Show your colors by supporting the Riverdale Fire Department’s “thin red line”.

Show your colors by supporting the Riverdale Fire Department’s “thin red line”.

The Riverdale Fire Department is selling thin red line shirts to the public!

Show your support for the RFD by purchasing one or more of these custom-made t-shirts. Short and long sleeved versions are available in sizes from Youth to 5XL.

Short sleeved shirts are $15 each and long sleeved versions are $18 each. There are additional charges for each size above 2XL (see the web page for details).

The deadline to order is October 19th!  

You will be able to pick up your t-shirts at the station after the sale has ended.

UPDATE: Completed Crow Creek sanitary sewer repair and creek stabilization project accepted by SCC

UPDATE: Completed Crow Creek sanitary sewer repair and creek stabilization project accepted by SCC

UPDATE from 09/25 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
According to a report given to the Council by Chris Cooper, from MSA Professional Services, both he and the Dean of Operations from Scott Community College have inspected the site work on the location. The work has been deemed acceptable and the City will proceed with releasing the final payment to the contractor who did the work.

UPDATE from 04/24 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The engineering firm retained by the City of Riverdale, MSA Professional Services, advised the City Council that work would soon be underway on the Crow Creek Sanitary Sewer and Crow Creek Stabilization Project (ref. Resolution 2018-16).

ORIGINAL POST
The contractor on the project, McClintock Trucking and Excavating, has submitted their bonds and executed the agreement with the City. The bid was $27,597.50 – authorized by the City Council at its March 27, 2018 meeting. The contractor and the City’s Engineer (MSA) have met with Scott Community College to discuss details of access and the project schedule.

Work is expected to be completed by the end of May.

MSA will provide regular progress reports on the project at future council meetings.

Seventy photos from Riverdale’s Fall Festival

Seventy photos from Riverdale’s Fall Festival

Fall Fest 2018 was a great success – and we have Teri Stickler and Gwen Halsey to thank for these wonderful images! To see more of these photos (and others), visit our Riverdale Residents Facebook Page.

National Wireless Alert (NWA) System test scheduled for Thursday has been re-scheduled.

National Wireless Alert (NWA) System test scheduled for Thursday has been re-scheduled.

FEMA, in cooperation with the FCC, had planned to conduct a national test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 20, 2018 at 2:18 pm EDT and 2:20 pm EDT, respectively.  The test has now been re-scheduled to Thursday, October 3, 2018 at the same time. (Click here for more details.)  According to the FEMA website, this is because of the on-going response to Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina.

The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016,  and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

The WEA test will likely show up on cell phones accepting government alerts as “Presidential Alert.”

Click here for the original announcement of the 09/20/18 test.

What did you think of Fall Fest? Let us know.

What did you think of Fall Fest? Let us know.

2018 Fall Fest Chairman Mark Griswold and Council Member Kelly Krell have closed the final chapter on this year’s event and are now asking residents of Riverdale to participate in an online survey to provide feedback that will be considered for next year.

You can complete the survey below:

Create your own user feedback survey

Grading on Woods Estates project moves on, causes concerns

Grading on Woods Estates project moves on, causes concerns

In an email received by City staff on Wednesday, developer Seth Woods announced his company’s intention to begin the next phase of grading on the Woods Estates subdivision project.  This will involve cutting through the hillside currently between the former Welch Farm property on top of the hill and the planned entrance off of State Street, across from the Arconic Davenport Works.

“The current site grading has been more or less out of sight of the general public up to now, so the contractor wanted me to give you a heads up that this will be starting soon,” read the email. The grading “will be very visible to everyone.”

Drainage from the cut-through area will be directed to a sediment trap excavated this past week by Woods Development sub-contractors. The most recent site erosion control plan provided to the City by J+M Civil Design (engineers for Woods Development) can be found by clicking here.

A diagram showing how water is predicted to flow over the updated grading of the site can be viewed by clicking here.

Citizen Concerns and Complaints

Notice from Woods Development came to City Hall the same time as some citizen complaints about current grading work, the possibility for water runoff flowing into the backyards of existing homes and the amount of dust and dirt in the air as a result of the grading activity on the job site.  City Administrator Tim Long informed the developer of the concerns in a Thursday afternoon email (on September 13) and said he will operate as an intermediary to work through the grading concerns with all parties.

Free Car Wash Program Announced

To address issues related to dust raised as a result of grading activities in the new subdivision, the City and Woods Development have agreed to purchase 100 car wash certificates at the Devils Glen Car Wash (across the street from Hy-Vee on Devils Glen Road) which can be claimed by any resident of Riverdale who feels his or her car has been covered by dust from the construction site.

Program details:

  •  This program starts on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
  • Certificates are for a standard wash (value of $6 each) and can be claimed in-person at City Hall.
  • If a resident wants additional features added to their wash, they must pay the difference in price at the car wash.
  • Residents claiming a certificate must provide their name and address at the time of the claim.
  • All claims must be made in person.
  • There is a limit of one coupon per person per day.
  • This offer is good while supplies last.

 

Waste Management and Recycling Task Force to meet on Thursday, September 20th at 7pm

Waste Management and Recycling Task Force to meet on Thursday, September 20th at 7pm

An open public meeting has been scheduled to discuss the City’s waste management contract with Republic Services and to explore options for reducing the cost of that agreement and expanding the community’s efforts to recycle in the future.

The meeting will be chaired by Council Member Anthony Heddlesten and will focus on identifying possible steps the City and its residents can take to affect the costs of waste management and recycling services for the City without degrading the level of service currently enjoyed by its residents.

As currently envisioned, there will be two or three meetings of this Task Force over the coming weeks. The group’s mission is to research and discuss options that will then be presented to Council for discussion and possible action.

The meeting is open to residents of Riverdale and we encourage your participation.

UPDATE: An agenda for the meeting is now available by clicking here.

Invasive Plant Task Force schedules its next meeting

Invasive Plant Task Force schedules its next meeting

The Invasive Plant Task Force will hold its next meeting at City Hall on Monday, October 24, 2018 at 5pm. An agenda can be viewed by clicking here.

The meeting will include a presentation and Q&A session with an invasive plants expert from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to talk about the challenges facing the City. This discussion will include the expert’s own evaluation of Riverdale’s wild landscape and recommendations for possible action by the City, local businesses and its residents.

The meeting will also include a field trip into the community to gauge the scope of the issue first-hand.

Additional sponsors sign on to Riverdale Fall Fest

Additional sponsors sign on to Riverdale Fall Fest

In addition to the current Fall Fest Sponsors (MSA Professional Services and BLPR), the event has just added two new sponsors to the list.

Brenny’s Motorcycle Clinic, located in Riverdale, will be providing vehicles for the parade and celebration activities and COSTCO will be providing food.

Please be sure to say “thanks” to all of the sponsors at Saturday’s event.

Special city proclamation designates September 11th as “First Responder Day” in Riverdale

Special city proclamation designates September 11th as “First Responder Day” in Riverdale

At the September 11, 2018 City Council Meeting, Mayor Mike Bawden asked those present to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those lost in terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania seventeen years earlier. He then presented the following proclamation:

Whereas          On a sunny morning in New York City seventeen years ago, the world looked on in horror as hijackers took control of two passenger jets and attacked the World Trade Center towers; and

 

Whereas          That same day, more hijackers took control of two other passenger jets, one striking the Pentagon in Washington, DC and another jet, presumably heading for a target in Washington, was forced to crash into a field in Pennsylvania; and

 

Whereas          First responders from New York, New Jersey and across the region immediately sprung into action to save lives and keep people safe, with many of these brave souls making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty; and

 

Whereas          Even after the events of the day had shocked us all, we continued to watch in awe for months as these first responders and other from across the nation – police, fire, emergency medical personnel and others – continued in the service of others as their attempts to rescue victims of terrorism eventually turned to recovery; and

 

Whereas          The date of the attack, September 11, coincidentally shares the same numerical formula as the national standard for calling help from a community’s first responders, 9-1-1; then

 

Therefore        be it resolved that I, Michael Bawden, Mayor of the City of Riverdale, ask the citizens of our City to pause and reflect today on the sacrifices made then and every time a first responder answers a call for help from someone in their most urgent times of need.

 

Let today, and every September 11thbe known as

 

FIRST RESPONDER DAY in Riverdale, Iowa

IN WITNESS WHEREOF,
Michael Bawden, Mayor
City of Riverdale

A signed copy of the proclamation can be viewed by clicking here.

 

Riverdale Fire Department takes 1st place in Iowa Firefighters’ Convention Competition

Riverdale Fire Department takes 1st place in Iowa Firefighters’ Convention Competition

A four-man team from Riverdale captured first place in this year’s Water Application Drill at the 2018 Iowa Firefighters’ Association Convention held in Waverly, Iowa this past weekend. The team of Randy, Bruce and Phillip Bowers along with Adrian Castillo earned enough points with the win to place the RFD in a tie for 5th place over-all among all the departments competing from throughout the state.

Riverdale’s water-fighting warriors show off their 1st place plaque (now in its new home in the Riverdale fire station).

Riverdale’s fire chief, Floyd Bruns was there to coach them along and also competed.

The event is an annual affair for the IFA. Competitors in this year’s skills contests also had to deal with approximately eight inches of rain that turned the 40-acre field into a giant mud pit. But the nearly 2,000 firefighters who attended didn’t seem to mind, with almost everyone hitching rides on tractors and ATV’s provided by area farmers to help make the event a success.

A news report from KWWL-TV will give you some idea of the conditions:

KWWL – Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Back in Riverdale, Mayor Mike Bawden said he intends to recognize the RFD’s outstanding performance at Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council. “It seems appropriate, that as we remember and thank all first responders on September 11th, we also celebrate the strong spirit and fellowship exhibited by our very own fire department,” he said. “The Riverdale Fire Department has been a well-deserved point of pride in our community and I look forward to seeing it continue to be so.”

To read the Mayoral Proclamation congratulating the RFD team on their 1st place finish, click here.

Taking Riverdale “to task” is a part of our future

Taking Riverdale “to task” is a part of our future

I knew this question was coming, but, honestly, I’m not sure how my answer might be received.

It’s not in my nature to hold things back, so here goes …

Over the past few months, I’ve been asked these questions in one for more another: “Why do you keep calling all of these “task forces” together? We’ve never done that before. Are things really that bad?”

Those are good questions. And they’re all inter-related, although probably not for the reason(s) you might think. I’ll try to unpack the line of questioning in an effort to make it easier to understand what I mean …

“Why do you keep calling all of these “task forces” together?”

Okay, I’ll have to admit, calling a public meeting a “task force meeting” might be a bit hyperbolic. But doing so reinforces a sense of urgency that I find sorely lacking in local politics (not just in Riverdale, but everywhere). Plus, a “task force” is much more action-oriented than a “study group” or “public intake session.”

But it’s a dual sense of urgency and ownership around specific subjects that I’m trying to create among our residents and community leaders.

The fact is this: if people are moderately satisfied with the way their city operates and their lifestyle is not being directly impacted by city policies or procedures, they’re not likely to engage local officials – giving those officials a sense of general approval of their actions when, in reality, what those officials are actually benefitting from is more of a benign neglect.

Case in point: last year’s battle over the TIF associated with the Welch Farm development deal. We (the public) were told at a Council meeting that the City had, in fact, held a public information meeting on this controversial subject. Only three people showed up, so the assumption was made that nobody in the community was concerned or cared – implicitly giving the Mayor and City Council the green light to do the deal they eventually did – even over the objections raised later by a majority of residents.

(Sidebar) If you can’t tell by now – I’ll say it out loud: I’m not opposed to the development of the former Welch Farm. I think it was an inevitability that someone was going to buy and subdivide that property, resulting in more homes in Riverdale within walking distance of one of the state’s premier high schools. I’m just not a fan of the process used to secure the deal – a process that cut a lot of people out once they expressed an interest in getting involved.

In my opinion, the general rancor and hurt feelings that resulted from that episode will continue to affect the operation of the City of Riverdale for years to come.

The lessons I learned from the entire ordeal have, in fact, colored my approach to my term as mayor. Not in a way that puts me in opposition to Seth Woods and his team but rather in a way that has increased my sensitivity to making sure no reasonable concern or objection is ignored and marginalized.

My focus is on increasing and enhancing public engagement in the operation and growth of our City, even if that slows things down a bit and frustrates some in the process.

I’m also focused on calling out our residents when they become complacent and just want to “stay the course” because “what we have is good enough.” Let me just say this: what we have is NOT good enough and staying the course will steer us right into some rough waters that I doubt Riverdale can withstand.

As one of the leaders of our community, I feel it’s necessary for all of us to be involved in an active, continuing discussion about Riverdale’s current state of affairs and how we navigate our “ship of state” in the future.

Thus, my enthusiasm for “task forces” which are, in fact, public meetings meant to encourage public participation in understanding and researching important issues, brainstorming possible solutions and then having those solutions represented by a member of the City Council at a meeting where the Council can deliberate and take action accordingly.

“We’ve never done that before.”

Maybe not under this name or with this frequency – but Riverdale has, in fact, conducted public meetings where residents are encouraged to participate in the process. The last comprehensive plan for the City was such a process (and our review of the same will be a similar one). The public has also been invited to participate in budget work sessions, although with very few exceptions has anyone ever actively done so.

As if you can’t tell by now, that’s all going to change.

My goal is to create a community where it’s common for individual citizens to attend public meetings and participate in conversations about the largest issues we face.

Such involvement will, I think, result in more people volunteering time and effort to make little things happen all over the City that will improve the quality of life for those of us who live here without breaking the bank in the process.

Because, let’s face it, when you’re a city of just 425 residents, the bankroll just doesn’t go all that far. We need to make every penny count. And the involvement of our residents is part of a much larger solution to accomplish that.

The downside if we don’t get involved? I can see Riverdale stagnating, losing money and eventually…?

Yes. It’s THAT important.

“Are things really getting that bad?”

The short answer is “no”. But I have to put a caveat on that answer, because we’re not really sure.

Our short-term financial position looks good. Adding another 100 homes over the next few years will help. I’m continuing to work on improving the City’s relationships with Bettendorf, Davenport, Scott County, the PV School District, Scott Community College and Arconic (among others) because, frankly, that’s my nature.

But one of the frustrations I’ve had over the past eight months is that it now appears to me that the City has operated for a long time without a clear, strategic vision of the future. What I’ve found under every “rock” I’ve turned over are old ordinances, old procedures, undocumented processes, unreviewed job descriptions, a lack of vendor-supplied documentation, no written plans, etc.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of City Clerk Ron Fullerlove and City Administrator Tim Long, we are developing a much more precise understanding of the City’s financial standing, our strengths and our areas of exposure. But as that financial picture comes into view, the only thing I think we can promise is that things aren’t going to be like they’ve always been before.

Change is inevitable. And I fear that might be a problem.

“Maintaining the status quo” seems to have been the City’s plan for a number of years. Maybe because that was the easier course of action to take. Maybe because it seemed the only “sure” way to proceed because obvious questions couldn’t be easily answered.

Frankly, I’m not sure. And it’s not in my nature to let those kinds of questions languish.

So while we go through the laborious and sometimes uncomfortable process of reviewing, revising and reinitiating policies, procedures and the rest to bring Riverdale up to date, I’m also going to insist that our modernization process extend beyond the walls of City Hall to include every resident and business in our community. It’s a task we must take seriously and one we must work together to achieve.

Because, quite honestly, the future of Riverdale depends on it.