be found here.

A copy of the City Engineer’s report from MSA can be found here.

A supplemental update for the Woods Estates project can be found by clicking here.

Meeting minutes will be posted following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on September 11, 2018.

Woods Estates SWPP inspection helps keep the project moving

Woods Estates SWPP inspection helps keep the project moving

(Above: MSA’s Chris Cooper conducts an on-site inspection of the storm water handling features installed by Woods Construction.)

MSA Engineering, the civil engineers representing the City of Riverdale, inspected the site to evaluate progress on the development’s storm water handling plan (a SWPP) on August 13. Although some exceptions were noted (there are almost always exceptions), Seth Woods and his crew had addressed concerns about major erosion and uncontrolled storm run-off.

According to Woods’ civil engineers, J+M Civil Design, the site grading on the top of the hill should be finished in mid- to late-September, at which time the grading contractor will begin the work of cutting in the new street up the hill.

Photos from the inspection trip can be found below:

Does Riverdale need a neighborhood watch?

Does Riverdale need a neighborhood watch?

 

Does the City of Riverdale need a neighborhood watch?

I’ve been asking myself that question for the past week and a half and I still haven’t landed on a satisfactory answer.

Here’s what I do know …

It doesn’t seem too hard to start a Neighborhood Watch group. This page lays out the “five easy steps” for doing so. There’s even a handy checklist for doing so.

The concept of Neighborhood Watch has been around since the 1960’s and is considered to be one of the oldest and reliable crime prevention concepts in America. Some Neighborhood Watch groups have expanded their mission to include helping people prepare for disasters, creating emergency response teams and increasing terrorism awareness.

Simply put, Neighborhood Watch is a group of people living in the same area who work together (along with local law enforcement) to reduce crime and improve their quality of life.

Given the fact that Riverdale’s law enforcement is provided by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and that the deputies most likely to respond to our calls are located as far away as Riverdale, I think it makes sense to improve our ability to work with them and assist where we can.

But like so many of the things a community wants to do, there also needs to be the will of its citizens to get involved.

Neighborhood Watch members have several responsibilities and only by following through on those responsibilities will things change for the better. According to the US Department of Justice: “It is the responsibility of members to stay informed about issues in their neighborhood and community.”

As Council Member Paul DCamp gets ready to chair the first meeting of our Crime Prevention Task Force, I ask everyone participating in that meeting to come prepared with ideas of how we, as your neighbors, can reduce the opportunities for crime first – before we get too far down the road with setting up a Neighborhood Watch program here.

Neighborhood Watch may be a part of the solution – but it’s not the only solution. Let’s make sure we think creatively and seriously on how everyone can be involved in a solution before we rely on a few enthusiastic individuals to help protect the rest of us.

MRT biker and walker count is underway

MRT biker and walker count is underway

 

At the request of the City, the Bi-State Regional Commission has installed counters on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) to count bike and foot traffic along the trail for a four-week period. The counters will be able to discern between the two which will and provide counts by the hour which will help to identify the kind of traffic on different parts of the trail and peak traffic periods.

This is all part of a larger effort to improve the way traffic is managed on the MRT in order to make it safer (for those on the trail) and less intrusive (for those whose homes are located near the trail).

Among the issues the City Council is currently facing with regard to MRT traffic:

1. How can the City reduce the risks faced by bikers who fail to stop at major traffic crossings, most notably at Manor Drive and at the State Street entrance to Scott Community College?

2. How can the City reduce the number of bikers who ride through the Haven’s Acres neighborhood to get from the bike path that terminates in Peggy’s Park to the MRT’s riverfront trail?

3. How much MRT traffic entering Riverdale on the riverfront trail continue on through the rest of the City, exiting near the trailer park on State Street?

4. What sort of signage improvements need to be made along the MRT to create a safer experience for walkers, joggers and bike traffic?

5. What visual barriers can be removed to improve visibility for MRT traffic as they turn corners or approach blind hillsides?

6. What other landscape issues need to be addressed to restrict MRT traffic from leaving the path and driving through people’s yards or driveways in order to “cut through” to another destination?

If there are other bike path-related issues that you think the Council needs to consider/address, please leave them in the comments section below.

The state of Riverdale’s Parks

The state of Riverdale’s Parks

 

Have you been to Riverdale’s parks lately?

Chances are you haven’t.

I grew up near Riverdale, went to the elementary school down the hill and spent hours in our parks and nearby woods. But like our neighborhoods, nothing remains as we remember them from our childhood.

Riverdale’s parks have evolved over time – and not always in the best way possible.

I took a walk through Bicentennial Park and Volunteer Park with long-time residents Pat and Don Fisher last month and they commented to me how much things had changed. And how it looks like our neighborhood parks could use a little TLC.

I’d say I have to agree.

But the good news is we have a tremendously engaged City Council and one member in particular, Kelly Krell, is focused on our parks and recreational programs in the City. She is currently leading our Invasive Plants Task Force, working with chairman Mark Griswold on our Fall Fest (scheduled for September 15) and conducting an audit of our parks equipment with the City’s insurance carrier.

At some point, I intend to ask Kelly to start working on a long-range plan for our City’s parks. I’m sure she’ll need some help.

If you’re interested, please let us know.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the photos I snapped when I was out walking with Don and Pat and let me know what improvements you’d like to see made to Riverdale’s parks.

Riverdale Fall Festival announces sponsors

Riverdale Fall Festival announces sponsors

 

2018 Fall Fest Chairman Mark Griswold and Council Member Kelly Krell have announced corporate sponsors for this year’s 2018 Riverdale Fall Fest (scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 pm). This year’s sponsors include:

  • MSA Professional Services
  • BLPR

The City offers a sincere thanks to those companies who are supporting our community-building efforts – by supporting this upcoming event as well as other events and activities throughout the year.

Additional corporate sponsors will be announced before festivities kick off on September 15th.

Have latex paint sitting around the house? There’s a new way to get rid of it.

Have latex paint sitting around the house? There’s a new way to get rid of it.

 

It’s estimated that the average household has at least two cans of old, unused latex paint sitting around gathering dust in some corner of their home. But why?

People are often confused when it comes to disposing of paint and other building materials. In some cities (Riverdale included), general building material can’t go through the regular waste pick-up and disposal process because of protruding nails, chemicals, glues, and paints.

The Waste Commission of Scott County has recently announced a new, simplified method for disposing of unused and unwanted latex paint cans:

1. Take off the lid.

2. Let the contents dry out.

3. Put the dry contents (and bucket or pail) in your garbage for regular disposal.

A copy of the promotional flyer from the Waste Commission can be downloaded here.

Flyers that provide the same instructions as well as free paint sticks are available for pick-up at City Hall (for as long as supplies last).

Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting set for Sunday, August 26th at 2pm

Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting set for Sunday, August 26th at 2pm

 

The monthly Mayor’s Town Hall meeting is set for this coming Sunday (August 26th) at 2pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The agenda for the meeting follows:

MAYOR’S TOWN HALL MEETING
Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive
Council Chambers Room

 

DATE:    Sunday August 26, 2018
TIME:    2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

WORK SESSION FOR THE MAYOR, COUNCIL, RESIDENTS OF RIVERDALE AND ANY OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES.

THE PURPOSE OF THE WORK SESSION IS TO INFORM AND TO HEAR INPUT FOR FUTURE ACITIVIES OF RIVERDALE

Agenda:

  1. Welcome and Introductions:
  2. General Discussion:
    • Crime Prevention Task Force Meeting
    • MRT/Bike Trail Issues
    • Fiber Optic Service
    • Woods Estate Update
    • Comprehensive Plan Update
    • Fall Fest
    • Invasive Plant Task Force
    • Website Enhancements
  3. Open Discussion
  4. Adjourn

The posted version of the agenda can be downloaded here.

Please come with your thoughts, comments and fresh ideas!

See you then!