Snow advisory for Riverdale

Snow advisory for Riverdale

All residents of Riverdale are advised that a heavy snowfall is expected this weekend and to take appropriate action to allow road cleaning and maintenance crews full access to the City’s streets and other public infrastructure.

Winter Storm Warning issued for Scott County

According to the National Weather Service, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 6pm this evening (January 10) through midnight tomorrow (January 11). Heavy snow and mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 3 – 7″ are expected along with ice accumulations of up to a quarter inch.

Wind gusts on Saturday could reach 35 mph.

Travel is expected to be difficult and due to the ice and wind, tree and power line damage may occur. If you must travel, please be sure to bring an extra flashlight and food/water in case you get stranded in your car. If you’re traveling in Iowa, you can dial 5-1-1 for road conditions.

Winter storm preparations at home

For Riverdale residents, we ask you make sure your car is out of the street and parked in your driveway, if at all possible. This will allow road clearing crews to move as much of the snow off the streets on their first pass as possible. 

Snow removal services are contracted with the City of Bettendorf. If you’re curious as to how the plow crews are called out, what gets plowed first and tips on how to make sure the service you receive is as good as possible, check out this article we published last September that spelled all of that out.

Following our first snow events this year, we also learned a few other important lessons – so please keep this information in mind as you prepare for this weekend’s weather:

There are some things Riverdale residents can do to make sure the Bettendorf DPW plows are able to do a good job for the City. Among those:

1. If the snow is falling on a Sunday night, make sure your garbage and recycling bins are away from the curb so there’s room to push the snow. The November 11th plow was particularly difficult because not only were there waste and recycling bins up to the curb, many residents had spent time over the weekend bagging leaves. Plow drivers (many of whom were new to the job) were wary of plowing too close to the curb for fear of hitting a rolling bin (which did happen, twice) or some bags of leaves and creating a bigger mess in the street.

2. If you know snow is coming, please put your car in your driveway. Leaving your car parked in the street makes the driver swerve away from the curb to get around your vehicle and leaves a lot of unplowed snow in the street which can freeze and make it all that more difficult to get the street clean later on in the day.

Driveway Snow Removal Tips

3. If possible, create a “landing zone” for snow pushed by the plow in advance of it getting to your driveway (see the diagram to the right). By doing this, you’ll minimize the amount of snow pushed onto the end of your driveway and make getting out and onto Riverdale’s freshly-plowed streets easier.

4. When you’re shoveling or snow-blowing your driveway, make sure you go side-to-side and avoid  pushing your driveway snow into the street. This will help decrease the amount of time DPW’s crews need to work clearing our streets (and save us money in the process) and improves safety for other vehicles by reducing the chance of random ice-spots developing on our main roads.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips

Finally, from our friends at The Weather Channel, we pulled these 14 tips on how to prepare for a winter storm. And while some of the tips may be a little much for a 3-7″ storm (do we really need a hand-cranked, NOAA Weather Radio?), it’s always good to give a list like this a quick review to make sure nothing has slipped your mind.

One tip that’s good to keep in mind, though, is to make sure that if you have water pipes that might be exposed to ultra-cold temperatures for an extended period of time, that they’re either drained of water or are set to drip/trickle water to help prevent freezing.

Stay warm and safe this weekend!

Special City Council meeting set for Tuesday, January 7th at 7:15 pm.

Special City Council meeting set for Tuesday, January 7th at 7:15 pm.

A special meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, January 7th at 7:00 pm and now include the public hearing originally scheduled to precede the meeting.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

The meeting has been called by the mayor so the City Council can consider approval of the final plat for phase 1 of the Woods Estates of Riverdale sub-division.

The plat was recommended for approval by the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission at its meeting on December 18, 2019.

A public hearing on the matter has been scheduled – as required by the City of Riverdale’s Subdivision Ordinance – for 7pm on January 7th.

Agenda

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1. Welcome

1.1 Call to Order

1.2 Newly-elected Officials Sworn In

1.3 Roll-Call

1.4 Pledge of Allegiance

2.  Review/Approval of the Agenda

3. Open public hearing: Woods Estates Subdivision Final Plat

4. Close Public Hearing

5. Consideration to approve: Addendum #1 to the Woods Estates Development Agreement

6. Consideration to approve: The Final Plat for Phase 1 of The Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision

7. Adjournment

A complete set of documents for the public hearing is available for viewing at City Hall during regular office hours.

The mayor and council’s first regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7pm.

Special City Council meeting set for Tuesday, January 7th at 7:15 pm.

City Council goal setting and work session set for Sunday, January 5.

A meeting to set goals for the City of Riverdale and to discuss process has been set for Sunday, January 5, 2020 and is expected to run from 2pm to 5pm.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

Although it is a public meeting, the gathering is a work session for members of the City Council and Mayor to review goals and processes with the City Administrator and attempt to set deadlines for major initiatives for the coming year. No public input time will be made available as a part of this meeting.

There will be opportunities for the public to provide input at the January town hall meeting (set for Sunday, January 26th at 2pm) and at meetings of the City Council in January.

The agenda for the work session has been set as follows:

  1.  Review of discussions with City Council members on goals and objectives for the coming year. (Mayor Bawden)

  2. Discussion of budget process for FY21 and the allocation of surplus general fund money during the coming year. (Mayor Bawden and City Administrator Kotter)
  3. Outline of administrative processes and a “roadmap” on how things get done in Riverdale. (Mayor Bawden and City Administrator Kotter)
  4. General discussion of meeting and agenda protocol (City Administrator Kotter)

The mayor and council’s first regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7pm.

Illinois-bound drivers will see some changes due to I-74 bridge construction modifications.

Illinois-bound drivers will see some changes due to I-74 bridge construction modifications.

Traffic patterns near the I-74 bridge in Illinois and Iowa will change once again this spring as work continues on the bridge and highways carrying traffic from one state to the other. The Iowa DOT provided a comprehensive review of progress to-date and plans for the future to the Bi-State Regional Commission and its members at the group’s December 18th meeting.

The City of Riverdale is a member of the Bi-State Regional Commission.

Construction progresses

Progress continues on both sides of the river. In Illinois, construction is headed into its third year with work more than half-way done. Over $147 million has been spent to-date diverting roads, building new bridges and ramps to the new bridge structures.

In Iowa, work in downtown Bettendorf has been underway a bit longer and $31 million of the budgeted $33 million has been spent on the “Westbound Viaduct” portion of the project. Other paving and related work north of Mississippi Blvd started in the spring of last year and appears to be nearing the half-way point. Work is expected to begin on the “Eastbound Viaduct” portion of the project this coming summer (a contractor should be selected in June/July).

The biggest part of the entire project is the construction of the new bridge spans and destruction/dismantling of the old spans. The construction part of the project is estimated to cost somewhere around $342 million. Of that, more than $256 million has already been paid. The destruction/dismantling project is scheduled for bidding this spring with selection of a contractor set for the first part of 2020. The estimated cost for removal of the old bridge is expected to run around $21 million.

Traffic patterns are expected to change this spring

Part of the report made by DOT included an explanation of projected traffic pattern changes in Bettendorf and Moline due to the progress of the construction. Current plans for Iowa and Illinois-bound drivers are as follows:

In Bettendorf:

If you’re headed south on I-74 from north of Middle Road, make note of the fact you will not be able to exit once you pass the Middle Road exit until you get to Moline. So if you need to go to downtown Bettendorf, you should exit at Middle Road, head east to Kimberly and then proceed down Kimberly Road to downtown Bettendorf (Grant Street/US 67 Access).

If you’re headed south on I-74 to Illinois, be prepared to shift from two lanes of southbound traffic to one lane of shared north/south traffic on the northbound side of the road once you pass Middle Road. Once you pass over the crest of the hill and are headed downhill to the river, you’ll be able to shift back to the left-hand lanes before merging with on-coming traffic from the Grant Street and State Street on-ramps in downtown Bettendorf.

If you’re coming into Iowa from Illinois, you’ll still need to take the first exit off the bridge which will bring you to Grant Street/US-67. From there you can head to Davenport (left) or Bettendorf and Riverdale (right).

If you want to continue north on I-74, you’ll need to proceed through the Grant Street/US-67 intersection and get back on the 14th street on-ramp. This traffic pattern is currently in place.

In Moline:

The initial plan for handling the I-74 traffic in Moline attempted to keep all the traffic on or near the existing highway which caused some confusion for people who were trying to get to downtown Moline rather than across the river (see original plan illustration).

Iowa-bound traffic will separate from downtown-bound traffic at the Avenue of the Cities on-ramp with Iowa-bound traffic getting on I-74 and heading to the end of the re-constructed highway, just past River Drive. After making a U-turn onto the exit ramp of the new bridge, drivers will need make a right to get back on the on-ramp to the current bridge and head north into Iowa.

For downtown-bound traffic, they can either get onto 19th Street from the intersection of I-74 and Avenue of the Cities or, if they’re already on I-74, they can take the 7th Avenue exit to downtown. The 7th Avenue exit will require drivers to make a right onto 7th and then two blocks later, a left onto 23rd Street.  From there, drivers can chose to take 4th Avenue or River Drive into downtown Moline.

Illinois-bound drivers coming across the bridge from Iowa can take the River Drive exit which loops under I-74 and ends at a stop light on River Drive. From there, they can turn left (to gain downtown access) or right (to head towards East Moline).

For drivers who want to continue into Illinois, they must take the 7th Avenue exit once they cross the river and then wind through two lanes of traffic to get onto 19th Street and head south. That street eventually crosses under I-74 a second time and brings drivers to the west side of the I-74/Avenue of the Cities interchange. From there, drivers can head straight to get back on I-74 or make a left or right into Moline.

The result of all these changes is projected to be an additional 2-3 minutes of commute time. But the reduction in traffic will allow the road projects on the Moline side to be completed on time (avoiding nearly $7 million in cost overruns due to delays) and no further route alterations made until the Iowa-bound bridge is complete (reducing confusion).

Public hearing on acceptance of phase 1 plat for Woods Estates of Riverdale set for Tuesday, 01/07

Public hearing on acceptance of phase 1 plat for Woods Estates of Riverdale set for Tuesday, 01/07

(UPDATE: 01/06/20) The public hearing detailed below will now take place as a part of the special meeting of the Riverdale City Council scheduled for Tuesday, January 7th at 7pm. The contents of the hearing will be as explained in the original story (below), but the two meetings will be merged into one proceeding.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Woods Estates of Riverdale

(Original Story) Following a vote for a positive recommendation to the City Council by the Planning & Zoning Commission earlier this month, the phase 1 plat for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision is now moving on to the City Council for its review and consideration.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, January 7th. At that meeting, Riverdale residents will be given a re-cap of the presentation and discussion that occurred as part of the December 18, 2019 P&Z Meeting and afforded an opportunity to provide their input on whether or not the Phase 1 plat should be accepted and ask questions related to the subdivision of the first phase of the Woods Estates Project.

Following the public hearing, the City Council will hold a special meeting to consider the acceptance of the Phase 1 plat.

 

Agenda and supporting documents

An agenda for the public hearing (and appropriate supporting documents) will be posted to this web page on or before Friday, January 3rd as a convenience to residents and concerned parties.

A complete set of documents for the public hearing is available for viewing at City Hall during regular office hours.

 

Beware of scam text messages offering $1000 gift cards!

Beware of scam text messages offering $1000 gift cards!

Text messages being sent to Riverdale residents informing them they’ve been randomly selected to win a $1,000 gift card from Walmart are a scam. Innocent recipients of the message click on the link in the text and are taken to a website where their phone may become infected with a virus or where they’ll be required to provide personal, identity data in order to receive their prize (which never comes).

It’s a scam that’s been around for nearly ten years, first making news in this Consumer Reports article in 2012.

According to Walmart, the company does not participate in these kinds of promotions. Walmart does give away gift cards to randomly-selected people who participate in their customer service online surveys. Notification to winners comes via certified mail, though, not as a text message over your phone.

Riverdale and the Quad Cities are not the only targets for this scam. Fraudsters are hitting communities and users around the country. Here’s a news update from WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC, on the matter:

New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

New traffic signals at Arconic gate entrance should be operational by January 8th.

Woods Estates of Riverdale developer, Seth Woods, informed the city that he’s finally received confirmation of a plan to have the new traffic control lights at the Arconic main entrance operational by the close of business on Tuesday, January 7th.

“Davenport Electric is done. MobioTrex is contracted by them (DECCO) and the City of Bettendorf to do the hook up in the control box and that is scheduled for January 7th – which is the soonest they were available to come.” Mr. Woods then continued, “If nothing goes wrong, the lights will be working by the end of the day.”

Concerns about the way traffic was being handled at the intersection of State Street/Hwy 67 and the new Madison Drive (leading into Woods Estates) have been raised by citizens, Arconic, the City and the Developer. The mayor and Mr. Woods have been busy contacting contractors and Bettendorf and DOT officials to try and accelerate bringing the new lights at the intersection on line.

The result has been a reduction in the time usually required to bring new lights and cameras online. “It usually takes as long as a year to get everything done,” explained Mr. Woods. The light poles (with lights and cameras) were installed at the intersection less than 90 days ago.

In the interim, the Developer erected a temporary stop sign to remind motorists leaving the Woods Estates subdivision they had to stop and yield to traffic on State Street.

But what about the lights at Bellingham?

For residents wanting to know the status of the lights and cameras at the Bellingham/State Street intersection (near the entrance to Brenny’s), work on that intersection is not currently scheduled. The City and Arconic will be meeting in 2020 to discuss the future of Bellingham Road which has not been significantly improved since its construction nearly 60 years ago. The cost of bringing Bellingham Road up to SUDAS standards is estimated to be $1.5 – $2 million and will require support from sources other than the City of Riverdale.

The lights at the intersection are in need of new cameras, timing and integration into the traffic control system managed by the City of Bettendorf. The estimated cost for that is $25 – $30,000 and would, ideally, be included in the re-build of Bellingham Road, if that project can get funded.

So, for now, no modifications are planned for that intersection.

Riverdale P&Z recommends approval of Woods Estates Phase 1 final plat

Riverdale P&Z recommends approval of Woods Estates Phase 1 final plat

Riverdale’s Planning & Zoning Commission met for the first time in 2019 on Wednesday, December 18th, to hold a public hearing and eventually pass along their recommendation to the City Council to approve the final plat for the first phase of the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision. The nearly 2-1/2 hour meeting included a lengthy

Developer Seth Woods reviewing differences in the final plat of Phase 1 versus the approved, preliminary plat (approved in July of 2018).

discussion of the project in general with developer Seth Woods present to answer questions from the public and commissioners.

All commissioners were present either in person or telephonically with the exception of Jim Behrens. With P&Z Chair Bill Briesch out of town (but present via speakerphone), Vice Chair Wendy Syverud ran the meeting and gaveled the public hearing into order a little after 7pm.

Vice Chair Syverud explained to the nearly 20 people present that letters had been sent to all property owners owning land within 1,000 feet of the boundaries of Phase 1 informing them of the hearing and pending action before the Commission. She also reviewed the facts that letters asking for comment had also been sent to MSA Professional Services (the City of Riverdale’s engineering consultant) and various Scott County departments as required by law. While a response has been received from MSA, no residents or county officials had responded with questions or concerns as of the time of the meeting.

MSA Professional Services letter provides review of entire project to-date

The final review/recommendation letter from Engineer Chris Cooper (of MSA Professional Services) provided a comprehensive review of the steps taken to review and document progress on the Woods Estates project. Together with attachments showing correspondence and notes where necessary, the document provides a clear summary as to where the project currently stands and what final items still need to be completed even after the approval of the final plat.

Several pages of engineering drawings for the phase (prepared by the Developer’s engineering firm, J+M) were marked up by Mr. Cooper and sent along to the City to help explain/illustrate some of the items discussed in his correspondence.

Concerns about Woods Estates from Deerbrook residents

Also in attendance at the public hearing were several residents from the Deerbrook neighborhood in Bettendorf whose property either abuts or looks into the back-end of the Woods Estates subdivision. Comments ranged from surprise to concern about wildlife, erosion problems and the increased possibilities for home invasions and property crimes in the neighborhood.

Developer Seth Woods shows the location of green space between the entire Woods Estates subdivision and the Deerbrook neighborhood in Bettendorf.

While none of the concerns related to the approval of the Phase 1 final plat, both the members of the P&Z Commission and other city officials present (most notably, the city administrator and mayor) tried to address each issue. Concerns about preserving wildlife habitat and dealing with erosion problems in the waterway running from the end of Fieldcrest around the northwest corner of the city and between the subdivisions were discussed extensively.

City resident Steve Townsend explained how important it was that the wild areas Deerbrook residents wanted to see remain undisturbed be managed in a way to reduce the amount of invasive vegetation and to work on improving the quality of timber in the area. Mayor Mike Bawden explained that although the goal is to have the area remain a fairly undisturbed wild space, there would have to be some construction activity in the ravine in the near future to deal with the drainage issues.

The residents most concerned about the plight of the deer and other creatures living in the wilderness behind their homes were invited to participate in the City’s on-going parks planning process to they could contribute their thoughts and suggestions for consideration as Riverdale formalizes its parks and land management strategy for the future.

Developer answers questions remaining from October 2018 P&Z meeting

Following the public hearing, the P&Z Commission continued with its meeting and took up consideration of its recommendation regarding the approval of the final plat for Phase 1.

The three main issues raised by the commission at that time were:

  • The need for design covenants for the subdivision.
  • The lack of any kind of written plan for the replacement of trees/foliage resulting from the developer’s activities.
  • The failure to reimburse the City of Riverdale for out-of-pocket costs incurred on behalf of the project.

Developer Seth Woods explains how future phases will be presented to the P&Z Commission and City Council with production timelines for each phase.

Mr. Woods addressed the questions about architectural covenants for the subdivision by showing that covenants (reviewed and approved by the City’s attorney and administrator) were completed and part of the record provided for review. Mr. Woods also invited any commissioner or resident interested in viewing those covenants at work to visit the Walsh Pointe development on Utica Ridge Road (across from Crow Valley). The covenants Mr. Woods established for Woods Estates are the same.

Next, Mr. Woods reviewed the foliage plan for Woods Estates and explained that he would be replacing the trees taken out as part of the development process with more than 1,000, higher quality trees. Documents provided earlier to the Riverdale City Council and then to the P&Z Commission showed photos of how the landscaping would look (again, using Woods’ own Walsh Pointe development as an example).

Finally, with regard to the financial situation between the City of Riverdale and Woods Development, the mayor reviewed the details of the “agreement in principal” between the two parties and explained that an addendum to the current Development Agreement that spells out how expenses and reimbursement are to be handled in more precise language than what currently exists.

Plans for the future of Woods Estates of Riverdale

Mr. Woods expressed some regret as to how the first phase of this project progressed and told the commission he plans on presenting the final plat for Phase 2 earlier on in the process and won’t begin work on any of the infrastructure (roads and utilities) until he’s received approval on the plan. He also said he would provide a timeline for each phase as they are presented – both a requirement of the City’s ordinance and a helpful communications tool to make the entire process run more smoothly.

Following the open discussion, members of the Commission seemed satisfied and voted to recommend approval of the final plat of Phase 1 to the City Council.

The Council will meet to consider acceptance of the Phase 1 final plat following a public hearing on Tuesday, January 7 at 7pm.

 

 

Riverdale participates in state-wide tribute to former Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry

Riverdale participates in state-wide tribute to former Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry

The City of Riverdale is participating in a state-wide tribute to former Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry today following the legendary coach’s passing. Coach Fry was 90 years old.

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff until sunset on Friday, December 20, 2019. According to a news release from Governor Reynolds’s office, flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.

“Hayden Fry was an Iowa coaching legend who left it all on the field in every game, practice, and in all aspects of his life,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Born a Texan, he quickly earned his place among the greatest Iowans, by carrying Hawkeye football to new heights and connecting with our state on a level only few have. During the depths of the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, he popularized the ‘America Needs Farmers’ movement, showing farmers and rural America that he stood by them. Iowans always stood with Hayden Fry, and now they will honor his legacy and always remember him as a model for how coaches should be.”

A video tribute to Coach Fry ran on the Big10 Network. You can watch a clip of the segment below:

Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

The weather cooperated, the tree was up, the presents were out and the carolers were singing when Riverdale residents started appearing at City Hall this past Saturday afternoon.

Council Member Kelly Krell spent weeks working with contractors, Public Works/Maintenance Man George Miller and other volunteers to make sure everything came off just right for the City of Riverdale’s first Holiday Lighting Celebration from 4-6pm on Saturday, December 7th. Carolers from First Presbyterian Church of Davenport sang and greeted guests as they arrived – with many of them chiming in on familiar songs.

Then just a little before the exterior lights were flipped on at City Hall, Santa arrived on a Riverdale Fire Department truck to the joy and amazement of Riverdale’s smallest citizens.

Inside, kids of all ages got to spend time with St. Nick as he shared candy canes, hugs and Christmas cheer with everyone.

Thanks to Kelly Krell, Teri Stickler (for the photos), the Riverdale Fire Department, Santa, and Matt Bishop (and the members of First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir who shared their gift of music) for making the evening such a tremendous success.

We’ll be posting more photos as they become available. You can also find more photos and comments on the event by visiting the event gallery on the Riverdale Residents Facebook Group.

Pictures from the Event

Some of the photos taken at the event by resident, Teri Stickler …

More will be posted later on.

Parks planning kick-off meeting generates a few new ideas.

Parks planning kick-off meeting generates a few new ideas.

A lightly attended public information meeting regarding the future of the City’s parks still managed to come up with a few great suggestions in advance of the more formal process slated to start in January.

The meeting, chaired by Council Member Kelly Krell, invited citizens to give input on what they thought were priorities for Riverdale’s parks going forward. Here are a summary of the suggestions provided:

•  Playground equipment in Bicentennial Park and Peggy’s Park needs to be re-evaluated and upgraded. Given the cost of playground equipment, it probably makes sense to just add one or two pieces a year and work towards continually improving the parks’ playground features.

•  Trees in all the parks and the city-owned green spaces need to be groomed, maintained and in the cases where we have dead trees, removed.  Some of the dead limbs and trees near Bicentennial Park pose a hazard and should be addressed soon.*

•  There is still a lot of barbed wire along the old Welch Farm fence lines. That should probably be removed.

•  Could we install a campfire ring in Bicentennial Park? Would that pose an attractive nuisance or is there a way it could be managed to cut down on the possibility of vandalism or vagrants taking over?

•  There seem to be two kinds of park enhancements that can be made: passive and active.

Passive improvements would allow individuals to use them at their leisure and in the way they want, Examples would be more walking paths, exercise equipment along the paths, public wi-fi (limited access), more plantings, playground upgrades.

Active improvements would require the City to provide some kind of programming or on-going management to maximize their use. Examples would include a swimming pool, an amphitheater, tennis or pickleball courts, etc.

•  Tree plantings should focus on harder wood trees that take longer to grow, but last longer. Many of the trees in Riverdale’s wild places are only 60-100 years old and are approaching the end of their mature life.

•  We need to plant more grass seed on Manor Drive Hill and keep that community entrance better maintained.

•  The trees around City Hall need to be removed and new landscaping needs to be put in.

•  Riverdale should coordinate its parks planning process with EICC and PVCSD as they develop a plan to turn the forested area between the college and Belmont Road into a wetland with walking trails, etc.

• Could we find a way to use the retention basins in Woods Estates (and the possible basin near the NW corner of Riverdale) and connect those features with a wooded walking path?

• How can we better utilize the standing woods owned by the City (where the old Boy Scout trail used to run and other areas)? Can that be integrated into our plan?

•  We need to make sure we address the invasive species in these locations as we work on planting/landscaping areas.

* NOTE: The City Council did approve to do some significant work removing dead wood and pruning trees in both Bicentennial and Peggy’s Parks at the last council meeting. For more information on what kind of work will be done, click here.

Dean and Judy Hiles send in their thoughts

Circle Drive residents, Dean and Judy Hiles, were out of town and unable to attend in person, but they did send in their thoughts in an email. In their email, the HIles’ underscored the importance of involving volunteers but not relying on them to do all the work (among other things).

Dear Committee,

Our city parks are one of the attractions of our neighborhoods.  They provide a place for our children and grandchildren to play, a place for our community to gather, a place for families to gather for parties and picnics and for those who enjoy walking among nature, a place to go.  They are only attractions however, if kept free of litter and other refuse and weeds.  Respectfully, we offer the following suggestions:

• Attempt to make the landscaping functional as well as easy to maintain.  Plantings should be considered that will thrive and grow when placed in appropriate areas – sunny versus shady – and grow with minimal care.  Routine cleaning in spring, some maintenance 2 or 3 times during the growing season should be all that is required.   We think that we now have 5 parks that require attention to help Riverdale appear that we care to others.

• Find members for your committee who know something about plants and can tell the difference between a weed and a flower and are willing to maintain weed control without the use of herbicides that pretty much kill everything that grows.

• Establish a budget line item within the City Budget which allows for the maintenance of our many parks by a private contractor.  This would include cleanup in spring, mulching on an annual basis, and maintenance during the growing season of plantings as well as replacement of plantings that did not survive.  Also included should be a time of deer protection for plants for the winter months and sometimes during the growing season.  Let’s try to keep this on a professional level instead of relying on citizens to do these jobs as many do not have the time or the physical strength to do what is required.

• Think of the possibility of having a landscape plan drawn up by one of our local nurseries which can be done for a minimal price.  Local Master Gardner’s could also be very useful in this area and since they are required to provide so many hours yearly to the communities they live in would be able to contribute their knowledge.

Please try to remember, especially in timbered areas that there are many wild flowers if left undisturbed that will spread and bloom more every year. 

There are also native food plants such as mulberry trees and black raspberry, and May apple plants that if left undisturbed will multiply and produce fruit for wildlife and if an individual is lucky enough, a person who gets to pick a few berries to eat.  There are also 3 redbud trees which have been marked with pink tape at the edge of Bicentennial Park.  There is a Mountain Ash tree that given a little care could flourish.  There is a forsythia bush on one of the timbered hills in that park and a lilac stump at the edge near the front of that park  that if left alone might regrow and provide flowers in the spring. 

There are remnants of a walking path, made by an Eagle Scout for his community project, from Bicentennial Park’s southern area thru the timbered area that leads downhill to City Hall and used to be part of the running trail during the 4th of July.  Possibly that could be re-established for those who like to walk in the park.   

For reference to these area, many older residents would be more than willing and  able to show to you.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
– Dean and Judy Hiles

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Want a job next year? The US Census Bureau raised pay rates for 2020 Census.

Want a job next year? The US Census Bureau raised pay rates for 2020 Census.

The US Census Bureau has raised its pay rates for people helping administer the 2020 Census in the Quad City area. Hourly rates in Scott County have gone up to $21/hour.

According to information received by the City of Riverdale from the Bi-State Planning Commission, a recruiter for the US Census will be at Riverdale City Hall to meet with interested prospects from 10am – 2pm on Wednesday, January 15th.

Lisa Corsiglia, a representative from the Census Bureau provided information about opportunities for part-time work related to the Census at our September 22, 2019 town hall meeting. More information about employment with the US Census Bureau for the 2020 Census can be found here.