2023 Progress Edition - Navigating the New Normal

Page 1



Hospitals still feel pandemic’s effects


For The Courier


In 2022 just as local hospitals were settling into a post-pandemic new normal, they were hit again late in the year with what became known as a virus “tripledemic” In November and December, MercyOne Waterloo and UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital were flooded with cases of influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and, still, some COVID patients


Spacious new Cedar Falls High School taking shape

ANDREW WIND andrew wind@wcfcourier com

CEDAR FALLS The spaces that students will one day occupy at the new Cedar Falls High School are taking shape in what is now a busy construction site.

Work is ongoing throughout the 305 000-square-foot expanse at 2701 W 27th St. Ground was broken nearly two years ago on the $89 35 million building,which has since risen out of the landscape. It sits on 69 6 acres within view of the UNI-Dome to the east.

“Everything has stayed in our budget estimates for the project,” said Andy Pattee, superintendent of Cedar Falls Community Schools

The entire project, also including a football stadium, has a budget of $112 8 million and is on track to be done next year It is being funded with $69 9 million in general obligation bonds, repaid

with property taxes, and $43 million in revenue bonds repaid with 1% sales tax revenues

The10th-12thgradeschoolisexpected to open in the fall of 2024 A swimming facility and athletic performance center that will be part of the campus, as well, are being funded separately No completion dates have been set.

A building tour

The school,which The Courier toured in late January, faces south. At the entrance the building is a single story, but its northern end contains a lower level that makes use of a drop in the topography The school’s academic wings are included in the two-story section while band, choir and orchestra rooms plus performance and athletic spaces are at the south end of the building.

Construction is divided into six

phases Work is happening in each of them but is furthest along in the first two, which include the academic wings

“All the classrooms are on the north side to take advantage of natural light,” said Pattee. He noted that helps to ensure the building maximizes its energy efficiency Windows allow for sunlight to shine into classrooms and other spaces primarily used during the day That can reduce artificial lighting and heating of those areas Energy usage and better

It was deja vu all over again, but this time the enemies came with known treatment protocols and lessons from a global pandemic As of early February, cases of each of the viruses had waned.

“Looking at our numbers, the RSV really hit hard in November and December and started to wane in January, said Dr Matthew Sojka, chief medical officer of MercyOne Northeast Iowa “Influenza hit more from Thanksgiving through Christmas and trailed off in January We did not have very many inpatients with COVID in November and December

“Today, we’re really sitting in a good space,” he said in early February “RSV is at a low at the moment. Flu is low, but may have an increase in March. It s really reverting somewhat back to a normal virus we see in the community It’s nothing like we were seeing one and two winters ago”

Across town at Allen, the picture is similar

“The volume of inpatient COVID, RSV and influenza is in the process of decreasing,” said Pam Delagardelle,president and CEO of UnityPoint Health Waterloo “Where we were inundated a couple of months ago now we have a handful. What we are seeing in the hospitals right now are just very acutely ill patients, people whose health declined during the pandemic and they didn’t keep their appointments We’re now seeing on the other side of that, with a focus on chronic illness, cardiac and metabolic issues Our beds are completely full on most days We are at capacity That is a very big challenge for us

At MercyOne, there’s an uptick in sepsis cases, particularly from skin infections, Sojka said,

00 1 Municipalface-lift
PAGE E2 Urbanrenewal Waterloo tackling big improvement projects PAGE E4 Bestfaceforward Waverly construction projects near completion PAGE E6
Cedar Falls construction plans become reality
CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Workers are busy throughout the new Cedar Falls High School site on West 27th Street as construction continues in the 305 000-square-foot building A wide-open foyer is just inside the entrance to the new Cedar Falls High School Athletic and performing arts functions are grouped around the space A 29 800-square-foot gymnasium area with multiple competition spaces is part of the new Cedar Falls High School site
They survived winter ‘tripledemic,’ but new challenges have arisen
Please see HIGH SCHOOL, Page E3 Please see HOSPITALS, Page E2

CF construction plans become reality

Biggest civic projects

ANDY MILONE andy milone@wcfcourier com

CEDAR FALLS Reconstructing Main Street will be the most expensive city construction project to happen in Cedar Falls in 2022 and 2023

But other projects also will cost millions of dollars

The remodeling of City Hall and the Center Street streetscaping will wrap up this year

Then there’s the reconstruction of a section of West 27th Street, as well as the work to replace an Olive Street box culvert and expand the nearby Petersen Plaza.

The cherry on top might be the long-awaited recreational improvements to the Cedar River near downtown. Like the Main Street project, the work is set to begin later this year

Cedar Falls Utilities, a separate municipal agency governed by its own board of trustees, is working on a massive expansion of its high-speed internet and other services for properties outside city limits


Mayor Rob Green warns the city still has needs despite the United States Census numbers showing the city’s population only increased by 1,500 people, or 3 7%, from 39,260 in 2010 to 40,713 in 2020

He feels one of the biggest indicators of growth is the capital improvements the city will be making.

We re basing our decisions not necessarily off the official population numbers, but just what we see in the community as needs,” Green said.

Reconstructing Main Street will cost the city $31 million.

The thoroughfare, from Sixth Street to almost University Avenue, will be transformed from a four-way corridor to three Two lanes will handle vehicular traffic traveling in opposite directions with a middle turn lane.

Work gets underway this spring on the north and south ends, with everything in between expected to be addressed in 2024 and 2025

“I expect the same level of detours and disruption that we had when West First Street was reconstructed,” said Green. “We had to move people to other roads, from time to time, and we had to shift them to Second Street We just have to be accommodating and realize that Main Street is a massive project.

The decades-old infrastructure underneath the roadway


From E1

adding that’s also the result of patients delaying care during the pandemic

“It’s an older population, more susceptible and who put off health care during COVID,”he explained “Now they’re behind the eight ball and their immunity just isn’t ready These patients take a lot of resources”

Worker shortage

At the top of those resources are health care workers, who are increasingly scarce. At Allen, there were 335 open positions including direct care providers and ancillary staff like food service, maintenance and housekeeping as of the first week of February, Delagardelle said.

As reported by U.S News & World Report, a March 2022 letter from the American Hospital Association to the House Energy and Commerce Committee called “the workforce shortage hospitals were experiencing a ‘national emergency,’ projecting the overall shortage of nurses to reach 1.1 million” by the end of 2022

“We saw people leaving because of burnout,” said Kelly Richards, MercyOne Northeast Iowa’s chief nursing officer and senior vice president of patient care. “The pandemic was hard on folks You can’t imagine what some of our ICU staff went through with patients It took a mental health toll on nurses”

The mental health toll and subsequent provider shortage isn’t confined to nurses, Sojka said.

“In family medicine I used to see sore throats and sprained ankles Today, primary care physicians are seeing heart failures and diabetics very difficult patients

Aging patients are sicker There’s no chance to take that deep breath. The burnout is just enor-

including sanitary sewer, water main utilities and storm sewer

infrastructure will be ripped out and replaced a significant piece of the overall cost.

The three traffic signal-controlled intersections at 12th and 18th streets and Seerley Boulevard will be transformed into roundabouts, with six-foot bike lanes added to both sides of the street.

“By having these on-street bike lanes, hopefully, we’ll show people why this is valuable and we’ll get more non-vehicular traffic onto the sides of the roads, like electric bicycles or e-scooters,” said Green.

The mayor hopes residents welcome such micro-mobility options Plus, the roundabouts and turn lanes will help keep traffic moving

“The roundabouts will keep the cars from piling up together at the red lights That will make the flow in the Main Street area more of a trickle,” Green said.

Other enhancements will include a “gateway” feature near Seventh Street a Seerley Boulevard roundabout island with a campanile-inspired clock tower feature and other landscaping and streetscaping.

Bus stops will be improved and sidewalks replaced “Bump-outs” in the roadway between Sixth and 12th streets will accommodate additional parking. Green is also touting quality of life undertakings such as improvements along the river between the First and Main Street bridges

The city has awarded a construction contract and has $6 7 million set aside for the recreational improvements, including multiple kayak play areas, fishing jetties, habitat spawning pools, and water access points, along with riverbank improvements

“It’s a great example of needing to have things to do in the community”said Green “The government covers the cost,and makes it so people can basically do things for free.”

Construction is expected to take a year and is part of a larger vision to connect the Cedar Valley’s cities along the Cedar River

“We’re Cedar Falls, so the river is a pretty important part of why we’re here in the first place,” said Dave Deaver, who leads the fundraising for part of the cost. “This project gets us back to paying attention to the river, and taking care of the riverbank. The area we’re focusing on is all along the downtown, so it s complimentary to the downtown. The plus side is it makes a positive use of the river and gets us back to where the river becomes a more useful entity and

adds to the quality of life.”

Nearing completion

Two other projects are wrapping up this year

The $4 5 remodeling of City Hall involves“repurposing”space with no change in the footprint. Work began last year and should wrap up by the spring.

“It’s not as if we just put up a new coat of paint and added new carpeting,”said Green “It was really tearing out parts of the building which just didn’t work for us anymore, particularly the police station layout downstairs It’s not just about how we want city government to operate now But by using flexible rooms and various furniture configurations,we could pivot to a new way of doing things down the road, and we wouldn’t need to knock down any walls”

Another landmark project in its final phase is the $1.6 million rebuild of Center Street in North Cedar between Lone Tree Road and Clair Street. It includes new curbing, drainage, sidewalks, ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, bioswales, and landscaping. The gravel shoulders have been removed, as well.

Work began last year The final phase will include adding more green space – bioswales trees and perennials – on the west side of the street, said Jim Newcomb president of the North Cedar Neighborhood Association.

“When you start putting in bioswales and all the green space, it changes the complexion of the roadway,” Newcomb said. “It’s been much needed out here. It’s been talked about for many, many years, and it finally came through and it’s a definite benefit to the community out here for sure.”

“It’s really adds a little bit more neighborhood pride for our community,” he added.

The enhancements should slow traffic, better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, improve

drainage, beautify the corridor, and attract private investment and families to the area

In the works Cedar Falls Utilities began a $6 million infrastructure project last year it hopes will benefit 1,000 properties over 93 1/2 square miles in the rural parts west and northeast of city limits

It is expanding its fiber broadband services Work continues as conduits and fiber are installed, with home connections starting this fall. Only about 200 of those properties currently have internet,and it’s much-slower wireless Internet.

“Most everybody is really, really excited. They can’t wait, said Mike Litterer, customer services and business development director “Our base fiber Internet package is 250 megabits per second If they’re lucky now, they are probably getting less than 50 from most wireless providers”

Once work wraps up, Litterer said, essentially 100% of Cedar Falls’ electric-paying customers will have access to all of CFU’s services

Also underway is a city project to replace the older bridge in the 2000 to 2100 block of Olive Street. Work began in December and will end in the replacement of the box culvert that allows for the expansion of the Pettersen Plaza on College Street. It will extend over Dry Run Creek to Olive Street and help to beautify that sector of the commercial district.

Additionally, the nearly $3 million undertaking will improve water quality and address “existing stream channel stability issues”

“You’re grabbing something to eat for lunch or if you want to meet some friends and then hit different spots on your way up the Hill, the plaza makes for a good meeting place, said Hannah Crisman, board president of the College Hill Partnership

health care staff Both hospitals have seen a dramatic increase in mental illness something they predicted because of the isolation of the pandemic

“(The numbers of) patients with very serious depression with suicidal tendencies are growing as well ” Delagardelle said “As a result of that we opened up our mental health walk-in clinic, which just keeps getting busier and busier There’s far more people than we have providers for One of the things we have seen is a scarcity of social workers and mental health providers”

Sojka said substance and alcohol abuse has continued to increase, and emergency departments are seeing “folks who are out of control emotionally We have staff trying to manage them down and get them the services they need ”

mous Looking at prepandemic, burnout rates were 35-40% in the medical field. The pandemic has that at over 60% now Providers are at their wits’ end, and we are trying our best to give them support and make their world better as best we can.”

Both hospitals say they are working hard to address health care worker shortages through innovative, multi-pronged strategies At UnityPoint-Allen, those strategies include:

„ Sign-on bonuses of up to $10,000, varying according to roles, departments and whether the position is full or part time.

„ Employee referral bonuses of $1,000 In the past year, 286 UnityPoint Health team members have received a referral bonus

„ In 2022, a total of $525,793 was awarded to 18 Allen College students who graduated and began their careers at Allen Hospital through the Allen Legacy Program.

“The other thing we’ve done is partnering with the Waterloo Career Center,” Delagardelle said

“Just before the new year we hired the entire class of the CNAs that graduated. We put them in the hospital as patient care techs and developed mentorships in different hospital departments The hope is some of them may want to stay as a tech, but also be encouraged to go to (Hawkeye Community College) and move on to Allen College.”

Initiatives are similar at MercyOne flexible staffing,sign-on and referral bonuses, and nursing student and staff incentives top the list. But a forward-looking approach at the next generation of health care providers is crucial, Richards said.

“We’re trying to look even further into the future and get our young people interested in health care, she said. “We actually are going out and trying to get some junior high and high school kids involved in summer camps and apprenticeship programs” to pique their interest in health care careers

Mental health

Of particular need are mental

“I would definitely love to see the building that used to be the Hydrant Firehouse Grill turned into some kind of restaurant that could utilize that space as a sort of patio That’s my dream scenario but hopefully, we’ll be able to get some public art in there and make for a nice pass-through between the neighborhood and the Hill.

“Some ecological integrity to Dry Run Creek because a lot of waste makes its way into the creek near the Hill, and that’s an issue we have throughout our neighborhood.”

Also started in the last year is a project along West 27th Street near the UNI-Dome The $7 5 million reconstruction project will see the roadway go from two to four lanes,beginning at Greenhill Road and then 200 feet to the west Three roundabouts will be constructed,two serving as entrances to the future high school. A new traffic signal with additional turn lanes will be added at the intersection of Hudson Road and West 27th Street, as well as enhancements like sidewalks and a trail.

Work is expected to be complete by the time the school opens in fall of 2024

What’s left?

Other multi-million dollar projects have been discussed and in some cases started.

A roundabout at Greenhill Road and South Main Street opened in recent months at a cost of a couple million dollars Landscaping is the final piece before the project will be marked as complete.

The city is discussing other projects, ranging from a North Cedar Heights reconstruction project to a rebuild of the Hearst Center for the Arts,the removal of the railroad tracks through town and a downtown parking ramp But much coordination and discussion needs to happen for them and none of them are guarantees yet.

Mayor Green says the city does a great job of making the best use of the infrastructure it has in place and not letting it deteriorate He’s proud of the city because, in his mind, officials have been admirable financial stewards

“City staff does a great job of being conservative with how we spend money, and it has served the city extremely well Residents should be very proud of our debt rating, and we’re in an excellent financial position overall.

“But what that requires is a bit of sacrifice. If there were things you wanted to get done as a resident,and it’s a project not deemed urgent, it might be pushed to another year because we can’t get all the things done right away”

Hope on the horizon

Although the pandemic laid bare and exacerbated many of today’s problems in the health care industry MercyOne and UnityPoint say there’s hope on the horizon with innovative thinking and new approaches to health care.

MercyOne is combating delayed patient care with a program that provides patient coaches who reach out to patients to find gaps in their care.

“We get on the phone with patients and work with them to avoid them putting off care,” Sojka said “Those coaches are really vital to us”

MercyOne also has implemented greater use of telehealth as an option for patients and physicians

“What we’re seeing is these patients are more acutely ill and more aggressive ” Richards said That has become a problem for hospital staff Delagardelle said In 2022, Allen staff reported 395 physical and verbal assaults

“We have seen a huge uptick in patients and visitors being violent with our staff and injuring them ” Delagardelle said “It’s an exponential shift We have hired an enormous amount of security staff It’s not just verbal, it’s physical abuse Everybody’s angry right now They have short fuses and they take it out on our staff

“We have visitors getting in the faces of staff There’s a lack of civility that is shocking And we are not alone Our entire health system has seen a dramatic shift in lack of civility We have an amazing, committed staff, and when people are swinging at them and kicking them and pulling their hair I don’t want people to fear coming here There’s a need for a return to civility with care workers”

“We have several primary care physicians who do telehealth visits over their lunch hour,” Sojka noted. “The pandemic moved us quickly toward that project, and it really has been the magic bullet” for increased access to care.

Over at UnityPoint-Allen, at the request of staff the hospital opened an employee gym across the street, a benefit that will help retain and recruit staff

“That place is rockin’ right now” Delagardelle said.

Allen also applied for and received a $2 million grant to build a child care center at North Crossing near the hospital’s cardiology building.

“We had 67 people quit over six months because they didn’t have infant care,” Delagardelle explained. “We can’t get people in the door if they don’t have child care.

Sojka, Richards and Delagardelle agree that innovative shifts in health care delivery are crucial for staffing levels and improved patient outcomes

“We cannot keep doing things the very same way; we’ve got to change the way we deliver health care,” Delagardelle emphasized.

00 1 E2 | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
PHOTO COURTESY OF MERCYONE The Outpatient and Women’s Entrance at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center
finally come to fruition
CHRIS ZOELLER COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A remodeled portion of the Center Street construction project in north Cedar Falls

controloftemperaturesareamong the ways the building will improve upon the existing high school at 1015 Division St , whose original sections date back to the 1950s

“First, the ability to control heating and cooling in the new building will be a dramatic improvement as the current building can fluctuate significantly,” said Pattee “The efficiency of the new building,as far as heating and cooling,solarpanels,daylightcontrols and geothermal systems will be much improved Educational spaces will be dramatically improved with enhanced technology, efficientuseofspace,focusoncollaboration and a student centered environment

The new facility is much more spacious than the current school s cramped campus and smaller building, as well

“We have designed the new building to have common spaces (cafeteria, gymnasiums, etc ) to accommodate 1 800 students” said Pattee “The classrooms spaces are designed to accommodateapproximately1,550students

The building was designed if necessary, to add four to eight classrooms”

Enrollment was 1,294 this fall at the high school exceeding the 1,200-student capacity set by the district Portable classrooms are being used to handle the space needs Pattee said current projections show the district could have 1,400-1,440 students in grades 10 through 12 in 2029, five years after the new building opens

Parking surfaces at the new school have largely been paved already That aspect of the campus is also expected to be a big change from the current school

“Parking and traffic flow will be a significant improvement over the current high school,”said Pattee “Traffic flow into the site will come from three access points” Future development to the west and northwest means other access points will be added as well

Reflecting nature

The school’s entrance is shaded by an overhang that extends the length of its southern exterior wall That wall is entirely glass to the right of the entrance There are three square openings in the overhang along the glass portion of the wall where Pattee explained that

planted trees will have the space to slightly extend beyond the roof line

Thetreesareanodtothenatural environment that will be nurtured on the grounds of the campus

“We wanted it to be a natural prairie feel,” said Pattee “A lot of the site is going to be native prairie”

Before the school site was purchased by the district the University of Northern Iowa owned the property part of which was reconstructed prairie planted with native grasses and flowers Select plants were dug up in 2020 before earth movers arrived for the building project and replanted at a test plot of the Tallgrass Prairie Center across the street Plants from the plot will return to the school grounds as part of the prairie areas planned throughout the property Trees that had been located within the construction zone also were replanted – but on a portion of the school property further north Pattee said a total of 62 trees were replanted and 60 have survived Thebuilding’sfacadeisintended to reflect the surrounding nature Designers used multiple shades of brown-toned bricks and natural wood panels for the building’s exterior

Just inside the building’s entrance is a wide-open foyer with the athletic director and attendance offices to the immediate left The school’s athletic and performingartsfunctionsaregrouped around the foyer Pattee called the area a “landing spot for all our special visitors” arriving for those eventsandstreamingoutofthefacilities at performance intermissions or during sporting contests

A 12,000-square-foot auditorium that will seat 825 people is to theleft Scaffoldingfilledthespace between the auditorium s ceiling and the concrete floor at the time of the tour, going up through the tiers where seating will be located

Pattee noted that workers were preparing to put in place ducts, sprinklers the sound system and lighting above the stage and audience areas in the room “Everything that needs to be installed is being installed now” he said

A large glass-walled area that can be used as a conference room classroom or special events space will be just outside of the auditorium North of that is the concession stand, which will serve performing arts and athletic events

To the right of the foyer is a 29,800-square-foot gymnasium space That includes a 13,770-square-foot competition gymanda6,030-square-footauxiliary gym, which will have a curtain wall between them to serve as a divider They will contain three tournament basketball courts and a competition basketball court or four volleyball courts

The gyms will have 1,340 permanent seats and room for 100 additional temporary seats At the east end of the gyms is an exercise and weight-training room Just outside of that is a hallway that leads to the locker rooms and goes around the gyms

“Wedesignedthissothehallway can be kind of a running track, as well” said Pattee part of which continues through the foyer

At the school’s southeast corner is the wrestling room, which will also be used for dance and gymnastics

Just south of the auditorium,

another hallway leads to the performing arts wing with classrooms,practice rooms,and teaching lab spaces for band, choir, and orchestra A large band room can be divided in two depending on whether the focus is marching or concert band The music wing has easy access to the stage and auditorium for performances

The band rooms and auditorium also double as the school’s safe room area with enough space to hold all of the building’s occupants,in case of weather events up to an F-5 tornado The walls are built with one-foot thick poured concrete and ceilings are also a foot thick The gymnasium walls arethinner,builtwithpre-stressed concrete panels

Other walls in the office and performing arts area were not yet complete at the time of the tour Onlysteelstudshadbeeninstalled, which was also the case with some other areas in the building

Learning spaces

North of the concession stand and gyms are the offices for the administrators counselors and nurses as well as the kitchen and food service stations Beyond that is the cafeteria/commons area, marking the point where the lower level starts

The media center is on the level below the commons A pair of stairs at the north end of the commons leading down to the media center also includes tiered areas where seating will be available

Outdoor courtyards east and west of the media center will contain seating that students can use during parts of the day At the upper level,plenty of windows in the commons area will allow people to look out over the courtyards Skywalks on either side of the commons,connecting the two parts of the building, will also look out on the courtyards

Northwest of the commons are classrooms for information technology as well as metals, woods and automotive That area includes three bays with big overhead doors to help facilitate the hands-on learning Northeast of the commons are fine arts and family and consumer sciences


Beyond that are four academic wings, two on each level In each wing there are common spaces with classrooms arranged around them Each wing has multiple content areas and will include multiple grade levels, said Pattee

In the top level commons areas, slanted roofs make space for high-up north-facing windows that help bring light into the area

Each wing will have conference rooms, small glassed-in breakout rooms for students and staff commons areas Teachers could use different spaces on various days depending on what a class is doing

As of the tour, each wing was in a different stage of completion

One of the lower level wings was furthest along The drywall was already painted gray with accents of red Pattee said gray will be used on walls throughout the academic wings but each will have a different accent color

Stadium in place

The stadium structure east of the school is already in place

“They’ve got goal posts in, they ve got seating in, they ve got all of the light poles in,” said Pattee Installation of artificial turf will be one of the next things to happen at the stadium Doorways on the exterior of the stadium below the home seating area lead to team rooms, offices, concession stands the Tiger store and ticket booth

Goal posts are also in place for a practice field north of the stadium There will be three practice fields accommodating the needs of soccer rugby and marching band

A $13 71 million contract has been awarded for the first phase of the 38,500-square-foot community swimming facility, which has a total budget of $16 07 million and is expected to be completed in the fall “At this point there is not a specific date for the second phase,” said Pattee That phase will include constructing a competition-sized pool,a smaller pool and other components of the building s interior

It is expected to be funded with $8 million from the district’s physical plant and equipment levy, $8 million from the city of Cedar Falls and $3 2 million in private fundraising

The 42,800-square-foot Tiger Performance Center would include a 200-meter indoor track, two full-sized courts and indoor turf The estimated cost of $8 million to $9 million will be completely paid for through private fundraising There is no specific timeline to construct the building Organizers are working toward a $5 million goal to seek bids and construct the building’s shell

00 1 Sunday, March 5, 2023 | E3 PROGRESS 2023
From E1
High school
CHRIS ZOELLER, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Three trees will be planted in front of the glass wall to the right of the entrance to the new cedar Falls high School on West 27th Street cutouts in the overhang above them will provide space to grow

Waterloo tackling big projects

Bridges, roads will see major developments in the near future

MARIA KUIPER maria kuiper@wcfcourier com

WATERLOO In 2023, Waterloo residents will see newly finished roads, buildings and bridges

Many major projects in the city are wrapping up or moving forward.

Two of Waterloo’s iconic bridges carrying motorists and pedestrians over the Cedar River into downtown are currently closed for a total reconstruction.

Both the Park Avenue and 11th Street bridges closed in 2022 The Park Avenue bridge is about six to seven months closer to completion than 11th Street Park Avenue is expected to reopen in the fall, while 11th Street is slated to be done in the summer of 2024 City Engineer

Jamie Knutson said the “major hang-up” with Park Avenue is finding water main piping due to supply chain issues The hope is that construction workers will be done in the river by spring, which means putting piers in and pouring the abutment before water levels rise

The Park Avenue bridge will not be raised due to the Riverloop access However, the 11th Street bridge will be elevated enough to eliminate the flood gates, which was a big push after the flood of 2008

If another flood were to cause bridges to close, 11th could remain open, Knutson said which is “a big deal” for businesses and neighborhoods in the Rath district. During floods, workers at businesses such as Crystal Cold would have to drive all the way to the Fifth or Sixth street bridges or the 18th Street bridge.

The money for bridge construction came from a grant from the federal Competitive Highway Bridge program. A total of $12.5 million came from the federal

government, while $7 5 million came from the city of Waterloo

Another bridge is closed downtown, as well, but only temporar-

ily Construction is underway at the The Fourth Street bridge for a new project to highlight what is being called Veterans Way around the Waterloo Convention Center

The Fourth Street bridge walkway will be filled with colorful lights Beams will shine into the river from it and the Park Avenue bridge. Lighting towers will also be placed around the river Veterans Way will connect new and existing memorials, as well as highlight the Fourth Street pedestrian bridge by adding a Unity Plaza pocket park on Commercial Street and streetscaping that features banners commemorating local veterans Convention center

This comes after the the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention

Center was renamed the Waterloo Convention Center in 2021. The entire area around the center is now named the Five Sullivan Brothers Plaza.

Construction on the plaza began in early 2022,and multiple delays in its completion have upset residents and city officials It was originally slated to be finished by Sept. 1, 2022. Now, Knutson says, it should be completed by this summer “This hasn’t gone as fast as anybody has wanted for various reasons,” he said.

One problem made public in August was the discovery of an underground utility vault that required a redesign and change orders If one of the transformers in the vault would be disrupted, buildings relying on the vault could’ve been without power for a couple of weeks

Knutson also said the delay is due to the shortage in metal and

steel, which is being used for the decorative features Once those arrive, the materials still have to be sculpted and carved.

Completed renovations inside the convention center, however, attracted events like the Iowa League of Cities, Funky Junk-aloo and the State of the City address

Renovations for the plaza and inside of the center totaled about $10.1 million originally The city borrowed about $13 million in general obligation bonds for projects The bonds and accumulated interest get repaid from property taxes

La Porte Road

Another construction project in the works is the total revamp of La Porte Road. In 2022, it was announced the estimated $31 million construction project was awarded $20 5 million from the federal government.

The Department of Transportation awarded the funds to reconstruct a 2.7 mile stretch starting from the off-ramp at U.S 218 until the street becomes Hess Road near Lost Island Waterpark.

The city applied for a grant through the Critical Road Project That funding stream is a component of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure and Sustainability and Equity, a part of the larger infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden.

Knutson said construction is most likely to begin in spring 2024 and be finished by 2028 or 2029

The reason for the delay is due to the grant agreement process taking eight to 12 months because of lack of staff in the federal government, necessitating the local government to write the grants Waterloo plans to provide a match of $8 5 million – about

ooks b ’

ure looks bright’

DES MOINES, Iowa Karan awanishappiestwhenhesonthe ove, working seven days a week Im all in he said

And hes finding success through his strong work ethic and a new partnership with Dupaco Community Credit Union

Dhawan moved to Des Moines m India about a dozen years ago d his love of learning and drive be successful have led him to rsue many passions

One of his goals? He wants to be le to help others in need if they me to him

Its one life If we can help we ould he said

Financial health in the U S declined in 2022 with just about 1 in 3 adults considered financially healthy Financial Health Network report

When Dhawan isnt at his full-time job, he’s often at his Des Moines boutique Always Undercover The store offers clothing and accessories He credits his family whove worked in the clothing industry for decades for his interest in the business

And when hes not at the store, Dhawan explores other opportunities With the help of his friends Dhawan has renovated two homes He lives in one house and uses the other for rental income

When you find the differences between your wants and needs, life starts to get better he said Theres been a lot of sacrifices I worked 12 to 14 hours a day to save for my down payment on my first house

In 2022 Dhawan followed his lender, Amber Thach, to Dupaco

The longer Dupaco members belong to the financial cooperative, the greater their sense of well-being

Average length of Dupaco membership: 12 years

Filene Research Institute study

Now Im a member of your amazing community,” he said Thach guided him through his most recent home purchase and Dupaco’s Chris Gierut helped him save money on his auto loan The monthly savings has allowed him to put more money into his business and focus on his other goals

Its going to be a good team going forward,” Dhawan said “The future looks bright

00 1 E4 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
construction at the Park avenue bridge in downtown Waterloo Knutson
Please see
Page E5
Dupaco members have higher levels of well-being than non-members
Research Institute study well-be ing The state of eing comfortable, healthy or happy Oxford Languages
Dhawan mo Dhawan from And to b pursue On able com should being
Federaly Insured by NCUA dupaco.com
Dupaco member Karan Dhawan (left) catches up with Dupaco’s Amber Thach and Chris Gierut at his boutique in Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, Iowa. (S Morgan photos)

Under new management

Local law enforcement agencies have fresh leaders, seek officers

WATERLOO — New leaders in the community’s law enforcement agencies are looking ahead to ramp up their departments in the coming year following a shortage of officer applicants.

Joe Leibold, a 32-year veteran of the Waterloo Police Department, was appointed chief of the department in November.

Mark Howard was named chief of the Cedar Falls Police Department, also in November. He has been with the department since 2007.

Leibold sees the upcoming year as a time to strengthen the department’s leadership after repopulating the ranks in the wake of retirements


From E4

$300,000 in city funds from fees and revenues, about $8 million in federal SWAP funding and about $150,000 in Transportation Al

ternatives Program funding.

SWAP funding is similar to money from a federal aid con

tract, but doesn’t have as many rules and regulations. TAP fund

ing is money for alternate forms of transportation.

The first phase of the project will be from Shaulis Road to Grimm Street near Crossroads Mall. The remaining two phases will move to the north.

The project will reconfigure the roadway by eliminating some

and departures.

Last year, five officers were promoted to the rank of sergeant, four were promoted to lieutenant and two were promoted to captain.

“We have a lot of new people in those roles,” Leibold said. He said 2023 will be a time to focus on training the new leaders.

Since December 2021 the police department has hired 15 sworn officers — more than 10% of its force.

As of February, the department was still down four officers from its total strength of 123 officers.

But the shortfalls isn’t as large as in recent years. In 2022 at this time, there were nine openings, and the department was in the process of seeking applicants to put together a fresh civil service list.

Nationwide, fewer people are applying for law enforcement jobs, a side effect of the racial justice movement following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, officials say.

When Leibold applied for the Waterloo Police Department in 1990, he was one of about 300 applicants.

Those days are gone, Leibold said. But he notes people trying out for police jobs now are people with a serious focus on entering

lanes and creating a separate bike and pedestrian path along the sides of La Porte Road. Turn lanes also will be added.

Along with a separate added sidewalk, the MET transit service plans to add multiple stops on both sides of the road.

University development

As construction is set to start on La Porte Road, work is nearly done on University Avenue — another $30 million project.

Knutson said the only jobs left to do are “punch-list items” such as replacing cracked glass on a bus shelter, planting new trees and fixing lights that are out.

Community Planning and Development Director Noel Ander-

the field, as opposed to people who are just looking for work. Of the 300 candidates in 1990, a good portion had also applied at the local tractor plant and the cabinet manufacturer, Leibold said.

“Applicants for police positions have declined over the years, but the quality of the applicants has not,” Leibold said.

The path to hiring an officer can take months to advertise, collect applications, complete the physi-

son said the project has created the potential for business redevelopment.

He noted in particular movement is happening at the former Hy-Vee and Kmart sites.

The former Kmart at 3810 University Ave. will be turned into a climate-controlled storage facility, called Storelocal Co-op.

The 106,000-square-foot former Kmart store opened in 1967 and closed in 2017.

The former Hy-Vee grocery store next door will house the Waterloo Community Based Outpatient Clinic for Veterans

cal and the medical testing. Those who qualify are placed on a civil service list, and the department hires from the list.

After being hired, new officers attend the state law academy for 16 weeks. Following that, they pair up with a field training officer for 12 to 16 weeks, learning the ropes until they can work on their own.

“Most of those field training officers have been in a constant state of training for all of 2022,”

Leibold said.

The Cedar Falls Police Department has had similar problems retaining officers and recruiting new candidates, said Chief Mark Howard.

“We don’t get the turnout we used to,” he said.

The department often draws on University of Northern Iowa graduates who came from other communities. They serve a few years and then decide to return home or head for larger cities, he said.

“It’s a generational thing, and there are opportunities everywhere. The Des Moines metro area offers a lot,” Howard said.

The department has been testing twice a year, in the spring and summer, to keep it ranks filled.

Howard said since becoming chief, his focus is on increasing scenario-based training.

This would include a multiweek critical incident training course as well as training in encountering people in mental health crisis and de-escalation.

The Cedar Falls Police Department will also undertake more public outreach and community engagement, Howard said.

This will include a citizen/ youth academy to give residents an inside look at police work.

Affairs, which is moving from 945 Tower Park Drive. It will use 21,000 square feet of the

00 1 Sunday, March 5, 2023 | E5 PROGRESS 2023
Police K-9 niko and Officer al Bovy search an area around Marco’s Pizza on ansborough avenue following a robbery Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Howard
64,000-square-foot building. The Hy-Vee building has been empty since 2018. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The university avenue and Fletcher avenue roundabout. Anderson Leibold

Waverly construction projects near completion

DONALD A PROMNITZ donald promnitz@wcfcourier com

WAVERLY Residents of Bremer County will the fruits of several major construction projects in Waverly this year as they near completion.

According Heidi Solheim, the chief operating officer for Waverly Health Center, construction is 99% complete on its new emergency department. With its original building date back to the 1960s, Solheim said, they needed to update the building to accommodate Waverly’s growing community and modern demands

“We were able to design an emergency department based on what the needs are now versus what they were 60 or 50 years ago,” Solheim said.

The entire project is 70 000 square feet, with 40,000 feet coming from the new emergency department and the rest being remodeling. Better mobility was a key consideration to the project, along with more space for patients and visiting specialists from Mason City and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area.

The new emergency department includes a central nurse’s station with patient rooms around it. This allows the staff to have a better understanding of what’s happening in the department and helps in the event of a security or safety issue.

Planning for the project started in 2017 Ground was broken in October and work continued through the pandemic While there were some slowdowns due to supply chain issues Solheim said they were able to stay on schedule and keep snags to a minimum.

“We thankfully had already had all the bids in on most of the main materials to get started, like the steel and such were already on order in the United States,” Solheim said “But I think the ongoing problems with the supply chain are still [causing] some challenges in the construction industry”

Waverly-Shell Rock

Elsewhere, Waverly-Shell Rock School District is moving along with the construction of two new elementary schools According to Superintendent Ed Klamoth, progress has been steady since May when ground was broken, and the schools should be ready to accept students this year The process began two years ago

when the district brought in Estes Construction to do a facilities assessment It recommended building two schools in Waverly and renovating both the high school and the Shell Rock Elementary building.

“That was part of the conversation with the community group was, do we expand our current buildings? But where they’re lo-

cated they’re kind of landlocked with buildings around them, and so that was really tough to think about doing that,” Klamfoth said “Not to mention parent pickup and drop-off is challenging there isn’t much parking in those, they’re antiquated facilities, and so the groups just decided that we’d be better to just build new”

Work on the high school will start in the spring, while renovations in Shell Rock will likely start in late summer Work began on the new elementary buildings last spring. The first school, located in the northeast of town, should be completed by August,while the west building should be done by early November

Wartburg College

Wartburg College is also making strides in the renovation of two of the Ubuntu Center’s three residence Halls According to Emily Christensen, assistant director of marketing and communications, work on Vollmer Hall was completed last summer and included an addition to the building with a new elevator, lounge space and community kitchen Work on Slife Hall is underway and will wrap up before the beginning of the school year “Renovations created more accessible living spaces throughout the building,” Christensen wrote. New plumbing, heating and air conditioning have been added, along with expansions to restrooms and shower areas and eight suites for students with unique housing needs Additional lounge, office and program/activity spaces are were also created.

00 1 E6 | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
Hospital expansion near completion, elementary school buildings started CONTRIBUTED Trauma room at Waverly Health Center s new emergency department CONTRIBUTED The emergency department lobby at Waverly Health Center
CONTRIBUTED Construction of the new emergency department is almost complete DONALD A PROMNITZ Construction started in May on two new elementary schools in Waverly Both are expected to be completed by the end of the year Specializing in Quality Post Frame Buildings www.gingerichstructures com • Commercial • Agricultural • Equestrian • Garages • Hobby Shops and More! SAM YODER SOUTHEAST IOWA 319-427-3919 SamYoder@GingerichStructures com SIMON GINGERICH NORTHEASTERN lOWA 319-464-7781 SimonGingerich@GingerichStructures com INDEPENDENT LIVING AT WESTERN HOME COMMUNITIES LIVING WELL TODAY AND SECURING A PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE. Call 319-277-2141 for a tour! FULFILLING LIFESTYLES WesternHomeCommunities org/independent-living
The hospital has
extensive construction and
since 2019 and is near completion

Regional partnerships drive development

tinue to grow It’s important for existing employers in retention of employees and for workforce attraction”


melody parker@wcfcourier com

CLARKSVILLE County lines

only matter when you’re paying property taxes

That’s one of Jeff Kolb’s favorite phrases because it emphasizes the importance of thinking regionally As executive director of Butler-Grundy Development Alliance, Kolb believes economic development doesn’t stop at city limits or county line signs,particularly in the Cedar Valley “Regionally,each community is only as strong as the region itself

If the Cedar Valley is prospering, then every community in the Cedar Valley has an opportunity to prosper In my mind, if a region is strong, we all the opportunity to grow and be strong,” Kolb said.

BDGA was created to promote economic prosperity, provide resources and build relationships that will help attract and retain businesses, industries and jobs and promote tourism and community development.

“I’ve always been a firm advocate of regionalism Our organization is an example. It made sense for Butler and Grundy counties to come together eliminate costs and duplications, to be more efficient and make better use our resources Roads travel in two directions,” explained Kolb, who points to a more unified approach to community and economic development in both counties

BDGA also belongs to Cedar Valley Regional Partnership of Iowa. Six counties Butler, Grundy, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan and Chickasaw are part of this economic marketing strategy

Economies are regional, Kolb maintains “And that gives us more clout, especially as counties with a smaller population base. A company may not want to sit down with counties that have a base of 20 000 but being in the partnership gives us a base of 300 000 or more people. That broadens our assets because we are part of this region,” he said

A regional approach makes sense in economic development said Connie Tolan, planning and development specialist for Waverly Economic Development and chair of Cedar Valley Regional Partnership

“I’ve said many times that we’re just better together When one of us is doing well,we all benefit Cedar Valley Regional Partnership is the mechanism that brings us together As a region, we can get an audience with site selectors in major markets and show them all the region has to offer,”Tolan said

These collective efforts influence the decision to locate or relocate a business or industry to the Cedar Valley “We represent smaller markets in the partnership, but we’re all equal partners

There’s power in that” she explained Workforce is the most obvious and critical asset shared across all six counties “Traveling is so natural and easy between our counties

People driving back and forth for work don’t really pay attention to when they’re crossing a county line,” Tolan pointed out

When pitching Butler-Grundy counties as a site for new business or industry, Kolb said “one of the first things a prospect looks at is how strong the region is, what amenities you bring to the table They’re not looking at county lines on a map If they ask ‘Do you have a hospital?’we say,‘Yes,we have a hospital in Butler County’ but we also have access to multiple major

hospitals in the region

“We have access to a bigger skilled workforce, NCAA sports, big box retailers,shopping,a major theme park, universities and colleges, nature trails and numerous entertainment options”

Kolb also grabs every opportunity to bring“Cedar Valley region” into the conversation “It helps build the brand and it is a brand It s a different way of thinking It isn’t something tangible you can hold, but brand has impact In previous years, Butler was “an out-commuting county, a lot of our residents worked out of the county We didn’t have a lot of people driving into Butler for work Our first strategy was job creation If you don’t have jobs,

there’s no reason to live here

“Now it’s easier for people to commute either way The regional marketingpartnershiphasallowed us to do a lot of things we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own,” he explained

For example, Kolb was instrumental in bringing partners together for the development of a new rail industrial park,Butler Logistics Park He also was the first chairperson of the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership Economic development has been moving forward in Waverly and Bremer County, Tolan said In addition to commercial development, focus is being placed on housing “There’s a significant need for housing in order to con-

In 2022 Waverly Economic Development undertook strategic planning and identified areas for significant focus: business development and supporting existing business; workforce attraction and retention; housing; child care (“which is a workforce issue,” Tolan said); and placemaking or creating and offering amenities that provide for quality of life and make a community attractive to potential workers and businesses

For regional partnerships to be creative,it’s important to maintain trust between parties “You have to stop having turf battles We will all grow if you’re not just working to protect your own interests I’m a strong believer that in economic development, there has to be a trust factor, that you won t steal or poach prospects,” Kolb said Cedar Valley Regional Partnership also is linked to Grow Cedar Valley, a regional economic development organization working to boost the local economy and connect businesses and communities to resources and opportunities for growth

One county’s success“cascades to surrounding counties We know that anecdotally and have data to back that up,” said Lisa Rivera Skubal vice-president of economic development for Grow Cedar Valley

Among Grow Cedar Valley initiatives is Live the Valley, an integrated social media platform (www livethevalley com) for recruiting top talent and developing a future workforce

The site includes a cost-of-living calculator and showcases a competitive job landscape,quality of life amenities such as housing, entertainment,education and career advancement opportunities, family-friendly activities and more

Live the Valley is “a no-brainer and something regionally that we have to have because if you’re talking to recruiters or potential employers out of the area or out of Iowa, the website gives them a sense of what the region has to offer It’s an important resource to help grow and retain workforce”

Kolb said

Skubal said the cost-of-living calculator is an important tool that assists regional employers by providing additional, easily accessible resources to attract and retain workers

“Our region is always evolving. Amenities, opportunities and stories change. We’ve undergone updates at the site that provide communities a platform to feature themselves in photos and tell their stories so they can shine. They can input information directly without having us do it for them, a huge plus because it gives them control and ownership,” Skubal explained.

Regionally, the Cedar Valley is “more powerful collectively if there is one voice,” she added

00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 | E7 PROGRESS 2023
Cooperation reinforces economic development in Cedar Valley counties
COURTESY ILLUSTRATION An aerial view of Butler Logistics Park COURTESY PHOTO Kayaking on the Shell Rock River COURTESY PHOTO Shopping in an attraction in downtown Grundy Center CHRIS
Prairie Bike Trail in Butler County
, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A crew begins to excavate the land at the site of the new Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools elementary building off Horton Road

Cedar Valley filling the child care gap


For The Courier

WATERLOO – While accessing affordable child care remains a challenge for many families in the Cedar Valley, communities, employers and organizations are combining efforts to fill the need

“There are many levels to the child care crisis,” said Mary Janssen, regional director of the Child Care Resource and Referral Center of Northeast Iowa, but the Cedar Valley is far ahead of the game”

With recent state funding, the focus of organizations such CCR&R and the Black Hawk County Child Care Coalition, and employerbuy-in,progressisbeing made According to the CCR&R’s website, a family earning the median income of about $74 500 with an infant in child care would pay 11% of their income if their child was in a registered home, and 14% if the child was in a licensed center Seven percent is considered affordable accordingtoastudyfrom Child Care Aware of America Of the families in CCR&R’s service area,78% have all parents working and have children younger than 6

“The community is now seeing this as a need,” Janssen said “We are working to find additional pay and additional support for child care workers, increase spaces through building and expanding, survey businesses to help with recruitment and retention”

Janssen stressed how employers can make a difference

“The VGM project is super exciting, and UnityPoint is at the table,” she said “It’s good to see things moving, but there is still a lot of work to do”

“Forthepastfiveyears,asignificant shortage of child care options in Iowa has been impacting thousands of working parents” said Cassi Price, VGM’s vice president of corporate projects “Twenty-three percent of Iowans live in a ‘child care desert’or an area with a severeshortageoflicensedproviders Twenty-eight percent of child care businesses have closed in the lastfiveyears Thereisashortfallof

more than 350,000 child care slots for children under 12

“At VGM, the majority of our workforce is female and have long reported difficulties in finding reliable, quality child care at an affordable cost This was confirmed through a recent survey and interviews with VGM employee owners who live in the Cedar Valley area”

Survey results show nearly 90% ofworkingparentswhoresponded to the survey struggle with having to request time off change their work schedule or change their work location due to child care issues Sixty percent of respondents said they have no backup if their child care service falls through, and more than 100 respondees said they are expecting a child, on waitlists for child care or need to switchfromanunreliableprovider

Based on their findings, VGM applied for and received a state Child Care Business Incentive

grant for about $1 3 million

“Thisyear,weareconstructinga child care center in our headquarters to open this coming winter that will serve 70-80 families with on-site child care ranging from ages 6 weeks to 5 years old,” Price said We partnered with a local licensed child care provider to operate this center and are also extending some of our corporate benefits to the entire child care provider’s workforce to help them with staffing difficulties also common in today’s environment”

Thecenterwillfeaturefiveclassrooms,anactivityroom,aroomfor new mothers to feed their babies during breaks,and a three-section playground in the courtyard of VGM’s main campus where children can play on age-appropriate playground equipment

“This won’t single-handedly solve the child care drought we are in, but it will certainly address

the issue in our communities And we hope we can model the way corporations could support their communities and their workforce as well as their local child care network, Price said, and most importantly, support our female workforce as they navigate growing their families while also growing in their career”

UnityPoint Health Allen Hospital also received state funding,just over $2 million

“We pursued the grant opportunity as a direct response to what our team members were telling us

they need reliable child care in ordertobeabletostayintheworkforce,” said Annie Horrigan, UnityPoint project manager “We are partnering with Cedar Valley Kids to construct an 8 413 square-foot child care facility on 2 76 acres of land in the North Crossing development The design and planning for the center in the North Cross-

ing development is underway and will be able to serve 116 children, with 60 of those spots and priority on the wait list given to UnityPoint Health team members

From January to June of 2022, 27 team members reported their reason for needing to resign or drop their hours were related to a lack of reliable child care services,” Horrigan said “Additionally,team members that work 12-hour shifts at the hospital need a center that will have extended hours; the center will be open from 6 a m to 8 p m Monday through Friday

“While construction and planningforthecenteratNorthCrossing is underway, we have created an interim location for a child care centeratAlumniHallatAllenCollege across the street from Allen Hospital” That site will serve 58 children and started a phased opening Feb 20

00 1 E8 | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 PROGRESS
fill child-care
Employers, government, organizations combine to
COURTESY PHOTO Children play outside at Cedar Valley Preschool and Child Care Center in Cedar Falls
We do good work in good faith, knitted together through relationships that sustain us and an t d he world.



Deere shifts Waterloo’s Drivetrain Operations into overdrive in 2023

PAT KINNEY For The Courier

WATERLOO — Ryan Starling built his career at John Deere in Waterloo the way Deere builds tractors – from the ground up.

“John Deere has given me the opportunity to get into a manufacturing engineering job and really grow,” said Starling.

The Independence resident is a manufacturing engineer at Deere’s Drivetrain Operations complex on West Commercial Street near downtown. That’s where axles and transmissions are produced for Deere’s large row-crop tractors.

“I’ve been at John Deere for 16 years,” he said, “I started out on the wage side as an assembler with a machining background. I came to John Deere knowing there’d be opportunities for me to advance with my background. I pushed to get those opportunities, put in the work, ended up going through most of the skilled trades positions and I was able to go into a salaried position.

“I went to college for a while for tool and die. Other than that, it’s just been on-the-job training.” Starling said. To those considering working for Deere, he said, “I would highly encourage it just because of all the opportunities coming in, if you’re engaged and you work hard.”

Starling’s testimonial about Deere — Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer

— is good news for the whole Cedar Valley. That’s especially so coming on the backside of a pandemic.

Innovation, investment

Despite lingering supply chain issues, Deere’s Waterloo operations have moved forward on a number of fronts:

 The company has beefed up its work force, adding nearly 800 production employees over three years follow-

ing a series of hiring fairs. Total employment at Deere’s Waterloo operations is at 5,500 union-wage and nonunion salaried workers. While the company was able to meet its hiring needs, it continues to look for qualified candidates as openings occur.

 Deere has updated virtually all models of the company’s large, Waterloo-made row crop tractors and started some production of a self-propelled


tractor announced a year ago.

“From 2020 until now we’ve updated every product that comes out of Waterloo, with significant improvements in comfort and productivity,” said Brett Showalter, large tractor and tillage business manager. All those modifications and innovations come out of Deere’s Product Engineering Center in Cedar Falls, a company research and development hub.

He said the Waterloo-manufactured 7R, 8R and 9R series tractors have all received accolades and are among leaders in market share, and a new four-track 8RX model is the only one of its kind in the industry.

He indicated that the autonomous tractor model and related tillage tools have had a measured, staged release which will expand as additional improvements, modifications and additions are made based on field experience.

 Deere has invested more than $4.4 million in community initiatives in the Cedar Valley in the fiscal year ending last Oct. 31 through John Deere Foundation in Moline, Ill. where corporate headquarters are located, as well as locally and by individual employees – and a high of 34,000 volunteer hours. One of the most prominent of those was a

Please see DEERE , Page F4

00 1 Jobs aplenty ‘Every industry’ needs people as recovery in full swing PAGE F3 Municipal broadband Waterloo will begin connecting customers this year PAGE F5 Stackable credentials Waterloo Career Center expansion brings new classes PAGE F5 INSIDE MARCH 5, 2023 | SECTION F
CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS , COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Brooks handles 8R tractor di erential case parts at the John Deere Drivetrain Operations plant in Waterloo. Luke Grzech, OFP assembly manufacturing engineer on the 8R Drivetrain line, watches an automated robot handle drivetrain manifold parts at the John Deere Drivetrain Operations plant in Waterloo.

173YEARS P&JEquipment GrainHandlingSpecialists 8mi.S.of W’looonDysartRd. LaPorteCity,IA 319-342-3542

147YEARS Allison&Readlyn,Iowa 319-267-2035

117YEARS WapsieValley Creamery,Inc. Since1906...Lookingforward toanother100years. MarkNielsen,President 30010thSt.N.E. Independence 319-334-7193

105YEARS Beecher,Field,Walker, Morris,Hoffman& Johnson,P.C. 620LafayetteSt. Waterloo,IA 319-234-1766 www.Beecherlaw.com


BridalFashionCustomService SINCE1931

Diamonds•Pandora 229E.5thStreet, Downtown,Waterloo RothJewelers.com


WilberAutoBody &Salvage FamilyOwned Since1939 Shop:232-5927, Yard:232-1747

75YEARS Tomlinson Cannon SolvingWaterProblems Since1948 319-234-1223 www.tomlinson-cannon.com

71YEARS AllenGlassCo. 1620JeffersonSt. Waterloo,IA50702 319-232-0461 www.allenglassco.com

63YEARS Morg’sDiner SeeusonFacebook! 520MulberrySt. Waterloo,IA 319-234-2416


171YEARS Wartburg College 100WartburgBlvd. Waverly,IA50677 1-800-772-2085 www.wartburg.edu

128YEARS 1246MartinRoad Waterloo,IA50701 319-232-5400 www.cardinalconst.com


LeviBros.Jewelers “JEWELERSSINCE1908”

306E.4th,Waterloo,IA 319-233-6951


91YEARS Carney,Alexander, Marold &Co.,L.L.P.,CPAs WaterlooandLaPorteCity,IA 319-342-2312or 319-233-3318 www.carneycpa.com

85YEARS BlueLineMoving& Storage,Inc. AGENT:UnitedVanLines 5614NordicDr. CedarFalls,IA 319-266-3591 Shop:232-5927|Yard:232-1747 www.bluelinemoving.com

74YEARS Warren Transport,Inc. 210BeckAve. Waterloo,IA 319-233-6113 www.warrentransport.com

71YEARS Lockard Companies 999HomePlaza,Waterloo IA50701 319-277-8000 www.LockardRealty.com

90YEARS CBECompanies JoinOurTeam! 1309TechnologyPkwy. CedarFalls,IA 319-833-1099 www.cbejobs.com

83YEARS CollinsCommunity CreditUnion Ignitingfinancialfuturesofouremployees, members,andthecommunitiesweserve. 5908WinterberryDr. CedarFalls,IA50613 800-475-1150|collinscu.org

74YEARS PetersenHudsonHdwe. Plumbing&Heating FamilyOwnedandOperated TomPetersen,Owner 520MainSt. Hudson,IA50643 319-988-3231 www.petersenhhph.com

67YEARS GroutMuseumDistrict TheGroutMuseumDistrictoffers fourdistinctmuseumstodiscover thepast,presentandfuture, andyourplaceinit. 503SouthStreet Waterloo,IA50701 319-234-6357 www.gmdistrict.org

63YEARS VisitGoodwill.com

6915ChancellorDr.,Ste.B CedarFalls www.wcfcourier.com


MichaelPaintingand DecoratingCo. PaintingandDecorating QualitySince1895 1008Jefferson Waterloo,IA50701 319-232-3755

114YEARS FeredayHeatingand AirConditioning “AlwaysDependable, HonestService&FairPrices” 1010Broadway Waterloo,IA50703 233-8411or268-9110 www.feredayheating.com

104YEARS Schoitz Engineering,Inc. Hwy.63South Waterloo,IA 319-234-6615

89YEARS Petersen&Tietz Florists&Greenhouses DeeplyRootedinthe CedarValley Familyowned&operated 2275IndependenceAve. Waterloo,IA50707 319-234-6883 www.ptflowers.com


MartinBros. DistributingCo.,Inc. “Foodservicewith aDifference” 406VikingRd. CedarFalls,IA www.martinbros.com

74YEARS Benton’s ReadyMixed Concrete,Inc. ServingtheMetroArea for74Years 725Center,CedarFalls 266-2641

67YEARS Community Foundation ofNortheastIowa Hereforgood. 319-287-9106 www.CFNEIA.org

Waterloo,IA50703 319-235-9565 www.TCHomeImprovement.com

52YEARS TnKHealth FoodStore “TryTnKfora HealthierWay” 1023PeoplesSquare Waterloo 319-235-0246 www.tnkhealth.net

48YEARS NORTHSTAR COMMUNITYSERVICES SupportedLiving& DayProgramsfor adultswithdisabilities. 319-236-0901 www.northstarcs.org

44YEARS CedarValley Hospice Waterloo|GrundyCenter Independence|Waverly 319-272-2002 800-626-2360 www.cvhospice.org

51YEARS Action GarageBuilders “IfYouNeedaGarage YouWantACTION!!” FreeEstimate 319-232-1477 actiongaragebuilders.com

48YEARS PowerEngineering ManufacturingLTD 2635W.C.F.&N.Dr. Waterloo,IA50703 319-232-2311 www.pemltd.com e-mailsales@pemltd.com

51YEARS MetTransit Providerof PublicTransportation 1515BlackhawkStreet Waterloo,IA50702 319-234-5714 www.mettransit.org

47YEARS Pat’sAutoSalvage ICareCertified EnvironmentallyFriendly WesellQualityused partsandbuywreckedor unwantedcars. 945LowellAve.,Waterloo,IA 319-232-0704

51YEARS JohnDeeryMotors NissanLincoln Mitsubishi 6823University, CedarFalls,IA 319-277-6200

47YEARS Transmission Rebuilders,Inc. 2125FallsAvenue Waterloo,IA 319-233-7649



163YEARS FirstMaxfield MutualInsurance 801S.StateSt., Denver,IA50622 319-984-5255 www.firstmaxfield.com

126+YEARS IowaCustom Machine LazerCutting&CNC Machining|General MachineWork 206Edwards,Waterloo,IA 319-233-3918


BloomManufacturing,LLC Independence,IA50644 www.bloommfg.com

103YEARS Tjernagel

88YEARS StonerRadiator Newradiators-heatersfueltanks Airconditioning salesandservice USEDCARSALES 724Jefferson,Waterloo,IA 319-235-9529

78YEARS LockeFuneralHome Whereyourwishes havegovernedforfour generations. 1519West4th,Waterloo,IA 319-233-6138 www.lockefuneralhome.com

73YEARS DonGardner ConstructionCompany Com’l,Ind’l,Res’l CaseyGardner-Pres.,Owner JacobGardner-VP/Owner 315LaPorteRd., Waterloo,IA50702 319-234-0272 www.dongardnerconstruction.com

66YEARS OverheadDoor Companyof Waterloo 800CommercialStreet Waterloo,IA 319-233-0471 www.ohdcwaterloo.com

162YEARS FOUNDEDIN1862 RichardsonFuneral Service Noble-Brown-Jung-KunzNelson-Richardson 615MainSt.,CedarFalls,IA 319-266-3525

125YEARS HallBicycleCompany 4192ndAveSE CedarRapids,Iowa,52401 319-362-1052 4302UniversityAve,Ste.E CedarFalls,Iowa,50613 319-260-2610 www.hallbicycle.com

112YEARS YWCABlack HawkCounty 425LafayetteSt. Waterloo,IA50703 319-234-7589 www.ywcabhc.org

101YEARS Farnsworth Electronics “ElectronicPartsDistributors” 2806FallsAve.,Waterloo,IA 319-234-6681 www.FarnsworthElectronics.com

87YEARS Standard DistributionCo. 317SavannahParkRoad CedarFalls,IA50613 319-277-9299 www.standarddist.com

78YEARS MidwestPatternCo. Wood,Metaland PlasticPatterns FullCAD/CAMServices 84W.11thSt. Waterloo,IA 319-232-7993

73YEARS SchuckRealtyCo. JoyceHarrensteinBroker/Owner REALESTATE OURONLYBUSINESS Parkersburg,IA 319-346-1364or319-404-1502 www.schuckrealtyco.com

65YEARS HawkeyeAlarm andSignalCo. Iowa’sOldestULListed BurglarAlarmCompany 16W.Commercial Waterloo,IA 319-232-0490

61YEARS CommunityBuilders SupplyCo. Over61years’experience! 1127JeffersonSt. Waterloo,IA 1-800-728-6665 communitybuildersia.com

54YEARS Retailstoremoving backtoWarehouse 1216CommercialStreet Waterloo,IA50702 319-235-1463


51YEARS CedarFalls BrownBottle Italiandining 1111CenterStreet, CedarFallsIA 319-266-2616 www.thebrownbottle.com

47YEARS Hoffman&Hoffman Trenching,Inc. UndergroundUtilityand DirectionalBoring contractors 3822W.Airline Waterloo,IA 319-232-4807


ServingYOUFirst 319-352-1340 www.firstiowa.bank

124YEARS PalaceClothiers “ClothingYouForLife’s ImportantMoments” 309MainSt. CedarFalls,IA50613 319-260-2202 www.palaceclothiers.com

112YEARS NationalCigarStore YourCompleteNewsstand Featuringqualitypipescigars-tobaccosandliquor. 617Sycamore Waterloo,IA50703 319-234-5958 www.nationalcigar.com

100YEARS MeyersNursery (ADivisionofFL&M) Thepeoplethat knowhowtogrow! 1685IndependenceAve. Waterloo,IA50707 319-232-3954 www.meyersnursery.com

87YEARS ServiceRoofing Company TheCedarValley’sleading Low-SlopeCommercial RoofingContractor 123ArizonaSt.,Waterloo 319-232-4535 www.serviceroofing.net


Schuerman AutoRepair ServingAutomotiveNeeds Since1945 1505West1st CedarFalls,IA 319-277-5343

72YEARS BowersMasonry, Inc. 72YearsinBusiness Concrete,pavingbrick,block. Waterloo,IA 319-233-0168

64YEARS Elliott-Hartman Agency PropertyandLiabilityInsurance forBusinessesandIndividuals 611AnsboroughAve. Waterloo,IA50701 319-233-8459

60YEARS CedarFalls MobileHome Village QuietPark-New/UsedSales 1mileW.oftheUNI-DOME 319-266-6093 www.cedarvillagecommunity.com

53YEARS Toby’sTax 110ClaySt CedarFalls,IA 319-277-2528

50YEARS StephenD.Knapp REALTOR 319-493-4000 sknapp@lockardrealty.com

46YEARS Thompson RealEstate ThompsonFarm RealEstate Lic.Iowa&Minnesota 319-239-4130 Thompsonfarmrealestate.com

50YEARS Aspro,Inc. AsphaltPaving Contractors 3613TexasSt. Waterloo,IA50704 319-232-6537 asproinc.com

45YEARS DierksTree Transplant,INC. Specializinginlargetree transplanting.Nursery stockavailable. CedarFalls,IA 319-277-7173


155YEARS Printing&Promotional Products,OfficeSupplies &Furniture 514BratnoberSt.,Waterloo,IA 319-234-4621


McCloudServices/ AablePestControl PestManagement Professionals 1800CommercialSt. Waterloo 319-291-7200 mccloudservices.com

109YEARS HilpipreAuctionCo. 109yearsoffamily auctioneering. “Since1914” Waterloo,IA 319-235-6007 www.hilpipre.com


SuperiorWelding SupplyCo. Servingthecommunityand industryfor96years 7thandCommercial Waterloo,IA 319-232-6861

87YEARS Schumacher Elevator Sales,Service, Modernization Denver,IA 319-984-5676 SchumacherElevator.com

76YEARS 105BMCDrive ElkRunHeights,IA50707 319-833-7648 www.manatts.com (ManyLocationsAcrossIowa)

72YEARS PawsitivePetCare Dr.BradleyKneeland Takingcareofyour furryfriends. 1799Ansborough Waterloo,IA50701 319-234-7511 www.ppcvets.com

63YEARS ColdwellBanker ElevatedRealEstate Recognized,Respected, Recommendedforproviding nothingbutthebest ServiceintheCedarValley! 3321CedarHeightsDrive CedarFalls,IA50613 319-277-2121

151YEARS BlackHawk MutualInsurance Association ProvidingFarmandHome InsuranceforBlackHawkand surroundingcounties. 353E.EldoraRoadHudson,IA 319-988-4101

117YEARS IowaSecurities InvestmentCorp. ServingIowanswith Commercialrealestate Loans/InvestmentsSince1906 3346KimballAve.,Waterloo,IA 319-236-3334 www.Iowasecurities.com

107YEARS PDCMInsurance LocallyOwnedSince1916 3022AirportBlvd. Waterloo,IA50703 319-234-8888 www.pdcm.com

93YEARS Fullshirtlaundryservice DryCleaningShirtLaundry AlterationsDrapesandMore 216W.11th,Waterloo,IA 319-233-3571 www.varsitycleaners.com

86YEARS KirkGrossCo. “1937-2022” Youronesourcefor successfulbusinessfacilities. 4015AlexandraDr. Waterloo,IA 319-234-6641 www.kirkgross.com

75YEARS PeoplesAppliance Amana,Maytag,Kitchenaide SpeedQueen,Frigidaire AdamMorris 451LaPorteRd. Waterloo,IA 319-232-0140


59YEARS Clark&Associates 527ParkLane, Waterloo,IA50703 319-233-8911 www.clarkpo.com

53YEARS LarryGregoryInsurance ForAllYourInsuranceNeeds 219CordobaAve. CedarFalls,IA 319-277-4162 lgsol@cfu.net

50YEARS BlackHawk Gymnastics 180ProvisionParkway Waterloo,IA50701 319-233-2533 www.BlackHawkGymnastics.com

45YEARS Denny&KevinEslick EslickFinancial Group 999HomePlaza,Suite201 Waterloo,IA50701 319-833-5555 www.eslickfinancial.com

53YEARS 912WestVikingRoad CedarFalls,IA50613 319-260-2250 www.kjandkompany.com

49YEARS Blackhawk Automatic Sprinklers,Inc. 525E.18thSt. CedarFalls,IA 319-266-7721

44YEARS RayDietzAuctioneering &RealEstate Specializinginfarmand landauctions 1878310thStreet Ionia.IA50645 319-269-5161 SeeusonFacebook!


00 1 F2 | Sunday, March 5, 2023
PaulsonElectricCo. OfWaterloo ElectricalContractors 1915JeffersonSt. Waterloo,IA 233-3543 55YEARS K&S WheelAlignment Service Imports,FrontWheel Drives,Domestics 500Ansborough Waterloo,IA50701 319-232-9991 57YEARS LaPorteCity SpecialtyCare ForAllofLife’sHealth Transitions 319-342-2125 54YEARS RCSystems Aradiocommunications company. -VideoSurveillance -AccessControls WeServiceAllMajorBrands 1657FallsAve.Waterloo,IA
Insurance CompleteInsurance Since1920 2920FallsAve. Waterloo,IA 319-235-6719 www.tjernagelins.com 58YEARS SilverSpurSaddle Shop Featuringquality westernboots. 3574WShaulisRoad Waterloo,IA50701 319-988-4539 www.silverspurshop.com 58YEARS
CustomEngravers Stamps-Signs-Graphics PromoProducts Waterloo235-1681 www.sandeesltd.com amanda@sandees.net 55YEARS
63YEARS Financial DecisionsGroup Trust,Dependability, Experience 3013GreyhoundDr. Waterloo,IA50701 319-233-8476 www.FDG.net 63YEARS WayneClaassen Engineering ANDSURVEYING,INC. 2705UniversityAve. Waterloo,IA 319-235-6294 61YEARS CedarFalls ConstructionCo. FamilyOwnedHighway ConstructionBusiness
Town&Country HomeImprovement
3533W.AirlineHwy. Waterloo,IA50703 319-235-6746 62YEARS

Jobless rate low in NE Iowa

‘Every industry’ needs people as economic recovery in full swing

DONALD A PROMNITZ donald promnitz@wcfourier com

WATERLOO – The economic recovery from the depths of the COVID-19pandemicisinfullswing inNortheastIowa,buttherearestill gaps to address

Erin Erickson, the Waterloo branch director for Express Employment Professionals, said they ve seen high demand for employees in all sectors

So, we are finding that every industry now is needing people, whether they’re manufacturing, warehouseproduction,officework, medical/healthcarefacilities,really everyone has an opening in one of their business units” Erickson said “We’re finding even professional level positions There’s a lot of openings in that area as well as entry level”

According to the U S Bureau of

LaborStatistics,themostrecentreport released in December showed the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitanareahadanunemployment rate of 3 1% Iowa Workforce Development identified Black Hawk County at 3 3%, while Bremer and GrundyCountiesareseeingratesof

2 5% and 2 8% respectively Tama CountyislaggingbehindintheCedarValley,however,withanunemployment rate of 4 7%

Erickson said with the Target DistributionCenterandJohnDeere factoriesinthearea,manufacturing remainsthestrongestemployer,but Help Wanted signs are popping up everywhere It sprettymuch,youdrivedown the street, you stop into a business and everyone is going to have an opening of some sort,” Erickson said

However, while labor force participationhasalsoimproved Erickson said it was modest “What we are finding though is that we might have an interview linedupwithacharacterandacoupleofyearsago,ifsomeonecouldn’t

maketotheirinterview,theycalled outandtheyletyouknow Nowadays,theyjustdon’tshowup,”Erickson said “They don’t call they kind of just go off the chart MIA” Ericksonaddedthatsheisseeing this even with individuals who directly apply She attributed this at least in part to the wide number of jobs available With employees oftenapplyingtomultiplecompanies at once, potential employees may simplybegoingwiththebetteroption The job market is becoming more competitive Preliminary analysis by IWD found that labor force levels are lower for workers between the ages of 24 to 34 and among older workers between the ages of 55 to 64 as they were likely retiring The strongestrecoveryhasbeenamong 16-24, adding 35,000 since 2020 “Industries that have a high concentration of younger workers were some of the most impacted by the pandemic (accommodation and food services, retail, and personal services) knocking many out of the labor force,” wrote IWD

public information officer Jesse Dougherty

The workplace landscape also has made long-term shifts since the advent of the pandemic After seeing offices close down temporarily employers are finding working from home can work It’s becoming more frequent to see a hybridmodelemergingofemployees working in the office but also at home one day a week or more

Years In Business

The Iowa Laborshed Survey in 2021 found that 24% of employees were working at least part-time from home Dougherty added that it’s still common in some occupations, but not always feasible

This has created new opportunitiesforpotentialemployees BLS research found that there has been a25%increaseinworkerswithdisabilities to 73 million people nationwide

00 1 Sunday, March 5, 2023 | F3 PROGRESS 2023
CHRIS ZOELLER, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The John deere drivetrain Operations plant in Waterloo
Sunday, March 5, 2023
2023 42 YEARS PIPAC Health and Life Insurance Brokerage 1304 Technology Pkwy Suite 200 Cedar Fa ls IA 50613 319-277-8541 www p pac com 27 YEARS Service Signing LC Complete line of traffic control devices for sale or rental 3533 W Airline Hwy Waterloo, IA 50703 319-235-9356 www.servicesigning.com 26 YEARS Gulbranson’s Appliance Service Fast professional service on all major brands. 2509 Valley Park Dr Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-1437 or 319-231-0765 26 YEARS 422 Commercial St., Waterloo 319-291-2000 www.communitybt.bank 42 YEARS Anderson Collision 516 Washington St. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-5661 www.Andersoncollision.com info@andersoncollision.com 43 YEARS Rainsoft of NE Iowa Water Treatment & Plumbing We’re proud to be part of the community 3130 Marnie Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-233-2038 www.rainsoftneiowa.com 43 YEARS Diamond Body Shop SPECIALIZING IN COLLISION REPAIR “Quality Is Never An Accident” 3419 Lafayette, Evansdale 319-235-0479 www.diamondsbodyshop.com 20 YEARS RE/MAX Alliance Licensed in the State of Iowa 300 S. State St. Denver IA 50622 319-939-1611 bartelsk@hotmail.com 43 YEARS Satisfaction... Today & Tomorrow Since 1980 319-266-0807 INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL 41 YEARS Youngblut Motors Dave, Tadley and Howard 120 Vinton Waterloo. IA 50703 319-232-6849 youngblutmotors.com 41 YEARS Servicemaster by Harris Providing Fire and Water Damage Restoration, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Mold Remediation and Custodial Services 432 Locust St., Waterloo IA 50701 319-291-3991 www.smbyharris.com 41 YEARS VJ Engineering Civil/Structural Engineering and Surveying 1501 Technology Parkway Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-5829 www.vjengineering.com 38 YEARS Gray Transportation, Inc. Let Us - Help You Save Transportation Dollars! Waterloo, IA 50703 1-800-234-3930 9 YEARS Active Minds Early Learning Center High Quality Preschool & Child Care 1744 Falls Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-234-1060 www.activemindsia.com 41 YEARS Quail’s Auto Salvage “Why Buy New When Used Will Do 202 Glendale St., Waterloo IA 50703 319-234-7715 26 YEARS Jazzercise Waterloo/ Denver 319-984-5115 www.jazzercise.com 22 YEARS Impact Marketing Air - Web - Ink 1501 Technology Pkwy Ste. 200 Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-232-4332 www.impactmt.com 22 YEARS JSA Development Revitalizing Downtown Waterloo One Great Building at a Time 215 E 4th Street Waterloo, IA 50703 319-233-3147 www.jsadevelopment.com 26 YEARS Deery Brothers Collision Center Your Safety is Our Obligation 201 East Seerley Blvd. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-9900 www.deerycollision.com 42 YEARS Mudd Advertising We love it when you succeed! 915 Technology Parkway Cedar Falls, IA 50613 877-321-4992 www.mudd.com 25 YEARS Selesky Manufacturing MachiningWelding - Fabrication 339 Rath St., Waterloo 234-1388 22 YEARS Cetek Inc Industrial Controls Integration Microprocessor Based Control Systems Circuit Board Design | Mechanical Engineering & Design Controller Manufacturing Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-290-3910 • www.cetekinc.com 25 YEARS Wrage Realty Farms, Residential and Acreages David J. Wrage, Broker 315 Main Street Dysart IA 52224 319-476-7070 Cell: 319-640-8388 24 YEARS Glass Tech Auto Glass Repair & Replacement Thank you for your business! 1925 Waterloo Rd. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-268-9850 www.glasstechcedarfalls.com 22 YEARS Chapman Electric Inc. 319-232-5228 www.chapmanelectricinc.com 18 YEARS Advanced Automotive 202 W Gilbert Dr Evansdale, IA 50707 319-232-7658 www.aas202.com 6 YEARS Majestic Moon Party & Event Center 1955 Locke Ave. Waterloo, IA 50702 319-234-2656 Follow us on Facebook! 6 YEARS Cook’s Outdoors 1910 Center Street Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-260-2040 www.cookoutdoors.com 5 YEARS Cedar City Creamery 110 Lincoln Street Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-260-2152 cedarcitycreamery.com 9 YEARS Cedar Valley SportsPlex Where active lifestyles take shape 300 Jefferson St. Waterloo, IA 319-291-0165 www.CVSportsPlex.org 1st YEAR Lily Event Rental Wedding and Event Decor Rental Waterloo/Cedar Falls lilyeventrental.wixsite.com/event-rentals 21 YEARS Acupuncture & Optimum Health Clinic “Bring Your Body Back Into Balance” 3116 Kimball Ave. Waterloo, IA 50702 319-236-3363 www.taraacupuncture.com 29 YEARS Plumb Tech Plumbing, Heating Sheet Metal Fabrication Commercial, Residential 3261 W Airline Hwy W’loo 319-233-5616 28 YEARS Emerson Crane Rental & Transportation Family owned and operated 3488 Wagner Rd. Waterloo, IA 50703 319-234-9114 www.emersoncranerental.com 43 YEARS Cover-All Embroidery, INC Corporate Wearables And Work Wear 1808 East. St., Cedar Falls 319-277-2385 www.coverallembroidery.com 20 YEARS Fishsticks Millwork LLC 706 Ansborough Avenue Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-987-3091 www.fishsticks.biz We carry all types of floor covering cabinetry countertops, backsplash, trim & much more! Design, Sales & Installation. 25 YEARS East Iowa Plastics, Inc. 601 17th Street S.E. Independence, IA 50644 319-334-2552 www.eastiowaplastics.com 20 YEARS Pump Haus Pub & Grill 311 Main Street Downtown Cedar Falls 319-277-8111 www.thepumphaus.com 40 YEARS Karen’s Print Rite Business and Personal Printing Embroidery 2515 Falls Ave., Waterloo 235-6085 28 YEARS Cedar Valley Medical Specialists 4150 Kimball Avenue Waterloo, Iowa 50701 319-235-5390 www.cedarvalleymedical.com We Specialize in You. 42 YEARS C & C Welding and Sandblasting Owners: Jeff and Bryan Cizek Western SnowEx & Boss snow plows B & W Gooseneck Hitches 1714 River St. Waterloo, IA 50702 319-232-4741 www.candcwelding.com 36 YEARS Reedy’s Auto Sales Mike and Derrick Reedy We Tote the Note Used cars of all types 2009 Commercial St Waterloo, IA 50702 319-232-4667 www.reedysautosalesllc.com 35 YEARS Coachlight Homes Modular Homes New/Used Manufactured Homes Dennis Payne 3766 W Airline Hwy Waterloo, 50703 319-234-8610 www.coachlighthomes.com 27 YEARS Jason Strelow 1118 Ansborough Ave. Waterloo IA 50701 319-961-3000 (cell) www.berkshirehathawayhs.com/ One-Realty-Centre-IA302 27 YEARS Curran Plumbing Inc. Rod Curran - OwnerSince 1996 “The Plumber Your Friends Call” Waterloo, IA 50701 319-233-0353 24 YEARS Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Inc The Solution to Your Cleaning Needs 319-266-6947 www procleaninginc com 17 YEARS B&B Lock Key “A Better Locksmith” 2200 Falls Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-234-5397 After Hours: 319-232-1973 24 YEARS 222 Main Street Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-268-7222 www.montage-cf.com 24 YEARS New York Life John Fitzpatrick and Jeff Fitzpatrick 319-287-5915 23 YEARS McLaughlin INVESTMENT SERVICES Casey McLaughlin, Registered Principal - Since 1984full service brokerage. 621 Grant Ave, Waterloo, IA 50702 287-5080 42 YEARS Craig’s Vac Shop Sales & Service All Makes of Vacuums 111 West 4th Street Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-266-0105 See us on Facebook! 27 YEARS LJ’s Welding & Fabrication 141 Center St. Waterloo IA 50703 319-236-2844 42 YEARS Magee Construction Design/Build Industrial Commercial | Residential 1705 Waterloo Rd. Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-0100 www.mageeconstruction.com 31 YEARS Friends of the Family Safe Shelter - Housing Assistance - Case Management Housing Hotline 319-233-3094 Vic im Services Hotline 319-352-0037 www.fofia.org 31 YEARS BW Contractors, Inc. Family owned Industrial machinery moving & rigging shrink wrap services. 7741 Waverly Road Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-987-2070 www.bwcontractorsinc.com 32 YEARS Kvale Insurance 1425 W 5th St. Waterloo IA 50702 319-833-9428 www kvaleinsurance.com 34 YEARS Douglas Trunnell Insurance Agency Safeco - TravelersProgressive - State AutoNationwide 3826 Cedar Heights Dr Cedar Falls, IA 50613 319-277-2320 www.dtrunnellinsurance.com 34 YEARS Riley’s Floors Family owned & operated with over 33 years experience! 3230 Marnie Ave. Waterloo, IA 50701 319-233-9911 www.rileysfloors.com 9 YEARS Fowlkes Tree Service Tree & Stump Removal Services Independence, IA 319-327-1199 Fowlkestreeandstumpremoval.com 23 YEARS Jammie W Howard www.ares-ia.com Appraisal & Real Estate Services (319) 478-2990 (877) 844-SOLD VISIT US ON www.wcfcourier.com

$1 million contribution to Greater Black Hawk Habitat for Humanity.

„ The company continues to invest $130 million a year in equipment and facilities in Waterloo, according to Becky Guinn, factory manager of Deere’s Waterloo Works. A 60,000-squarefoot expansion at its 1.2-million square foot drivetrain operations complex, completed three years ago, is now full of equipment and in full production, and another 9,000 square foot expansion at the complex also is under way.

Additionally the drivetrain complex has undergone significant redevelopment as new manufacturing machinery has been installed “not only to improve our (manufacturing) processes, our quality, but also just the long-term sustainability of keeping that work here in Waterloo,” said Brett Schlomann, business unit manager.

A place to grow Schlomann, who’s also been at Deere 16 years, has a stake in keeping that work in town.

“I’m local to the area. I grew up in Denver,” said the 2004 Denver High School graduate. “I’m a third-generation Deere employee.

I also grew up on a family farm east of Denver.”

And the equipment on the farm, he said with a smile, was “all green.”

He came to Deere for multiple reasons, including “the opportunity I knew existed, growing up in a Deere family,” he said. He started while attending the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

“I was 20 years old. And once I got into the facility, to see the technology and work with the people, both on the production side and the salaried side, and just see the talent and the opportunity that existed here, it just is infectious,” he said. “It lures you in. It makes you

want to learn more because of the neat things you’re able to do. When you come in here every day, you are blown away with what we’re able to do.”

Jack Steuben, a supervisor and machining manufacturing engineer in the gear department in the drive train complex, has been with Deere 20 years. Like Schlomann, he started while attending UNI.

“So I got that experience while attending college. I went right into manufacturing engineering. I was in the cast iron area for several years; worked my way into being a project manager,” and was empowered to make purchase decisions on recent equipment upgrades.

“I’m from Jesup. Definitely knew about Deere and had lots of folks I knew work here and had very positive things to say. I’m very happy with that,” Steuben said.

A ‘perfect storm’

With the physical improvements and added personnel come added productivity, factory manager Guinn said. “We continue to grow the number of castings in our foundry,” she said, as well as developing innovations such as a new electric variable transmission,

or EVT, designed to enhance seed control, drivability and the ability to power large implements.

“It’s really that next generation transmission,” Guinn said. “That has driven a significant amount of investment in the gears and components side of the business. Then also, we set up another assembly line and test area as well. A lot of innovation in manufacturing.”

There’s also been an upgrading of all assembly lines, enhancing ergonomics as well as production. That and a growing agricultural market has also resulted in the employment growth.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm,” she said. “We brought more work into our factories with these new product programs. At the same time, demand continues to increase significantly.” Supply chain issues continue to hinder the ability to meet demand.

“We’ll get closer this year to meet demand, but we’ll still be short. A lot of it has been supply disruption,” Guinn said. “Now, is production better than where we were a year ago? For sure. But we continue to see some pretty significant shortages across our supply base. And I think that’s industrywide.”

Unlocking talent Deere continues to cultivate a work force locally.

“We’ve partnered with the Waterloo Schools and invested over $300,000 in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in a program that goes into the grade schools,” she said. Deere supported the district’s “ST Math” program in 11 Waterloo elementary schools, which resulted in improved overall standardized test score results and a narrowing of the achievement gap between Black and white students.

Deere also has supported several educational programs, including the Iowa’s Jobs for America’s Graduates, or IJAG, program at East High School; a “Career Inspire” event with Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa; programs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley; working with the Waterloo Schools, Waterloo Career Center and Hawkeye Community College. And Deere workers support school robotics programs throughout the Cedar Valley.

Guinn said Deere also supports Upwards Bound through the University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education, or UNI-CUE, and looks for ways to help the schools reach out to underserved populations. Hiring continues, Guinn said, and UNI remains a valuable resource.

“We continue to unlock talent across all those areas,” Guinn said.

Community potential

As part of overall community well-being, Deere also has supported the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and the Grow Cedar Valley economic development organization, of which Guinn is a former board president.

“I do think the Cedar Valley continues to be a place that’s attractive for families,” Guinn said. “Diversity is a challenge. We’re working with underserved communities to make sure that Waterloo is a great place for everybody to work and live. If

we want to attract talent in here we need good press on Waterloo, so to continue to focus on that is super important, and make this a place that’s attractive to people and to frame that in a positive light.”

“We need to continue to invest in Waterloo. It’s probably more important than ever,” Guinn said. “It’s important that, as a collective, this community comes together — Waterloo and Cedar Falls, the whole Cedar Valley — comes together as a collective to continue to invest in amenities to make this a great place to live and work.

“And continue to not break ourselves down; convey a positive message,” Guinn said. “Waterloo is as hard on itself as any place I’ve been. I fully support the mayor’s (Quentin Hart’s) initiative to ‘Fly the W.’ And continue to focus on all the positives that are here. There’s so many positives.” She noted it’s important to emphasize those in a time when technology can allow people to work anywhere.

Dave Davis, manager of Deere’s drivetrain operations, said that out of Deere’s current workforce, “I can think of a half dozen people who came out of Texas, Florida, Boston, and none of those are anxious to move back where they came from. They’ve all found ways to connect into the community, and they’re hungry to get that full-time John Deere position.”

That also goes for home-grown talent like Schlomann.

“Now, there’s challenges every day,” he said. “But when you take a step back as the end of the day and really get to see what you’ve accomplished — with the tractors leaving (East Donald Street) Tractor Works; the transmissions and axles coming out of here, the finished gears and shafts, and just get to be part of the continued investment to unlock more value, not only for our customers but also the Cedar Valley, it’s just an inspiring thing that keeps you coming back every day to really want to do more for this company and the community.”




434BaltimoreSt. Waterloo,IA 319-234-1537


In-personWorship: 10:15a.m.Sunday Finduson Facebookand firstbaptistwaterloo.org

Rev.JonathanSinger Rev.CarolTeare

Lutheran ComeWorship

TrinityAmerican LutheranChurch OurDoorsareOpentoAll

605 West4thStreet Sunday9:00AM


SundayoftheMonth Come WalkwithChrist to GrowinFaith And ServeinLove

ChristianChurch (DisciplesofChrist)

CentralChristian Church

3475KimballAvenue,Waterloo 319-234-6231


Hopecityisaplacewhere everyoneiswelcome, becausenooneisperfect, andanythingispossible.

3011stStreetNW Waverly,IA50677 319.352.3850 www.stpaulswaverly.org


Worship Sunday9:30a.m.

WeworshiponSundaymornings at9:30am

BibleStudy Wednesday 11:00a.m.

WigglyWorshipforpreschooland earlyelementaryages hospitalityhourfollowing.


JoinusonSundayat 8:30,10&11:30AM

118HighSt.Waterloo,IA IN.OF.FORTHECITY

FROGPadforYouth: Sundays4:00p.m.

GroupWednesdayevening5:45-7. birththroughhighSchoolGroupF.r.o.G,pad




ChurchandPreschool 4820OsterPreschool CedarFalls,IA 319-260-2000|www.ilcv.org

(319)266-3541 www.bethlehemcf.org

SundayWorshipService: 9:00am

LentenMidweekWorship: Wednesdays,March2-April6 7:00pm


Worshipalsoavailableonlineat www.bethlehemcf.org PastorAmyEisenmann

SERVICETIMES: 8:00a.m.&10:30a.m. WednesdayLentonServices StartingFeb.22 6:00p.m. Rev.G.Kapankaand Rev.K.Richter

Saturdays- 5:30p.m. Sundays- 9:00&11:00a.m. Our9:00a.m.worship serviceislivestreamed onlineat stpaulswaverly.org/live PR.MARKANDERSON, INTERIMLEADPASTOR


902MainSt.,CedarFalls 277-3930 firstprescf.org office@firstprescf.org

SundayWorship10:30am Joinusforworship,studyand ourSHINEChildren&Youth program.

00 1 F4 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
Deere From F1 CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER a robot handles drivetrain manifold parts at the John deere drivetrain Operations plant in Waterloo. Worshipwiththese CedarValleyChurches PresbyterianChurchPCUSA Westminster Presbyterian Church 1301KimballAve.,Waterloo 319-234-5501wpcw.org SundayServices: 9:00amTraditional 11:15amCasual PastorJonnyCraig WithChristasour cornerstoneweBelieve, Become,Belong,Build Presbyterian(USA) First Presbyterian Church 505FranklinSt.,Waterloo 319-233-6145 1stpresby.org SundayWorship: 10:00a.m. Live-StreamandRecorded www.bit.ly/1stpresby UnitedMethodist Kimball AvenueUnited Methodist Church 1207KimballAvenue, Waterloo,IA 319-232-4103 www.kimballaveumc.com SundayWorship9:30a.m. Inpersonworshipandlive streamingonFacebook Rev.JoelR.Higgins Lutheran(ELCA) Bethlehem Lutheran Church 4000HudsonRoad CedarFalls,IA50613

Waterloo municipal broadband starting hookups

First phase of buildout gets underway this year

WATERLOO — The first phase of the municipal broadband buildout in Waterloo rolls out this year.

Southern Waterloo, near Fire Station 6 o of Ansborough Avenue, will be the first area to have a fiber backbone implemented beginning in the fall. The backbone project, which connects 100 miles of fiber optic cable to over 100 sites across Waterloo, is expected to cost just more than $29 million.

After the backbone is set up, the fiber-to-premises portion of the project will connect broadband to homes in the city. That more extensive project is expected to cost about $86 million.

“This is the most significant

project in Waterloo that has taken place for 100 years,” Andy Van Fleet, the chair of the Waterloo Telecommunications Utility board of trustees said. “This is that big of a project.”

After the first phase in southern Waterloo, northeast Waterloo will be next in 2024 and then northwest Waterloo in 2025, weather permitting.

In September, Waterloo residents voted to move forward with using $20 million in general obligation bonds for building a fiber network to support a municipal broadband utility.

Maggie Burger of Speer Financial said the city will not would use property tax levies to pay for the project. Speer Financial is the finance entity helping Waterloo with the project. Instead, the bond would be repaid with revenue from the broadband utility system.

More than 84% of residents voted “yes” and a total of 2,762 ballots were cast. That’s 6.57% of the registered voters in Waterloo.

“I think that’s significant that the citizens want their own fiber system,” Van Fleet said. “We don’t have to look very far to see how successful (Cedar Fall Utilities) has been, and this is modeled very similarly.”

Along with the $20 million bond, Van Fleet said, there are a lot of grant dollars to “take advantage of.”

The Waterloo City Council approved a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s

Economic Development Adminis-

tration to construct a middle-mile network — the physical fiber optic infrastructure needed for internet connectivity. The EDA investment will be matched with $667,682 in local funds.

Van Fleet said there also is $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act money, $15 million in an outstanding grant application, $3 million from Waterloo Water Works, among others.

As Waterloo starts its project,

a private company is starting to implement its own fiber network.

Metronet, based in Indiana, recently completed construction in the neighborhood around Crossroads Mall. Construction began in the fall and will continue for about two years.

Workers for Metronet will be digging and burying cable on the easements of Waterloo properties, but Van Fleet said this is not the city’s fiber. Those a ected by Metronet’s construction will receive notices 30 days in advance. Flags will also be placed and Metronet trucks and employees may be around the neighborhood.

Van Fleet said Waterloo’s fiber is di erent from Metronet’s because it will be “ubiquitous” rather than “selective and strategic.”

“Our profit motives are di erent than incumbent industries,” Van Fleet said. “We’ll keep money here, and those dollars will stay local … If people utilize the system, it’ll be good for our community because we’ll have those dollars to build a better Waterloo.”

Waterloo Career Center expansion brings new classes to Cedar Valley

MARIA KUIPER maria.kuiper@wcfcourier.com

WATERLOO — Waterloo Schools is preparing more students for the workforce with the expansion of the Waterloo Career Center.

With its newly finished, almost 60,000-squarefoot building, the Career Center will add 12 new programs.

Currently, the center has 18 programs that include classes like nursing, construction, plumbing, early childhood education, marketing, digital graphics, culinary and hospitality/tourism.

Construction will move from the current building to the new building, thanks to the new bays that span from floor to ceiling.

New programs that will make use of the big bays include courses like auto technician, auto collision, diesel repair and industrial mechanics – formerly called millwright.

The bays will allow for real hands-on experience, according to Je Frost, executive director of

professional technical education.

Frost said classes will be taught in a “real-life setting.”

“One of the things that we’ve run into with our construction class is we have a really low ceiling,” Frost said. “Because of that they haven’t been able to do a lot of things they wanted to, and that might include building modular houses or taller structures and things like that.”

There are also 15 classrooms on the first and second floors of the building.

The classrooms could hold programs such as agricultural science, horticulture, cosmetology, fashion/textile design, interior design, welding, HVAC and police/fire science.

Frost said he considers a number of things to decide programs to add.

“We look at local, regional and state jobs and long-term job forecasts and try to figure out what are pathways or programs or career options that are out there that are going to be viable for our students moving forward,” he said. “A lot of our decisions are driven by really what careers are going to be active, and we also do take into account

student interest, too.”

Even with the dozen new programs, the goal is to keep students interested in their other classes, with a “cross-modality” aspect. For example, there could be an opportunity for a cosmetology student to learn how to start their own business.

“We’re going to try to connect, cross-pollinate between programs to really kind of create that synergy between them,” Frost said.

Students also have the option to earn certifications instead of credits, such as OSHA or computer numerical control certification, by advancing in courses based on competencies.

Frost said once students have “stackable” credentials — a sequence of skills built up over time — they become more hireable. In skilled trades those credentials mean more to an employer than credits earned in a class.

Instructors are top-of-theline certified professionals, with classes taught by people such as master electricians or registered nurses.

Currently, the WCC expansion

holds Central Middle School students while the middle school is being renovated. Those students are learning in 31 temporary classrooms along with the current 15 permanent classrooms.

When winter break ends in January 2024, Central Middle School students will move back to their

newly renovated building. From January to March, Larson Construction will go in and deconstruct the temporary classrooms and put the finishing touches on the WCC expansion. The career center students will move in the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.

00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH5, 2023 | F5 PROGRESS 2023
Fiber optic cable and construction site in a rural area
Van Fleet Frost from Greetings  Downtown Janesville. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Cedar Falls Waverly Denver Waterloo Janesville 63 63 218 218 3 BREMER BLACK HAWK AREA OF DETAIL Bremer County Distance to:  Des Moines: 136 miles; 2 hours, 8 minutes  Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 207 miles; 3 hours, 9 minutes  Chicago: 316 miles; 5 hours, 8 minutes JANESVILLE Established: 1849 Average commute to work: 22.5 minutes Population: 1,034 Median household income: $63,750 Employment rate: 69.9% BRAGGING RIGHTS Janesville straddles two counties — Black Hawk and Bremer — and is the oldest city in both. JANESVILLE from Greetings  Denver experienced a 7.8% population increase over the past decade. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Cedar Falls Waverly Waterloo Denver 63 218 218 20 20 3 AREA OF DETAIL Bremer County BREMER BLACK HAWK Distance to:  Des Moines: 143 miles; 2 hours, 13 minutes  Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 188 miles; 3 hours, 11 minutes  Chicago: 315 miles; 5 hours, 9 minutes DENVER Established: 1863 Average commute to work: 21.9 minutes Population: 1,919 Median household income: $67,228 Employment rate: 67.1% BRAGGING RIGHTS Denver is among a handful of Iowa small towns thriving and growing, bucking the trend of rural decline.
CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Temporary classrooms have been built inside the Waterloo Career Center annex, where classes will be held for the next year while renovations are made at the current Central Middle School building.
00 1 F6 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 ThefollowingbusinessesparticipatedinourcontestinDecember.Howmanywereyouabletoidentify? ThewinnerofourLogoContestandtherecipientofayear’ssubscriptiontotheWaterlooCourier. MARY JANE MCCOLLUM, CEDARFALLS TO 20 17 19 18 1 3 4 2 6 5 8 12 11 9 10 13 15 16 14 22 23 21 24 25 26 7



New restaurants forge ahead in Cedar Valley despite the challenges


For the Courier

In the aftermath of COVID-19, many restaurants still struggle with increased food costs,hiring and retaining staff and supply-chain issues But those challenges aren’t stopping a number of area businesses,many who are familiar faces in the local food industry

David Grawe opened Frederick’s Sips and Eats in downtown Waverly about two months ago Grawe is no stranger to the business side of food and drink.

He has owned and operated The Pour House bar on Bremer Avenue in Waverly for 19 years He also had a restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids for five years

“Frederick’s is the exact opposite of Pour House, Grawe said of his newest endeavor, located just two doors down in the former East Bemer Diner building. “Pour House is a bar with frozen

pizza and popcorn. Frederick’s is about the food We do have a small martini list about 20 draft lines, Moscow mules and some wines but the focus is the food.

I’m not trying to rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Grawe said he had been in talks with the diner’s owner for a couple of years, and “it worked out the right way”

“I brought most of the menu from our Cedar Rapids site with me, and the chef who developed it was available.

“I kind of do things on a whim, but there were some strong reasons to open Frederick’s Downtown Waverly needed a place like this Any successful downtown has successful restaurants and bars to draw people to the area and stay after The other night, I noticed a lot of people downtown, and there were a lot of faces I recognized from Frederick’s”

Grawe said he also wanted to pay homage to Waverly and to his family –

who’s histories are intertwined.

The name Frederick goes back several generations in Grawe’s family It is Grawe’s middle name shared by his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather There is a picture of all of them on the wall at Frederick’s along with a mural featuring the name of the Waverly Publishing Co., which his great-great grandfather founded in 1890

“My family did a ton of stuff for Waverly,” Grawe said. “It’s cool to be able to honor them”

Grawe said his experience in the bar and restaurant industries is a huge advantage for him with Frederick’s

“I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I know a lot of people, he said You kind of have a built-in audience, but I still have to execute with the food and with the service.”

Another experienced restauranteur, Bryan Sink, opened Bryan’s Blue Plate in the Best Western Hotel in downtown Waterloo late last year Sink formerly owned Bryan’s of 4th. That restaurant closed in 2018

Bryan’s Blue Plate combines three of Sink’s passions – food, music and art. It also has a bar

His artwork is featured throughout the establishment, which boasts two stages He also plays drums for the house band, The Set.

“I retired a couple of years ago I was playing music and painting portraits,” Sink said. “The business that was here before didn’t take off It just couldn’t get any traction So the timing was right and it was a great opportunity

Since opening, Sink has been

Please see FOOD, Page G2

00 1 Buildingforthefuture Hawkeye teaches students sustainable construction PAGE G3 Likeaboss 8 tips for making a good first impression PAGE G6 Rollwiththechanges When COVID got tough, VGM got going PAGE G8 INSIDE MARCH 5, 2023 | SECTION G
A mural on the wall sets the theme for Frederick s Sips N Eats in Waverly CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Bryan Sink owner of Bryan’s Blue Plate opened his new restaurant on Nov 1 at the Best Western Plus Executive Residency in downtown Waterloo

tweaking the hours and trying different options for lunch

“Lunch has been a failure” he said “But everything else has been a huge success”

The restaurant features a unique ordering system “No servers”

Sink said “Our service area is tucked inside the existing kitchen area No servers And it’s ‘meat and three’Customers can pick one meat and three sides It’s a southern tradition”

The restaurant’s name also comes from a tradition

“In the late 1800s a restaurant would serve cheap meals on blue plates,”Sink said “It became popular again during the Depression” Bryan s Blue Plate features live music nearly every night “I wouldn t have a restaurant without live music,” Sink said

Sink credits his daughter, Mattea, who is 15, with the look of the restaurant “She has been my artistic compass here She chose all the colors and helped design the space

Another local restaurant is expanding its business Starbeck’s Smokehouse owners Jeff Starbeck and Cindy Herman are set to open a new location in the Marriott hotel on Westfield Avenue in Waterloo on April 1 at the former site of the Blue Iguana

The pair opened at their first location on University Avenue in Cedar Falls in September 2017 and then more than doubled their space when they moved to a larger location at College Square Mall

five years later

“The space had been vacant for quite some time,” Starbeck said “The owner approached us He liked what we were doing in Cedar Falls Expansion was always kind of in the works from the start,” He said “We opened our first location with 21 seats to kind of test the waters, to see how the market would respond We moved up to 75 seats, and now the new location will have a lot bigger footprint with 175 seats and a full bar

“We are doing some minor remodeling and of course decorating with our signs and memorabilia

“We’re always looking to do more to expand the operation We are more than confident that the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area can support two locations”

“It’s what you put into it,” he said “Cindy and I are on site every day It makes it a lot easier to get up in the morning when you are doing

State of the arts

The Cedar Valley’s arts and culture organizations continue to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic

In February, audiences packed the Grout Museum’s recently renovated Norris Corson Family Planetarium for six sold-out shows Patrons have lined up for exhibition openings, concerts, special events and live performances at such venues as the Hearst Center for the Arts, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Waterloo Community Playhouse and Cedar Falls Community Theatre.

Most spring classes and workshops at the Waterloo Center for the Arts are already filled to capacity Hundreds of visitors from throughout the Midwest braved winter’s chill to attend the Cedar Falls Historical Society’s Ice Harvest Festival.

“I’ve seen enhanced interest in appreciation and participation in the arts,” said Kent Shankle, WCA executive director “When people were at home during the pandemic, we saw a resurgence in hobbies from cooking and puzzles to artmaking as ways to spend our time and be fulfilled I’ve seen that interest continuing in the strong participation in our classes and people’s desire to make art part of their daily lives in ways they didn’t before COVID,” he explained.

Since the pandemic, “people have been anxious to get out and do things and have experiences, said Billie Bailey, Grout Museum District executive director “For a community our size, we have lots to offer, a lot of variety and options from museums and art centers to community theaters a performing arts center and more. The Grout is definitely one of the larger venues, and we have a variety of options to choose from within the district.”

The museum’s “Opening New Doors”campaign has raised funds for improvements now under construction, including moving the main entrance door, admissions desk and museum store to provide easier access to the planetarium and museum exhibits

When those projects are complete, Bailey anticipates focusing on updates at the Imaginarium and historic Rensselaer Russell House. “The Imaginarium is showing its age, and the Russell House requires upkeep They both need TLC.

The Grout is also ‘”leaning into offering more programming for that in-between age of visitors between young parents with kids and older ‘remember when’ patrons” Bailey said WCP Executive Director Anita

what you love”

And if you are looking for something sweet after partaking in one of these newly-opened restaurants,the Cedar Valley is boasting some new offerings

Jennifer and Justin Roberts opened a Crumbl Cookies franchise in Waterloo in November

The company started in Logan, Utah, in 2017 The Roberts lived on a farm near that first store and worked in the area They now split their time between Iowa and Utah, and their son Collin will be opening a Crumbl franchise in Cedar Falls soon near the Target store on Viking Road

The Waterloo store 1503 Flammang Drive, boasts a crisp white and pink interior Employees – and the owners – busily shape, bake and transfer cookies Two large mixers are monitored as they help make a variety of cookie doughs

“We have a rotating menu that changes every Monday,” Jennifer Roberts said “Everything is made

fresh every day, from the cookies to the jams to the toppings Cookies are pulled after two hours”

Recent offerings included chocolate cake, peanut butter banana, sugar and Kentucky butter cookies Milk and ice cream are also offered

Jennifer Roberts said they have enjoyed a good response since opening

Another bakery is new to the market Bambinos opened in Waterloo 1445 Ansborough Ave in March of last year and will be opening a second location in downtown Cedar Falls on March 8 at 401 Main St

Originally Bambinos owner, Donna O’Brien,and her sister Lori Heuthorst (who now works at the bakery), baked out of O’Brien’s home for a cause dear to her heart

– the Cedar Valley’s Beyond Pink Team

As a cancer survivor, O’Brien’s bakeries are cause-based “It is a labor of love,” she said Last year, Bambinos raised $21,000 for the Beyond Pink Team

When you walk in the store you will be greeted with “Ciao bella,” hello beautiful in Italian “I want everyone who comes in to feel special” O’Brien said The bakery and the baked goods pays homage to O’Brien’s Sicilian background The business gets its name from the sandwich cookie O’Brien created

The bakeries also do custom cakes and cookie orders, cookie kits, cinnamon rolls and a variety of cookies based on family recipes “We want to do things right,for the right reasons,” O’Brien said

Ross described an “uptick” in theater attendance since the public began returning to “normal” last year It began with the simple drive to attend live theater again “but there’s a different feeling about it now They wanttogetoutand enjoy theater, but now are appreciating that sense of shared community, a shared experience.”

Founded in 2016, WCP is Iowa’s longest continuously operated community theater The Cedar Valley “cares very deeply about our long history, and we want to make sure it’s always here,” she said. At te n d a n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y school groups, “fell off the radar” at Black Hawk Children’s Theatre during COVID, “and that’s tough to come back from We’re working with schools more intentionally and including them in a broader range of what we do and encouraging more kids to come and audition for roles or get involved backstage. That brings out more family and friends to see shows,” Ross explained.

Waterloo City Council approved completing a study reviewing WCP’s Walker Building with an eye for sharing more space with Waterloo Center for the Arts, home to WCP’s performance stage, the Hope Martin Theatre. The Walker presently houses administrative offices,costume shop and a black-box theater

Greg Holt CFCT’s new executive director and former WCP artistic director admitted it was “scary there for a while after COVID We worried that people might never get back to enjoying live shows concerts lectures or sermons with large groups of people. But the energy in 2022, with people auditioning for shows and audiences returning to theater, really bounced back. There’s something about being at a live performance.”

But with limited dollars available and the public’s fractured entertainment interests, audiences have become more discerning. “You’ve got to give them something they want to see, Holt pointed out.

Jason Weinberger cited renewed vitality in the Cedar Valley’s arts community “It’s exciting and a relief to be back in normal operating mode and planning and focusing on what we want to do, the concerts and events we want to present to the public,” said the

wcfsymphony artistic director

Efforts for more community outreach, including outdoor concerts have met with considerable success in the past year “We want to put ourselves in places where people can experience what we do, to meet people where they are”he explained, in hopes of changing attitudes about classical music and attending concerts

“Our program is strong but we have to be savvy about how we execute our plans The symphony bringsalotofvaluetothecommunity There’s a cooperative spirit, too,in working with other organizations like UNI School of Music and the Northeast Iowa Youth Orchestra,aswellasschools,theBoys and Girls Club of the Cedar Valley and others,” Weinberger said

GBPAC Executive Director Steve Carignan conceded that “there are some folks who are still anxious about COVID and may never come back – they don’t want to risk it. And some people just got out of the habit of attending live performances We can’t count on old custom coming back Acquisition and retention of audience is harder and more important than ever”

GBPAC hosts upwards of 300 performances each year, including nationally touring shows and artists, UNI School of Music, the wcfsymphony and other regional events and activities A $14 9 million fundraising campaign, “Facility for the Future,” is underway and will result in interior and exterior upgrades, expanded ticket office and marquee lounge event space, among other amenities

In the past year, famous-name performing artists and Broadway touring companies often sold out at GBPAC, while ticket sales for lesser-known acts were “a little soft. So you have different expectations and stage those shows for a smaller audience, maybe a club setting,” Carignan said.

Then there’s the living room couch

a chief competitor for the performing arts “And that’s not entirely wrong,” Carignan said,

because people have gotten used to “on-demand” entertainment.

Holt agreed. “Streaming entertainment and binge-watching shows is convenient, and people can look at it any time they want”

And COVID still exists, Carignan pointed out. “We have an overt awareness to illness –COVID or otherwise It’s harder to find workers for backstage, and that complicates lots of other things we do On the other side, a lot of art centers are doing less than they used to That’s getting us access to acts we haven’t always had. We’re confirming acts that we didn’t think we’d get for three or four more years”

After six years living in entertainment-rich Austin, Texas, Cory Hurless was attracted to the Cedar Valley by the level of community support and engagement in the arts The Hearst Center’s new cultural programs supervisor was “happily surprised. There’s a hunger for experiences in culture, visual arts, exhibits, theater, live music and more engagement here than I saw in Austin. Guest stay longer, ask questions, read the captions on exhibits and pay more attention. They’re not on their phones”

Cedar Falls Historical Society has seen attendance figures steadilyclimbingatspecialevents, programs classes and exhibits at the Victorian House Museum, Ice House Museum and other historic sites

“With the pandemic, our in-person visitors dropped drastically, but numbers are getting back to pre-pandemic days We try to offer unique experiences for people to enjoy from lectures to kids and family activities, workshops, exhibits, tours, said CFHS Executive Director Carrie Eilderts

CFHS purchased the building at 315 Clay St. in Cedar Falls and hopes to begin renovations and an addition in 2024 It will add more classrooms, climate-controlled archival storage and a new twostory museum that celebrates business, industry, agriculture

and transportation in Cedar Falls

Yet economic shock waves continue to linger Iowa’s arts and culture sector represents about 2 1% of the gross state product and 38 110 jobs The U S Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies reported that arts and culture contributed $4.2 billion to Iowa’s economy in 2020

That represents an 8% decrease in value from 2019 and decreased employment of 12% during the pandemic Federal and state grant funding is not as readily available and more competitive. Fundraising is always challenging, and stretching resources grows ever more important as costs increase. Higher costs often means increased ticket prices and admission fees

“It’s more expensive for us to produce theater now, CFCT’s Holt said, including paying royalties for the rights to perform a play, the cost of scripts, costume construction and rentals, materials such as fabric, wood and paint for costumes and scenery concessions, etc

“We have to manage costs and make things happen with limited funding,” said WCA’s Shankle. “If we’re doing it well, it looks like magic People think because art is often associated with wealth that we have lots of money and resources That’s not the case. We do a lot with limited resources and maximize resources through partnerships and leveraging private support.”

Fortunately, he said, WCA was blessed to have “an incredible facility and city support for basic operations”

WCP’s Ross remains optimistic about the Cedar Valley and its wealth of arts and culture resources I’m not originally from here, but I stayed because of the arts and community support The state of the arts, for me, is good.

“Yes, that’s a little naive, but there’s always going to be art. People want to take risks and raise their voices in new ways”

00 1 G2 | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
Food From G1
MARIA KUIPER MARIA KUIPER@WCFCOURIER COM Jennifer Roberts stands in her Crumbl Cookies franchise CHRIS ZOELLER COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Lorie Heuthorst grabs a fresh cookie for a customer at the Bambinos pop-up store in Cedar Falls on Feb 10 The location will open for regular hours on March 8 MELODY PARKER melody parker@wcfcourier com
Level of community support, engagement continues to climb
CHRIS ZOELLER, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kent Shankle executive director of the Waterloo Center for the Arts stands next to the Hieroglyphs activity at the newly reopened Phelps Playscape in May Hurless Ross Carignan Holt

ANDY MILONE andy milone@wcfcourier com

WATERLOO Building science is the future of the construction industry

And you can study energy efficienthousingbyenrollinginHawkeye Community College’s sustainable construction and design programtohelpbuild“net-zeroenergy homes from start to finish

In two years you can earn an Associate’sofAppliedScienceDegree insustainableconstructionanddesign

“The guys who dig the holes and pour the footings will put the last piece of trim on after starting from nothingbutgrass”saidBenStrickert, an instructor from Jesup

“Net-zero” or “high performing” houses entail a renewable energy system that offsets most or all the home’s annual energy use,

“The only way to get to net zero is to have some sort of alternative energy,” said Craig Clark, an instructorfromLaPorteCity “That’s typically solar in our area We can’t reallyhaveawindturbineouthere”

Inadditiontosolarpanels,which students help install, the program promotes the use of insulated concrete forms nicknamed “styrofoam blocks” that contribute to the larger mission of establishing air tightness

Instead of just wood frame in a house, ICF makes it really air tight because we don’t have all these seams in the plywood, and then thermal mass plays into it,”Strickert said “The thermal mass of the concrete that the house is built out of – clear up to the roof line from the footings down to the hole – is like a big battery Once you warm that mass up it holds that temperature for a lot longer period of time That’s one of our big teachings”

The sustainable construction and design program was establishedadecadeagoandhasevolved

It’s a first of its kind in the area

The program started with less

than 10 students and has doubled in size It’s always had hands-on training butnotalwayshomeconstruction like it offers today

Chris Woods of Fairbank was part of that first cohort in 2013, graduating in 2015 Since then he has worked at his family’s construction business

If the program had not been added, the Wapsie Valley High School graduate would have studied civil engineering,the only pro-

gramrelatedtoconstructionatthe time

He’d learned a lot from his father about building science, but was able to take his skills to new heights through the sustainable construction and design program

“My father hadn’t had the time to dive into it as deep as we did at Hawkeye,”saidWoods “Thebuilding science and energy auditing really gave us a whole other understanding of how we’re building

and what we can do to build more energyefficientlyandbuildthebest home we can”

Woodswasintroducedtoatechnique called blower door testing

“I bought my own blower door,” he said “The blower door test is partoftheresidentialauditingportion of the program, and that class basically can be for new construction or existing homes If someone comes in and does an energy audit onyourhouse,theytellyouthereal troublespotsandwhereyou’reusingalotofyourenergy Itdiagnoses your house from an energy standpoint”

HiscohortbuiltashedatHawkeye near the Wellness Center the first and second year, and then helpedHabitatforHumanitybuild a home just east of the campus

After Woods left the program participants were presented with the opportunity to help city of Waterloo address blighted areas by constructing the first of three approximately 1100 square-foot houses in the 200 and 300 blocks of Newell Street They were considered net-zero “ready” buildings because the city and college didn’t have the bud-

get at the time to install the solar panels Fast forward to the college’s foundation purchase of its own land, including 1514 Johnston Street, and a larger tract known as the Williston Fields project at 1235 WestSeventhSt ,wherefivehomes will be constructed, including one that’s nearing completion

DarinDietz,apartnerwithLarry Elwood Concrete, an ICF builder and member of the program’s advisory council, was a part of the big push for the students to get involved in construction of the actual homes from start to finish

“Thebestthingyoucandoforthe student is to see a project go from starttofinish,andthentheycanget involved in every aspect of it,” he said “Allthestudentsarenotgoing totakethesamepathandwhatthat does, it broadens their perspective on the whole entire industry”

He says Clark and Strikert are “pioneers” in academia regarding construction,andyouhavetotravel welloutoftheareatogetwhat’sbeing offered at Hawkeye

“They are literally teaching the only class of its kind across the country with the ICF,” Dietz pointed out

Whilealotofthetalkisaboutimprovingenergyefficiency,henoted ICF“focusesonthestructureofthe actual building” and is “cutting edge” because it makes buildings more structurally sound “Ifwecanincreasetheefficiency of that structure and at the same time, make it stronger all of a sudden,ittakessomuchlessenergy toheatandcooltostartwith,”Dietz said “If you then use the efficient equipment,it’sthat’smuchbetter”

GraduatesofHawkeye’sprogram are typically a diverse group of different backgrounds and ages The exceptionhasbeenthelatestcohort


Most graduates end up working for residential contractors trim carpenters, flooring contractors and everything in between

There’sasmallernumberwhoget intodesign writinguphouseplans orgoingontomoreuniquejobslike monitoring energy for utility companiestomakesurestructuremeets code

00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 | G3 PROGRESS 2023
for the future HCC program teaches students sustainable construction methods
CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Hawkeye Community College s sustainable construction and design program is constructing an energy efficient house at Williston Fields in Waterloo
BUILDING OUR WORKFORCE www.hawkeyecollege.edu 319-296-4000 SERVING MORE THAN 25,000 INDIVIDUALS A YEAR MORE THAN 50,000 GRADUATES 92% of graduates stay in Iowa 92% of students are from Hawkeye’s service area 68% of jobs require education and training beyond high school Hawkeye’s Economic Impact supports 6400 JOBS Families of high school students earning college credits SAVED $4.6 MILLION Training services 300 BUSINESSES
Hawkeye Community College s sustainable construction and design program instructors Craig Clark left and Ben Strickert talk about their students involvement in the Williston Fields project in Waterloo
00 1 G4 | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023 from Greetings LA PORTE CITY  Downtown La Porte City features raised brick pavement COURIER FILE PHOTO Evansdale maps4news.com/©HERE Lee Enterprises graphic Waterloo La Porte City 63 63 218 218 8 20 20 BLACK HAWK TAMA BENTON CK HA AREA OF DETAIL Black Hawk County 380 380 380 Distance to:  Des Moines: 113 miles; 1 hour, 51 minutes  Minneapolis/ St Paul: 236 miles; 3 hours, 37 minutes  Chicago: 290 miles; 4 hours 41 minutes LA PORTE CITY Established: 1863 Average commute to work: 25 3 minutes Population: 2,284 Median household income: $60,298 Employment rate: 65.8% BRAGGING RIGHTS In 2020, La Porte City completed a $3 million streetscape renovation of Main Street downtown, including a restoration of the raised-brick pavement that autos and carriages rode over for generations from Greetings HUDSON  Downtown Hudson CHRIS ZOELLER, COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE Lee Enterprises graphic Cedar Falls Orange Waterloo Hudson 63 218 20 57 58 AREA OF DETAIL Black Hawk County BREMER BLACK HAWK Schrock Road Distance to:  Des Moines: 104 miles; 1 hour 46 minutes  Minneapolis/ St Paul: 225 miles; 3 hours 26 minutes  Chicago: 307 miles; 4 hours, 56 minutes HUDSON Established: 1893 Average commute to work: 16 3 minutes Population: 2,546 Median household income: $88,347 Employment rate: 73.6% BRAGGING RIGHTS Home of Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, a 150year dairy farm owned and operated by the sixth-generation of Hansens Together, we are We know that together we can create thriving communities for everyone. The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa is your partner in connecting your generosity to a community vision. We do this by investing in nonprofits improving quality of life for all people and providing leadership on key community issues Join us in here for good Veridian is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which means our earnings go back to members through better rates and lower fees The credit union difference – that’s the value of Veridian “ “ Renee Christoffer CEO and president veridiancu.org Quality parts, quality service ready to go We offer a wide range of solutions from • Onsite repair • In shop repair • Parts when you need them 3565 University Ave., Waterloo, IA 319-234-5796 431partsvmdl@ur.com Use code #urparts and receive 10% off your first order. Mechanics and Truck Drivers jobs.unitedrentals.com search Waterloo, Iowa NOW HIRING:

IowaChildCareResource& ReferralCanOffer: •FREEreferralstochildcareinyourarea. •Customizedreferralsonchildcare optionstofityourfamily’sneeds.

•Parentresourcestohelpchooseaquality childcareprovider. •Informationonfinancialassistance programs.

ContactaParentReferral SpecialistToday!





00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH5, 2023 | G5 PROGRESS 2023 from Greetings JESUP  Downtown Jesup. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Oelwein Independence Jesup 20 3 FAYETTE BUCHANAN AREA OF DETAIL Buchanan County BLACKHAWK 220th St. Baxter Ave. 150 150 281 Distance to:  Des Moines: 143 miles; 2 hours, 11 minutes  Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 238 miles; 3 hours, 39 minutes  Chicago: 254 miles; 4 hours, 41 minutes JESUP Established: 1860 Average commute to work: 25.4 minutes Population: 2,508 Median household income: $72,500 Employment rate: 76.7% BRAGGING RIGHTS Jesup was named for Connecticut-born philanthropist Morris Ketchum Jesup, president of the Dubuque and Sioux City railroad, who was instrumental in bringing the railroad through the town. from Greetings INDEPENDENCE  Wapsipinicon Mill Museum COURTESY PHOTO 220th St. maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Oelwein Jesup Independence 20 3 FAYETTE BUCHANAN AREA OF DETAIL Buchanan County BLACKHAWK 150 150 281 Distance to:  Des Moines: 151 miles; 2 hours, 16 minutes  Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 247 miles; 3 hours, 46 minutes  Chicago: 244 miles; 4 hours, 39 minutes INDEPENDENCE Established: 1847 Average commute to work: 22.6 minutes Population: 6,064 Median household income: $54,097 Employment rate: 62.8% BRAGGING RIGHTS The five-story Wapsipinicon Mill and Dam became operational in 1854. A beautiful backdrop to the city and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the mill is open for tours and special events in the summer. CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES
DIREC TOR Y LookingforQuality
importantdecisionsyourfamilywillmake! wonder discovery & learning PhelpsYouthPavilion create|learn|play Tuesday-Saturday|10AM-4PM Sunday|1PM-4PM CelebratethePhelpsYouth Pavilion’s15th bir thday with$1.50admission onApril7&8 StateLicensed•LimitedScholarshipOptions Providingqualitychildcareforages18monthsto 10yearsfor52years. (319)268-1944-www.cvpccc.com WithSupportfromCedarValleyPromiseandUnitedWay CEDARVALLEY PRESCHOOLand CHILDCARE CENTER NOW ENROLLING FORFALL/2023 OfferingCareFor3-5YearOlds PREPARINGCHILDREN FORLIFE 319-260-20054820OsterPkwy-CF https://www.immanuelpreschool.org/ preschool@immanuelcf.com Space is Limited ScanCode ForMore Info •StateLicensed •DHSAssistanceAccepted Providingqualitychildcareforages 6weeksto10yearsofagefor53years. HoursofOperation: Monday-Friday•6:30am-5:30pm 319-352-4664 www.waverlychildcare.org

Mesh with your manager

8 tips for a good impression on a new boss

KATHLEEN FURORE | Tribune Content Agency

Being promoted or moved to a new position can be exciting, but not knowing what your new manager will be like can be anxiety-inducing, too. I reached out to business pros who offered some tips on how employees can start off on a good foot with a new manager who likely is very different from their previous supervisor.

“Regardless of whether a new manager is similar or vastly different from your prior manager, it’s important for employees to establish a good relationship from the get-go,” stresses Jenny Podewils, co-CEO and co-founder of Leapsome, a platform that helps drive employee development, productivity and engagement.

Here’s some advice for anyone taking on a new role with a new manager:

1 Don’t think you know your boss

No matter what you’ve heard, “shed all assumptions about the manager,” says Lia Garvin, an organizational effectiveness consultant and founder of The Workplace Reframe.

2 Ask questions about communication

Share insight about your own communication preferences — it could be interacting in-person, via email, by phone, by Slack or another means — and ask your manager how they like to collaborate, too.

“This can create a strong foun-

dation for the future and will make sure the process of working together and sharing feedback is seamless,” Podewils says.

“Also ask questions like, ‘What does success look like on your team?’” Garvin adds. Questions about communication and expectations for success “allow you to get a sense of how this person likes to work so you can meet them there,” Garvin says.

3 Set up regular meetings

These one-on-one interactions can provide opportunities to align goals, plan ahead and celebrate wins, Podewils says.

4 Share information about your work

“During some of the initial meetings with your new manager, talk about your interests and superpowers, the impact you have had (at the company) and your excitement about the vision for the (new) team,” Garvin suggests.

5 Put yourself in the manager’s shoes

They could be just as excited — and just as anxious — as you are.

“They might be excited they got a new team member, but there might be uneasiness about taking on someone new,” Garvin says. “So make it easy for them by being eager to connect, open to learn their workstyle and excited to deliver great work.”

6 Be open to feedback

Mark Pierce, CEO of Cloud Peak Law Group, suggests being more than open — he says to actively seek out feedback.

“One of the key ways to impress a new manager is by demonstrat-

ing a willingness to receive feedback and using it to continuously improve your work,” Pierce says. “This shows a strong commitment to personal and professional growth as well as a desire to deliver high-quality results. By using feedback to improve your work, you demonstrate your ability to adapt and evolve, which can only make a positive impression on your manager.”

7 Say yes to tasks outside your scope

Anthony Martin, founder and CEO of Choice Mutual and a member of the Forbes Financial Council, believes that taking on opportunities that don’t lie within your job description is one of the best ways to impress a new boss.

“This will help show your versatility and adaptability as a fast learner. It also proves that you are committed to the company, not just the paycheck,” Martin explains. “If you truly want your manager to know you want to move up in the company, you

want to show them you can focus on the entire organization’s needs and not just the tasks in your department.”

Taking the initiative to do things before you’re asked is also important.

“This will show your manager that you are ready to take on greater responsibility and have a vested interest in the company,” Martin adds.

8 Build relationships with team members

The benefits of this are twofold, according to Tom Golubovich, head of marketing at Ninja Transfers.

“First, building positive relationships with other team members can help you impress your new manager,” Golubovich says. “Second, when you have good relationships with your colleagues, they’ll be more willing to help you understand your new manager. They can share their insights on how the manager operates as well as what you can do to get in their good graces quickly.”

00 1 G6 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
CLOSEQUICKCONNECTED Withconvenientparking,competitivefares,shorterlines,andeasy connectionstohundredsofdestinationsonAmericanAirlines, ALOistheairportofchoicefortheCedarValley. BEFOREYOUBOOK,CHECKALOFIRST! FLYALO.COM • BOOKNOW:AA.COM|1-800-433-7300

UNI ready to take on tomorrow

University enters 2023 with great momentum


The University of Northern Iowa continues to make pivotal new announcements to build on its reputation of high-quality affordable education. UNI is entering 2023 with strong momentum, ready to continue the work of helping students succeed and meeting Iowa’s critical workforce needs

Our Tomorrow campaign

“What does the world need from us tomorrow?” is the central focus of UNI s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date.

“Our Tomorrow: The Campaign for UNI” seeks to raise $250 million by UNI’s sesquicentennial in 2026 Publicly announced in the fall the campaign has already surpassed the $200 million mark.

“This historic campaign will lay the foundation for the future of this institution”said UNI President Mark A Nook “Through investments in our students faculty and staff, our academic programs and learning spaces we are ensuring the promise and power of a UNI education not just for students today, but for the generations to come.”

In addition to supporting scholarships, engaged learning and academic programs, three of UNI’s iconic spaces will be renewed for the next generation of Panthers as part of the Our Tomorrow campaign.

As the Campanile approaches 100 years old in 2026, work is already underway to ensure it can continue bringing the UNI community together Newly restored carillon bells will return to campus in May as plans to reimagine the Campanile Plaza continue to develop

Perhaps the most famous campus landmark, the UNI-Dome, is nearly 50 years old. In the first part of the three-phase renovation, the Dome will get a new roof, upgraded fan amenities and improved accessibility

Our Tomorrow is also planned to elevate the experience for pa-


From G8

is a new mom For her, child care is important

She started in May 2019 as a patient care coordinator in the Homelink division and is now director of operations for Homelink and also a DEI committee member

She had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human services She moved into a team leader role in her first year When the pandemic shutdown hit, she was faced with the challenge of “leading a 100 percent remote work force

“And it worked really well,” she said When the shutdown lifted “we never really went back to the way it was before,” Schmit said

There are people who choose come into the office every day, but some choose to come in one or two days a week or not at all

They always had remote workers, “but nearly as many as we do today”

There are people working from greater distances as well, Schmit said, including out of state

We ve also had quite few employees move that used to be local to the Cedar Valley and now live elsewhere in the country That’s been really cool for them to have the opportunity to do that ”

Trained virtually

That’s the case with Keri Wells, a Hudson native who now lives in Fort Myers Florida She lived in the Cedar Valley when she was hired in May 2021

“I trained fully remotely I’ve been in the office a few times They’re very accommodating as far as getting me back there once a quarter if I want to, which I do, because I have family and friends who live in the Cedar Valley”

She tries to schedule her trips back during major company events such as the annual Heartland Conference in downtown Waterloo

They reached out to her in September and provided emotional and moral support when Hurricane Ian hit in the Fort Myers

trons at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, which will feature upgrades to the facility’s interior and exterior improvements to seating and several event space additions

Workforce demands

A February 2023 study shows the University of Northern Iowa adds $1 6 billion to the Iowa economy and supports almost 26 000 jobs,or one out of every 78 jobs,in Iowa UNI’s signature programs in education, business, accounting and management align with nine out of 10 of Iowa’s most in-demand careers

UNI’s tremendous impact on education is undeniable. The size of the teacher education program, averaging 450 to 500 graduates each year, puts UNI in the top 1% of the country

More than 1 in 4 undergraduate students are in teacher education, and UNI-educated teachers are employed in all of Iowa’s 99 counties and 99% of Iowa’s school districts

Programs for Iowa’s future

With a goal to continuously evolve to meet the needs of the community UNI is looking to expand its impact on health sciences and will introduce its first standalone Bachelor of Science in nursing program in fall 2024

“We believe UNI is uniquely positioned to provide the combina-

tion of hands-on experience and curriculum necessary to serve the students and residents of our state,” said Nook. The Iowa Board of Regents approved the launch of UNI’s BSN program in November and the Iowa Board of Nursing gave interim program approval for UNI’s application for a new nursing program in January

As the demand continues to grow for highly-skilled professionals in industries that rely heavily on advanced technology and applied engineering, a major $44 million renovation will expand and modernize UNI’s Applied Engineering Building. The expansion of the facility by about 40,000 square feet will help the

department of applied engineering and technical management achieve its goal of a 40% enrollment increase by 2025 UNI’s College of Business, named one of Princeton Review’s Best Business Schools for more than a decade, announced an expansion of its top-ranked accounting program. A new hybrid online and in-person delivery will help fill a critical need for accounting professionals The hybrid model allows adult learners who have an associate’s degree to obtain an accounting degree through taking business-core and elective courses online and accounting courses in person at the Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus Classes are set to begin in August.

The University of Northern Iowa continues to challenge students to take control of their future. From personal growth, academics, professional success carried into the community they will create a better tomorrow for Iowa.

very young “The average age of our employees is mid-30s,” which, she says, is a trend across the community despite public perceptions of an aging population locally “It’s really trending young now, and I think that s exciting for the Cedar Valley,” Laures said “ But there’s a lot to be gained through employee ownership and longevity,” she added “The longer you stay here, the more you get invested in the ESOP and that’s going to create some life-changing wealth for some people into retirement ”

“This company’s changed my life,” she said ‘Cultural evolution’

“So I think the pandemic allowed for a cultural evolution,” Laures said “We had to lean in quickly, and we had to support people to work from home –from a technology standpoint, but also from a connectedness standpoint ”

area, leaving her without water and power “We kept in touch every single day,” she said

Getting the call

Schmit was promoted to a management role in late 2020, and promoted to her current position in late July coming off maternity leave

“We just keep adapting,” He said “It was an honor really to get the call while I’m on maternity leave offering me a promotion

And it’s been such a cool journey to be able to use my degree here a little bit and lead people and adapt to all these changes and be a part of the culture that we’re trying to create ”

As a nursing mother, she appreciates the lactation rooms at the office “It would be a lot harder if I worked for an employer who wasn’t as supportive ”

The company has experienced an influx of younger employees as a result of its growth, she said, but there is a wide age range In the Homelink division alone 14 employees have more than 20 years with the company What it takes to get in the door is really just a growth mindset and a willingness to be part of our culture and a willingness to be part of our growth and adaptability,” Schmit said That overall flexibility has

helped sustain the company’s growth, Schmit said

“We just feel like a family and everyone has a voice that s valued and there’s so many opportunities to show up as your authentic self,” she said “You don’t have to put on this mask of ‘my work self’ We don’t have that You can really be yourself I have a full sleeve of tattoos!”

Nontraditional path

Dax Oleveira is a self-described “nontraditional” employee A married father of two he’s approaching his first anniversary with the company A native of Brazil, he married locally through college his wife studied in Brazil while attending UNI and he previously worked for United Airlines in Chicago He’s an information technology programmer for VGM Homelink, a member of the employee stock ownership committee and won a company-improvement idea Pitchabaloo contest

“I feel like I had a very good manager who took a chance on me because I didn’t have a background in technology,” he said “I was in human resources before

and just happened to change careers into technology Hired initially as an intern, he proposed a company computer boot camp”similar to one he went through in Brazil for individuals who want to change careers His idea won “Pitchabaloo” and he’s now working to implement the idea within the company “VGM is interesting because you can move around within the company,” Oliveira said “There’s lots of opportunities to explore a different career path without leaving the company I was really surprised at the trajectory of my career”

25 years at VGM

Sara Laures is “chief people officer” in senior leadership at VGM – a job that may have been called personnel director elsewhere A graduate of Hudson High School, she completed her bachelor’s degree at Upper Iowa while employed at VGM She is entering her 25th year with VGM Initially a patient care coordinator with Homelink, she’s worked at a variety of jobs within the company Now the overall work force is

Of the local workforce, today a third work in the office all the time, a third work primarily at home, and a third divide their work time between office and home

The company has focused on care options and virtual care options through its benefits program, including a company health clinic through MercyOne, shared with other employers in the professional building on the former Schoitz Memorial Hospital site

“That’s a huge benefit especially in the pandemic when it was a scary time ” she said They also chose to go with companywide employee assistance program through a national provider

The company also has a family-employee hardship fund, funded by employees for employees in need A committee reviews requests for assistance

In April, the company will host an in-person and virtual “get connected “ fair encouraging employees to get involved in company committees and activities

Studies show an employee is more likely to stay with an employer “if they have a best friend at work,” Laures said The objective, she said, is finding “what can we do to keep people connected, feeling like they belong here ”

00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 | G7 PROGRESS 2023
CHRIS ZOELLER, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Gwenne Berry, chief diversity officer at the University of Northern Iowa, speaks to VGM DEI Committee on Feb 8 in Waterloo Laures Oliveira Wells CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The University of Northern Iowa Campanile is illuminated in purple light in October during the kickoff event for the renovation of the Campanile Work is done on the roof of the University of Northern Iowa’s new Applied Engineering Building in Cedar Falls earlier this month Molten bronze pours from a furnace that will be poured into molds for seven bells for the carillon the instrument inside the University of Northern Iowa Campanile

When COVID got tough, VGM got going

‘The new normal’ has always been the norm at Waterloo company

PAT KINNEY For The Courier

WATERLOO — The VGM Group has always been a company that thinks on its collective feet.

At no time did the company have to be more agile and mobile than during the coronavirus pandemic.

From top to bottom, VGM staff had to think outside the box — outside the friendly confines of what longtime general counsel emeritus and board chairman Jim Walsh likes to call its “galactic headquarters” at Ansborough Avenue and San Marnan Drive near U.S. Highway 20.

But that’s the way Van G. Miller wanted it when he founded Van G. Miller and Associates in 1986 – a group purchasing organization for independent home medical equipment providers.

The current VGM staff, headed by Chief Executive Officer Mike Mallaro, has carried that philosophy forward exponentially — from a company of 50 in the 1980s to just under 1,500 strong now — with a nationwide presence. Half of them live and work in the Cedar Valley. Their average age is under 40 and almost two-thirds of workers are female — the pending opening of a company child-care center is a testimonial to that.

The workforce’s racial, ethnic and culture makeup – 20% nonwhite, non-Anglo/European— matches that of the Cedar Valley’s eye-opening diversity, blowing up stereotypical notions about Iowa.

And they’re clear-eyed about who they’re working for – the customers, and ultimately the shareholders. The company became 100% employee owned in 2008.

In short, adjusting to “the new normal” has always been the norm at VGM.

Hired during COVID

The new normal is all Allie Schaefer has known in her time

with VGM. She grew up in Hudson and as a “talent acquisition coordinator” serves on the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

“I started at VGM right in the

midst of COVID,” she said, referring to the pandemic shutdown. “My interview actually was offsite, because they had shut down the building and sent everyone home. ... So when we finally came

back to campus, I was finally getting to meet everyone for the first time.” She started in April 2020 and first worked from the office in the summer of 2021.

“I wanted to get involved because I wanted to get to know people, especially with being at home. I wanted to meet new people. I wanted to join the DEI committee, so one of my teammates got me involved in that. All of our committees, you can jump right in. It’s a very inclusive environment.”

Part of that welcoming atmosphere includes reaching out to people of different racial, ethnic and social backgrounds.

“I’m African American; we have a lot of Spanish-speaking employees, especially from the different warehouses; an LGBTQ committee, we have a lot of people who are very open about that. We don’t want to force anyone

into a group, but if they feel comfortable, it’s like a safe space for people to join.”

In her position, “I help hire, recruit, get people on board.” So social involvement “kind of goes hand in hand” with her job, she said.

“We’re all about teamwork,” she said, but the company’s good about playing to a person’s individual talents and finding a position they’re suited to. There’s a lot of lateral mobility and the ability to hire from within.

Asa 100% employee-ownedcompany, wegetto createaworkplace thatworks forus.Whereeveryoneiswelcome to be themselvesandhas the opportunity and the flexibilitytoachieve theirgoals

Joining theVGMfamily comeswith allthe benefits you expect anda lotmore:





New mom, new leader Darian Schmit of Jesup, a graduate of Union High School in La Porte City and Upper Iowa University,

00 1 G8 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
CHRIS ZOELLER PHOTOS , COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The VGM Group, Inc. headquarters in Waterloo. Gwenne Berry, chief diversity officer at the university of northern Iowa, speaks to VGM dEI committee on Feb. 8 in Waterloo.
Schaefer Please see VGM, Page G7
Whenyou jointheVGM family,youdon’tjustwork here—youown theplace. 2022 CreateYourFutureatVGM Applynowat careers.vgmgroup.com
LATE2023: On-Site ChildCare EmployeeStock OwnershipPlan(ESOP)



Editor’s note: This column by Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition.

America’s first Black Congresswomen, Shirley Chisolm, once said, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You progress by implementing ideas.”

I am a mayor of action, who like Chisolm feels the urgency of these times to make a di erence for the people of our community. I encourage city of Waterloo sta , council and community partners to have the same action-oriented mentality.

Collectively, we’ve been actively working on the transformation, innovation and reclamation of our neighborhoods, infrastructure, services, and amenities to be a “Community of Opportunity” for all residents.

Over the past year, we’ve seen transformative projects that will forever change the landscape of this community: the $30 million reconstruction of University Avenue, $22 million reconstruction of Park Avenue and 11th Street bridges, $10 million Shaulis Road reconstruction, over $13.2 million dollars in street reconstructions and overlays, and the new $100 million Lost Island Theme Park.

We’ve worked hard to properly honor our veteran community with the creation of the Veterans Way Art and History corridor along Fourth Street. The newly remodeled Waterloo Convention Center will feature the new Sullivan Family Memorial Plaza.

Soon, the Cedar River Lighting Experience will light up the Fourth Street pedestrian bridge, illuminate the river below, and colorful beckoning towers will draw locals and visitors to experience Waterloo.

We are already seeing benefits of these investments with large conference and event bookings.

Transformational projects like these create jobs, increase tax revenue and attract business, visitors and new residents. Without question, we are witnessing an unprecedented time of transformation in this industrious city.

When it comes to innovation, the city of Waterloo/Waterloo Fiber Utility will construct a $120 million fiber network this summer to provide internet access, phone and cable. In September 2022, more than 88% of Waterloo voters supported using $20 million toward

Cedar Falls continues moving forward

Editor’s note: This column by Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition.

It’s an honor each year to update you on the condition of Cedar Falls. As expected, we continue navigating the lasting impact of a global pandemic. During my three years as mayor, I’ve been impressed by just how much city government and its hard-working employees do for our city — particularly in pivoting to post2020 realities. Be proud!

I’ll happily note that Cedar Falls enjoys a sterling credit rating and has benefited greatly from the conservative funding approaches of the past decade.

A key challenge right now is that infrastructure project costs have been higher than expected; this has required creative thinking and hard choices to delay good projects in order to fund more important ones. I’ve appreciated the willingness of council and sta to collaborate and compromise during the past two months to get that done.

Housing remains a longterm challenge. Despite the new subdivisions in town, Cedar Falls will need creative ideas and incentives to increase our number of buildable lots; we’ll use the soon-to-be-released Housing Needs Assessment as a guide. More quality housing must become available to encourage and accommodate a growing population.

this project. The goal is to connect residents with the Waterloo Fiber Utility Network this fall. This timeline is bold and aggressive, but we will make it happen. Watch for more information from Waterloo Fiber Utility.

Through a competitive application process, the city of Waterloo was selected as one of five cities to participate in the Honeywell Smart City Accelerator. This aggressive initiative will help Waterloo strategically plan our technological future, build capacity to fund transformational initiatives and

build on the innovative, cost saving and revenue generating technology being implemented by our Public Works departments.

In addition, Waterloo was also selected to an elite leadership program providing top level sta with world-class training through the Bloomberg-Harvard Leadership Consortium.

We have seen the increase of Black and female-owned businesses through

Our industrial parks continue seeing strong interest from global and national companies, and we now have a 200-acre, state-certified site for development. That interest must be matched by housing to attract and retain the necessary workforce, particularly new graduates of the University of Northern Iowa and Hawkeye Community College. Let’s keep them here!

Like many communities, our progress can be stymied by resistance to innovative approaches that are “not invented here.” We are seeing this now with our current e ort to modernize the city’s zoning regulations.

I appreciate that some

00 1 Evansdale update City paves the way for exciting new projects PAGE H2 Joy rides Lost Island Theme Park ready to roll this summer PAGE H3 Main Street Waterloo, Cedar Falls downtowns keep getting better PAGE H5 INSIDE MARCH 5, 2023 | SECTION H
The Courier from Greetings WATERLOO  downtown Waterloo. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic La Porte City Evansdale Waterloo 63 63 218 218 218 20 20 BLACK HAWK TAMABENTON AREA OF DETAIL Black Hawk County 380 380 380 Distance to: „ Des Moines: 128 miles; 1 hour, 59 minutes „ Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 221 miles; 3 hours, 18 minutes „ Chicago: 301 miles; 5 hours, 4 minutes WATERLOO Established: 1868 Average commute to work: 16.1 minutes Population: 67,314 Median household income: $51,847 Employment rate: 62% BRAGGING RIGHTS Waterloo is home to four John Deere operations, assembly and foundry works.
Waterloo sees unprecedented transformation
Through compromise, collaboration, our city continues to get better
Please see MAYOR, Page H5 Please see CEDAR FALLS, Page H4

Editor’s note: This column by Evansdale Mayor DeAnne Kobliska is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition.

In Evansdale, we believe it is great to be a part of the mission to grow the Cedar Valley. I was blown away when I recently attended a “Good Morning Cedar Valley” breakfast and saw more than 100 businesses in attendance. We heard from the mayors of the surrounding communities, how they are progressing and their desire to grow our communities. It’s exciting!

In Evansdale, we are making progress on several projects that the city has been working on for more than five years. We went out to bid for the rehabilitation of our wastewater treatment plant, and the City Council will be approving the final plans and specifications of the project and accepting the low bid on the project within the next few weeks.

We also have dusted o the plans for the Lafayette Road Reconstruction Project that will go out

for bid in November, with groundbreaking as soon as the snow melts in spring 2024. We so appreciate the patience of our community as we finally move forward to complete these long-awaited projects.

The city has received multiple grants, and we are in the final planning stages for the River Road Water Trails boat access. The boat access will be a great addition to our community for kayakers, tubers, canoes and small fishing boats to have access to the Cedar River. Stay posted, we hope to start this project in 2023.

The city has completed the infrastructure for phase I of Eagles’ Landing, a 64-acre retail development property on the eastern edge of town. Phase I lots consist of 10 site-ready lots that are approximately 2 acres each. Eagles’ Landing will o er the possibility for a variety of retail stores, restaurants, business offices and hotels.

The city will be closing on two lots at the end of this month and working with another business on the purchase of three lots. It’s exciting to see the progress, considering the current economy.

Excitement is brewing as we will be breaking ground this spring on the

Willow Run Dog Park.

The Willow Run Dog Park Committee has been raising funds for this project for more than four years and has worked hand in hand with our Parks and Recreation Department to see this project through.

The city received a grant from Black Hawk Gaming to help both Evansdale and Elk Run Heights make Willow Run Dog Park a reality. Follow our Facebook page to see more details on the construction progress, rules and regulations and the date of the grand opening.

This project is also part of the Bunger Park (Lafayette Road) and Mayor’s Park (McCoy Road) combination nature trails project that you will want to get out and experience this spring. A special thank you to our sister city, Elk Run Heights, for its vision on making the parks active again and working with us every step of the way.

As a city, we continue to focus on improving our quality of life for our residents by focusing on updates to our park system, our waste water treatment plant and reconstruction of our roadways. At times it is a slow process, but be assured that we try every day to pave the way for new projects.

Editor’s note: This column by Waverly Mayor Adam Ho man is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition.

The city of Waverly has certainly flourished since last year’s progress report. The next few paragraphs will give you a brief synopsis of how Waverly is moving forward.

We have migrated from pandemic engagement into recovery where we are doing our best to adjust to how some things have permanently changed while others have returned to pre-pandemic normalcy.

It is also at times like this that we reflect on the lessons learned through the event in an e ort to mitigate the e ects of future instances of similarity. Through the course of the response to the e ect of the public emergency we did see businesses struggle and even succumb to the economic instability. However, most of the vacancies created through these unfortunate circumstances have been filled with new entrepreneurial opportunities. I encourage all to visit Waverly to enjoy what changes we have experienced.

The transition of the former Red Fox Inn property from the city to a developer has proven to be beneficial at helping address housing needs with 34 market-rate apartments in the community, along with providing an additional hotel and restaurant to the community. It delighted our community to see the developer chose to retain the namesake of the property to maintain the historical connection.

The anticipation of the closure of Bremer Avenue Bridge in our downtown business district in fall 2024 is certainly a matter

of importance. We plan to implement the lessons learned through the Bremer Avenue reconstruction project and the pandemic to develop a plan as to how our community can best prepare to support our downtown businesses while the bridge is being replaced.

Recent legislative actions are resulting in budget di culties. The city is in a healthy financial situation, but the miscalculation of the property tax rollback will result in a loss of over $100,000 to the city.

Other potential outcomes from this legislative session could a ect how the city funds certain projects. In certain cases, projects that would not have required a bond referendum would require one in the future. Over the past year, the city has taken the opportunity to implement measures to address trimming back expenses passed on to the taxpayers.

This year will be the first year of the city operating the clubhouse at the Waverly Golf Course. The overall operations plan is currently under development. The event space of the clubhouse will still be available for tournaments and such, but it is not clear at this time what the future holds until some of the functions of the venue have been experienced by city sta .

Likely our biggest accomplishment is nearing completion, which is the

Waverly Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Park and Open Space Plan, Bike and Pedestrian Trail Plan and Memorial Park Master Plan. This conglomerate plan is what will guide the City Council and city sta and their successors, as to the overall goals of the physical capital of the city.

The Memorial Park redevelopment portion of the plan is likely the item of most interest. The core of this piece is the need for a pool or aquatic center that addresses several shortfalls. Our current pool is not as accessible as it should be. It is also not mechanically in the best shape. Over the past few years it has certainly nickel-and-dimed our community in repairs beyond typical maintenance. It has served the community well over the past 50-plus years.

As always, like every community we are exploring and applying strategies to make Waverly an even more inviting community for housing development as well as business development or expansion. Our Waverly Welcome Home platform has proven to be an important part of showcasing our community to those looking for a place to call “home.”

As you can see, we have not become a stagnant community where we will just “wait and see.” In Waverly, we strive on, being forward-thinking and looking toward a bright future for all to enjoy.

00 1 H2 SUNDAY, MARCH5, 2023
Evansdale undergoes exciting new projects The Courier from Greetings EVANSDALE  angels Park at Meyers Lake in evansdale. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic La Porte City Waterloo Evansdale 63 63 218 218 218 20 20 BLACK HAWK TAMABENTON AREA OF DETAIL Black Hawk County 380 380 380 Distance to: „ Des Moines: 130 miles; 1 hour, 58 minutes „ Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 225 miles; 3 hours, 27 minutes „ Chicago: 297 miles; 5 hours EVANSDALE Established: 1947 Average commute to work: 16.4 minutes Population: 4,561 Median household income: $49,786 Employment rate: 64.5% BRAGGING RIGHTS Home to a popular trailhead for the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, a 67-mile historic rail trail that runs through Eastern Iowa between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids to Ely. Future looks bright in Waverly JEFF REINITZ , JEFF.REINITZ@WCFCOURIER.COM Red Fox Inn, 1900 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa. Z2 | Monday, February 28, 2022 The Courier from Greetings WAVERLY  downtown Waverly. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Cedar Falls Janesville Denver Waterloo Waverly 63 63 218 218 3 BREMER BLACK HAWK AREA OF DETAIL Bremer County Distance to: „ Des Moines: 134 miles; 2 hours, 12 minutes „ Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 201 miles; 3 hours, 3 minutes „ Chicago: 322 miles; 5 hours, 25 minutes WAVERLY Established: 1859 Average commute to work: 16 minutes Population: 10,394 Median household income: $64,949 Employment rate: 63.2% BRAGGING RIGHTS Waverly is the sister city of the German city of Eisenach, which is famous for the Wartburg castle. Waverly is home to Wartburg College, which is named after that castle. PROGRESS 2023 DEANNE


META HEMENWAY-FORBES For The CourierFor The Courier

WATERLOO — You might say the construction and 2022 opening of the Lost Island Theme Park was a bit of a roller coaster ride.

A fire kept the flume ride offline, supply chain issues kept the launch coaster grounded and delayed the park’s opening by a week, and road construction meant a few too many twists and turns to get to the park.

All of that made for a tough first season, said park owner Eric Bertch, whose family also owns nearby attraction Lost Island Waterpark.

“We had our sights set much higher than last season,” Bertch said. “The plan was always to see comparable attendance to (the opening day of) the water park,” which turned a profit in its opening year in 2001.

But the world looked a lot different on opening day 2020 than it did in 2001. No one could have predicted the early 2020 global pandemic that brought the world to a screeching halt, bottle-necking supply chains and driving construction costs skyward.

Construction of the 159-acre theme park, estimated at $100 million, began in the fall of 2019. As the pandemic hit, the park’s projected budget took a gut punch.

“The cost of the project went way over our intended red-line top end,” Bertch said, and lessthan-expected attendance in the park’s opening season meant a “sizable and significant operating loss,” Bertch said. By August last year, every day but one showed an operating loss.

Despite early pitfalls, Bertch is optimistic for the 2023 season. He’s got good reasons to be.

Two of the park’s featured rides, delayed last year, will be ready for riders on opening day.

Thrill coaster Matugani is “definitely going to be 100 percent operating,” Bertch said. “We’ve put the stamp on it for commis-

sioning.” Aptly called a launch coaster, Matugani shoots riders skyward from zero to 60 mph in mere seconds. Coaster enthusiasts and thrill seekers have been waiting for this one, Bertch noted.

SuperFlume, a water ride, will be fully operational as well. The ride’s opening was delayed after a March 2022 fire destroyed a 1,500-square-foot queue building as well as the flume ride’s control panel.

“Nothing like a little theme park fire to bring traffic to a standstill,” Bertch said in a Twitter post at the time.

The cause of the fire was a blanket set ablaze by a temporary heating unit.

The completion of road construction that created barriers to the park last year also will help boost attendance, Bertch said. The project at U.S. Highway 218 and Shaulis Road, set to be complete this spring, includes raising the road to install a bridge to let

nearby creek water run under the road, and adding a roundabout, additional traffic lights and left-turning lanes into nearby attractions, according to Waterloo city officials.

“We are in regular conversations with the city and they assure us the road will be open,” Bertch said.

The 2023 season opens Memorial Day weekend. Beginning in June, park-goers can expect live entertainment six days a week and extended park hours on Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30 p.m. Those extended hours run through July.

With last year’s barriers out of the way and some new offerings, Bertch is certain the park will pick up speed this year. He’s hoping folks will take notice and attendance will double over last year.

Industry leaders have already taken notice. In September last year, Amusement Today awarded Lost Island Theme Park

the Golden Ticket Award for Best New Family Attraction of 2022.

Meanwhile, Lost Island Waterpark continues to rake in awards. It has been named by USA Today as one of the top 10 water parks in the county — earning the No. 1 spot for more than five consecutive years.

In February, Bertch got an early start on hiring park staff to accommodate the projected increase in attendance at both parks.

“We’ve posted on social (media) that we’re starting the hiring process. We wanted to have a good bump between the parks and start toward the 325 positions that need filled,” he said. “It’s a long road, but what we’ve tried to do is make an effort to start the process as early as possible. We’re reaching out to a broad section of the market and outlying communities.”

Bertch also made use of a pilot program of international em-

ployees who come in via work visas “to help supplement the local workforce. We’ll be leaning on those folks more in the future,” he said, noting “it’s very challenging to find enough help in our area. It’s a problem here and across the United States.”

As traffic to the theme park heats up, so has interest in the area for other businesses. In November, the Waterloo Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval to rezone 3.46 acres near the theme park to allow a Des Moines-based restaurant Jethro’s BBQ to be built there. The area is currently zoned as an agricultural district but would have to be zoned as a planned commercial district to move the project forward.

City documents note the rezoning would bring commercial use to the tourism destination of the theme and water parks, as well as the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo off of U.S. Highway 218. Jethro’s BBQ currently has seven locations in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Johnston, Waukee and Ames.

The development of Jethro’s BBQ near the Lost Island Theme Park is the tip of the iceberg for the park’s long-term economic impact on the Cedar Valley, Tavis Hall, Experience Waterloo executive director and Black Hawk County supervisor said in a previous Courier story.

According to a 2019 study, the opening of Lost Island Theme Park will boost the local economy to the tune of about $32 million a year. That includes $6 million for food and beverage, $5 million for retail, $4 million for overnight lodging and $2 million for recreation.

The Bertch family is betting on it, one thrilling ride at a time.

“We’re really excited to bring this completed project to the area and just are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the park again this year,” Bertch said.

The Lost Island Theme Park season opens Memorial Day weekend. Go to www.thelostisland.com for the park schedule and ticket information.

00 1 Sunday, March 5, 2023 | H3 PROGRESS 2023
Lost Island Theme Park ready to roll this summer
JOINUS! SCANTO APPLY NOW HIRING! JOBS FOR ALLAGES. Avarietyofpositionsavailableforages14-70+ Applynow:www.thelostisland.com/jobs •FreeentryintotheWaterparkandThemeparkallseason•Funstaffevents •Endofseasonbonus•Freemeals•Goodforyourhealth EXCLUSIVEPERKS:
The Lost Island Theme Park, whose main gate is seen here, opened in 2022. Two featured rides, delayed last year, will be ready for riders on opening day.

residents wish we’d remain a small town with a smalltown feel; I, too, chose to raise my family in Cedar Falls because our community is a lot more “human scaled” than the larger cities where I’ve lived.

The fact remains, though, that we shouldn’t seek to put our city (and particularly Downtown District and College Hill) under a proverbial glass dome. Certainly, no neighborhood should experience drastic change, but all neigborhoods should anticipate and embrace continual, incremental change as a sign of progress.

For any city to incrementally grow, it needs proven tools to do so.

One of those key tools is a modern zoning code. From 2019 to 2021, the city was making excellent progress on that front. The “Imagine Downtown!” plan resulted in a terrific and forward-thinking Downtown Character District.

Unfortunately, a shift in council philosophy after the 2021 elections has stalled similar zoning for College Hill, changes sought by College Hill Partnership and the University of Northern Iowa. I’m hopeful a new council makeup in January will end this impasse.

College Hill is overdue for a developmental renaissance, including a character district of its own, a wide variety of housing types and clear, comprehensive standards to lessen the risk that a project will be turned down by the city.

Speaking of neighborhoods, I will be spending much of 2023 working on a broad proposal (for the City Council’s consideration) for a large master-planned neighborhood in western Cedar Falls.

For two decades now, most of our residential development has been developer-led and focused on housing rather than self-contained, full-service neighborhoods. Tremendous opportunity exists for the community to decide the character of this new western neighborhood.

I’m envisioning a complete neighborhood, “Union Crossing,” which is master-planned to incorporate classic grid-pattern streets, a town center for shopping and dining, ample greenspace set aside for parks and playgrounds, and a wide variety of housing types constructed by myriad homebuilders. These residences would be geared to meet the needs of homeowners at all income levels. The goal would be to ensure the availability of “athirdable housing,” a quirky term which means mortgages and rents require no more than a third of the inhabitants’ monthly income.

This philosophy is how our future residents will build intergenerational wealth and savings. It will take lots of creativity, a skilled homebuilder force, and economies of scale, but we can do this. I believe we owe it to ourselves and the generations ahead to make this concept a reality, both at Union Crossing and throughout our city.

It should be no surprise, progress comes with a cost. We’re looking at a major expense for upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant downtown, and will be completely reconstructing Main Street from Sixth Street to Seerley Boulevard this year and next.

These are necessary projects, and I’m glad that the City Council has agreed to fund them.

I’m pleased to note that the Cedar River Recreation

project is also funded and under contract, which will add whitewater and riverbank amenities to the Cedar River for the great enjoyment of our citizens and downtown visitors.

Though the cost was higher than anticipated due to inflation and labor/materials increases, residents expect these kinds of quality-of-life amenities, I’m grateful for the added federal, state and private funding which ensures that this important project will be completed.

When it comes to government operations, quiet excellence sure beats big headlines, doesn’t it? The city’s four departments continue to carry out their duties expertly, despite disruptions from the $4.4 million overhaul of City Hall. We’ll all return to the building in the next few weeks, and we can look forward to the repurposed facility’s terrific service to the community for decades to come. I can proudly attest that the “new” City Hall is a beautiful, practical, and cost-effective civics tool for the people of Cedar Falls. Come visit!

I’m thankful to live in a town where neighbors care about one another, work hard and enjoy the simple things in life. A town where local government is responsive to the needs of the community, and continually improves.

I believe that, in a country currently rife with division and discord, the best “progress” is where Cedar Falls sets the standard for civility, integrity, inclusion and excellence. All true and lasting progress rests on these values, but only if we demonstrate them together.

00 1 H4 | SUNDAY, MARCH5, 2023 PROGRESS 2023
Cedar Falls From H1 00 1 Z2 | Monday, February 28, 2022 The Courier from Greetings CEDAR FALLS  downtown Cedar Falls. CHRIS ZOELLER , COURIER STAFF Hudson maps4news.com/©HERE, Lee Enterprises graphic Orange Waterloo Cedar Falls 63 218 20 57 58 AREA OF DETAIL Black Hawk County BREMER BLACK HAWK Schrock Road Distance to: „ Des Moines: 124 miles; 1 hour, 57 minutes „ Minneapolis/ St. Paul: 216 miles; 3 hours, 14 minutes „ Chicago: 308 miles; 5 hours, 13 minutes CEDAR FALLS Established: 1849 Average commute to work: 14.7 minutes Population: 40,713 Median household income: $61,420 Employment rate: 69.9% BRAGGING RIGHTS PCMag in 2020 named Cedar Falls Utilities the fastest internet service provider in the country. REALTORSTOKNOW Letoneoftheseexperienced RealEstateProfessionalsassistyou withyournextrealestatetransaction.

Downtown continues to experience rebirth

Editor s note: This column by Main Street Waterloo’s Jessica Rucker is part of the Courier s annual Progress Edition

When we talk about successful downtowns we picture a downtown with a diverse selection of eateries a variety of retail, entertainment and nightlife. A district that draws people in for work, for entertainment, or to reside in. Growing and expanding districts take what is there and capitalize on the growth with ongoing investment and development.

This is downtown Waterloo

This is our downtown Waterloo tells a story of who we are, who we were and how the past has shaped us It is a place of shared memory where people come together to live, work and play Downtown is the heart of our community, offering residents and visitors popular gathering spaces to socialize, places to shop and eat, and is a place where people and businesses want to be.

Our downtown is vibrant. Our downtown is resilient

The efforts made by the city, developers, business owners, residents and Main Street Waterloo as an organization can be seen in every corner, nook, street and building of the largest downtown district in Iowa.

Through both public and

private partnerships and investments were the catalyst for the rebirth and continued success of downtown Waterloo, these contributions are what make that dream downtown possible. Since 1996, more than $134 million dollars of private investment has changed the face of the downtown, transformed the footprint of the district and is setting up the downtown for success in the future.

Mayor Quentin Hart shared, “Over the last 10 years, we have seen a resurgence of life and activity in downtown Waterloo It’s no longer ‘Why downtown Waterloo?’ It is ‘Why not downtown Waterloo?’”

Downtown Waterloo welcomed 10 new businesses in 2022, adding more than 60 new employees These businesses join the more than 20 eateries and more than 25 retailers

Whether you are looking for authentic Mexican, traditional Irish cuisine, a homestyle breakfast, or traditional American favorites, you will not go hungry in downtown. Shopping for women’s apparel, gifts, locally made items, books, bicycles, even furniture? You can find it downtown.

The city of Waterloo’s 2030 Vision Plan identified our downtown district as a vital and imperative opportunity for the success of Waterloo as a whole. By “powering up downtown,” we are achieving the goal to develop a sense of pride and relationship between residents and the city of Waterloo and leverage that

CF downtown feels like home

Editor’s note: This column by Cedar Falls Community Main Street s Kim Bear is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition

It is early 7 a m on Tuesday Beth and David Delagardelle have grabbed their coffee and are opening the garage, getting the trusty Gator ready to go out and water 47 flower baskets

This has been Beth and David’s routine for 15 years They’ve helped to make sure that not only the Gator is running well, but that the flowers are beautiful, overflowing and wellloved Last year brought more compliments and inquiries about the flower baskets than anyone could remember They were thriving all due to our trusted watering crew Every morning you’d find a volunteer or two out watering the flowers and we couldn’t be more grateful for their true service

I believe the flowers are so much more than a little thing, but It is the “little things” in the Cedar Falls Downtown District that makes this place feel like home In brainstorming this year’s progress article for Community Main Street and the Cedar Falls Downtown District, I asked a trusted volunteer what her ideas were, and we brainstormed about 2023

The question was asked, “What if it is just about the little things?” As we sat back and discussed the little things, it became apparent like most things in life that it is the little things that make the biggest difference

It’s the little things that made 2022 a year to remember While we seemed to be on the other side of the pandemic 2022 presented its own set of challenges, conversations and cooperation

But right now, let’s focus on the little things

It’s the orange couch in the front window that is always full, and if it isn’t you feel like you are winning the day by sitting on it

It’s the new windows with stools facing Main Street

It s the new flavors of tea

It’s finding the perfect gift, no matter who you are buying for

It’s the smell of caramel corn

It’s the rotating specialty cheesecakes

It’s the igloos

It’s always being able to get a doughnut

It’s the library, a quiet place full of activity

It’s hearing the live music outside as soon as the weather turns nice

pride to communicate the city’s attributes

With the growing sense of optimism and community pride, Main Street Waterloo has worked share our successes locally as well as nationally We had the opportunity to present at the Main Street America National Conference, sharing the work being done in Waterloo to gather data and use it to leverage relationships with developers and recruit businesses

In September, the city hosted the Iowa League of Cities in downtown with an estimated 750 elected officials, municipal employees and vendors in attendance. We were able to showcase the newly remodeled convention center our unique venues, upgraded streetscapes and the Veterans Way project that is underway Those projects were just a sample of the impressions all of the attendees we able to take with them and want to visit again. Our progress Our success Main Street Waterloo’s Food Truck Festival returned in 2022, bringing 20-plus food trucks and attracting 8,000 attendees to downtown Waterloo The festival has quickly become a community favorite event to celebrate each Labor Day weekend.

We also launched the Main Street Waterloo Golf Tournament to raise funds to create the Downtown Impact Grant that provides assistance to businesses working to add a new line of service, products a piece of equipment, or a project that will

help take their business to the next level.

In Main Street Waterloo’s first year for the grant, we were able to award $6,100 to Gray Lane Yoga, 213 W Second St., in the renovated, historic Friedl Bakery building. The grant will enable Gray Lane Yoga and Uplift Fitness install the needed infrastructure and equipment to host aerial yoga classes, instructor education and expand business hours, making it the only yoga studio within a two-hour radius to offer this type of class

The momentum downtown is not waning, as three businesses will be opening in early 2023 Main Street Waterloo is working with the city to evaluate parking and hopes to implement changes with the new fiscal year

You will see the completion of the Fourth Street bridge lighting project as part of Veterans Way Using our economic and marketing power, Main Street Waterloo will continue to help our small businesses and promote downtown Waterloo while demonstrating our resilience as we continue to grow We as an organization will continue to transform and evolve to meet the needs of our growing and vibrant city that we all love.

Creating a livable place by turning unused space into residential units is an initiative across the country and Downtown Waterloo is leading the way In 2022 another building renovation was completed that added seven new upper story residential units that are 100%


Pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment, a variety of types of businesses and residential. Clean, tree, flowers, planters, etc., benches and seating, well-lit areas, trash and recycling bins, outdoor patios, and open public space such as a park, and a cultural and entertainment district with museums

Boasting over 600 displays the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum tells the story of wrestling and the host of amazing athletes who have called it their own. Waterloo Center for the Arts Phelps Youth Pavilion where art launches a world of wonder, discovery and learning.

Waterloo Center for the Arts, offers a wide range of programs, exhibits, and activities to the community

Sullivan Brothers Veterans Museum honors all Iowans who served the nation from the Civil War to the present, the Grout Museum District is four unique properties The Grout Museum of History & Science featuring outstanding exhibits reflecting area history, Pioneer Hall with five full-scale dioramas including blacksmith and carpenter shops, tool shed, log home, and mercantile store, and Northeast Iowa’s only planetarium. The district also includes Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Rensselaer Russel House Museum, and the Snowden House.

Preservation of historic character, including historic sites and reuse of existing historic buildings

‘Live the Valley’ strengthens workforce

Editor s note: This column by Grow Cedar Valley is part of the Courier’s annual Progress Edition

It’s being able to sit on so many patios throughout the summer with friends and watching the world go by

It’s all the dogs that have also made the district their home

It’s the half a dozen ways you can enter the district on a trail, whether you are riding, running or walking

It s Larry pulling his kayak behind his bike to hop on the Cedar River

It’s the flowerpots that transitioned so nicely from summer to winter, giving you the feeling of warmth

It’s moving ARTapalooza to Sunday because the weather wasn’t going to cooperate and realizing that maybe that worked better

It’s free topping Tuesday

It’s seeing the CAPS associates testing out their skills as business professionals with those that have been doing it for decades

It’s the Oster Regent Theatre celebrating John Luzaich’s retirement and legacy and welcoming Greg Holt

It’s knowing Santa will arrive the day after Thanksgiving and not knowing how, but you know you need to be there to see the magic Last year brought some soul-searching for Community Main Street through updating our market study and strategies with Main Street Iowa

It will be the focus of 2023 to promote, support and tell the story of those who have helped to write the chapters of the Cedar Falls Downtown District All the work that has gone into surviving the last three years should be lifted and celebrated for doing just that surviving

We will continue to work each day on the little things and being grateful for those that make it look so effortless

In 2023, you will still see the little things that make the Cedar Falls Downtown District what it is

But what we hope you continue to see are the people who make this place so special; the storefronts that always invite you in; the smells that make you crave something you didn’t know you were hungry for; and the sense of being “home” when you are downtown You will see 30 flowerpots throughout the beautifully finished streetscape We will welcome a new event in September Community Main Street will roll out a new grant program, and we will say goodbye to an event 20 years in the making In 2023, we hope to see new faces, support those who are here and continue to be grateful for the little things because after all, they make the biggest difference

Grow Cedar Valley (formerly Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber) recently launched a comprehensive marketing campaign with two goals attract and retain talent in the Cedar Valley and strengthen the local workforce. The campaign has four components, including collaboration with Livability Magazine, Live the Valley collectable coasters, a website relaunch and an Influencer series

“We want to highlight all of the ways prospective residents can live, work and play right here in the Cedar Valley,” said Nicole Sallis, director of communica-


From H1

grassroots leadership and tireless advocacy from new organizations like 24/7 BLAC, 1619 Freedom School for Literacy and African American Reshonda Young’s Bank of Jabez.

We actively work with these and other local partners committed to courageous acts of reclamation. There are many other incredible initiatives on the horizon, including All-In Grocery Store.

We are seeing millions of reinvestment dollars and increasing value coming into the Historic Walnut Neighborhood. Progress is due to the longterm community partnerships between the Walnut Neighborhood Association, Harvest Vineyard Church, Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Hawkeye Community College, LINK CCD, JSA Development and Central Holding Properties plus a host of city departments and residents

Similar partnerships are emerging in Church Row and other neighborhoods to elevate housing conditions and quality of life. It’s imperative that we find and support new models and other partnerships for community transformation like these and replicate their success throughout our community

In 2032-24, we will continue to work with our philanthropy partners to remove barriers to achievement and economic mobility by making broadband, transportation, child care and safe and affordable housing accessible to everyone.

Future of Waterloo

In the last few years, we’ve faced a life-changing pandemic, natural disasters and Iowa legislative changes impacting city

tions at Grow Cedar Valley “This marketing campaign will bring together key elements that tell our story and attract professionals from a wide range of industries and professions”

A partnership with Livability Magazine affords local businesses a tool to promote their goods and/or services to a potential workforce The 48-page print and digital publication are free and available to the public

The collectible coaster campaign will feature local artists with their stories of living life in the Cedar Valley “These coasters will be distributed to bars and restaurants throughout the year, exemplifying the creativity and vibrancy of the Cedar Valley, explained Sallis

The “Live the Valley” website has been re-launched featuring outdoor recreation, career opportunities, and a cost-of-living calculator “Our website is designed to

revenues As a Community of Opportunity for all residents, we keep focused on the future, working to achieve the “8 Big Ideas” laid out in our 2030 Vision Plan.

In response to the great demand for indoor court space in the Cedar Valley the Waterloo Development Corporation, the city and its partners are advancing construction of an indoor Hard Court Tournament Center in the heart of downtown Waterloo Developing a facility of this type will allow families to stay in Waterloo and participate in youth sports tournaments

This is a major step towards achieving our Sportstown USA strategic goal.

Work has already begun on a beautiful marina and other improvements along River Road in downtown, making the river more accessible for water recreation. These enhancements, combined with the other projects along the river, will make the Cedar River at Waterloo a tourist destination and a great amenity for new and existing residents Crossroads Mall area redevelopment is also key to our strategic goals The $32 million LaPorte Road Project completely reconstruct and transform this important retail and entertainment corridor from U.S Highway 218 all the way to the intersection of Shaulis and Hess road. This project is funded in part with money from the federal government.

Recently announced, the Western Home-Island West development will be located in and around the KOA Campground in the Crossroads area A new task force is forming to focus on amenities and attracting new investment like this to this area No area should be left behind.

It has been my promise since taking office that every resi-

help the prospective workforce see what’s possible while enjoying life here in the Cedar Valley An affordable cost of living is something we hope will be an added draw”explained Stephanie Detweiler Workforce Solutions Coordinator at Grow Cedar Valley

An influencer series is another component to this campaign, highlighting stories of people living and working in the Cedar Valley “We know the power of storytelling as a recruitment tool,” said Sallis “Stories can be relatable, and memorable and we are able to see aspects of ourselves in them We want to highlight real people and real stories of those that love the Cedar Valley, and are thriving in this community”

Digital copies of the magazine are available here: https://www calameo com/ read/0004203080e0969add37f

For more information go to www livethevalley com

dent will see progress in their area of the city I am especially proud of the transformation at North Crossing (formerly Logan Plaza) where we’ve already seen more than $9.1 million in new investment from in partnership with Ben Stroh and UnityPoint Hospitals

The improvements continue with the build-out of the retail-medical park, a senior center, child care center and a 180-unit residential project

These projects are truly removing barriers for those who need access to child care and affordable, quality housing

Just a few blocks away, transformation of Gates Park has begun This investment not only impacts this neighborhood, but is a recreation resource to families and individuals from across the Cedar Valley The new basketball complex soccer fields, splash pad and inclusive playground embody the virtues of inclusion

I believe the impact of this renovation will be far greater than we can imagine Let’s not forget, a new community swimming pool at Byrnes Park will continue the legacy of great aquatic programming in Waterloo

Through the bold vision of many community leaders, the dedicated and creative work of city employees, the financial investment of our “true believer partners and the encouragement and support of our residents, Waterloo is experiencing an amazing transformation

And it is not just the locals who are noticing Communities across the state and leaders from across the country are taking note of Waterloo’s progress and successes They are coming to us for expertise and offering opportunities once reserved for the bigger cities

00 1 SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2023 | H5 PROGRESS 2023
00 1 H6 | Sunday, March 5, 2023 JDRSNOWREMOVAL &LAWNCARE Commercial|SnowRemoval|LawnCare 563-920-7142 TREE&STUMP REMOVALSERVICES Craneequippedforlargehazardousremovals 24/7EmergencyServices 319-327-1199 Fowlkestreeandstumpremoval.com WATERPROOFING 319-234-1223•www.tomlinson-cannon.com •BasementWaterproofing•BasementWallAnchoring•FoundationRepair SeamlessGutters•LifetimeWarranty•SolvingWaterProblemssince1948•FreeQuotes OPEN7DAYSAWEEK PickUpCurbSideForAnyProductOrders, WePriceMatchAnyCompetitors RetailProductPrices. BookOnline,OrderProductsOnline,Or CallSalon319-260-2250•Kjandkompany.Com 912WestVikingRoad,CedarFalls,IA50613 53YearsinBusiness KevinMurphyProducts Earnproductrewardswithourloyaltyretailcard Monday-Saturday–4:30-10PM Sunday–4-9PM 1111CenterSt., CedarFalls,IA (319)266-2616 Serving You f or o ver60 Years DailySpecials OpenMonday-Friday6am-2pm; SaturdayandSunday6am-1pm 520MulberrySt.,Waterloo (319)234-2416 SOUTHTOWN LocallyOwnedBar&Restaurantsince1982 Experiencetherealbroasted chicken,handbreadedtenderloins, freshmadeonionrings& hamburgersandourmany dailyspecials! 2026BoppSt.,Waterloo236-9112•www.southtownbargrill.com Kitchen:Openat11am•LocatednexttoWithamAuto&CrossroadsMall 222MainSt., CedarFalls,IA (319)268-7222 Monday-Saturday–4:30-10PM BARBER/BEAUTY GUIDE SERVICEDIRECTORY (319)266-6947 www.procleaninginc.com • CarpetCleaning • UpholsteryCleaning • TileandMarbleCleaning • WaterDamageRestoration 311MainStreet CedarFalls,Iowa50613 OPEN7DAYSAWEEK•11am-2am 319-277-8111 www.thepumphaus.com thepumphaus@cfu.net DailySpecials HappyHourSpecials 2-6PMMON-FRI&Starts2PMSUN Providingpremiercleaning andrestorationservicesin WaterlooandtheCedarValley forover41years. “Serviceismy#1 concern” JoelHarris-Owner IICRCCERTIFIEDINALLAREAS OurSpecialtiesare: CertifiedCovid-19Specialists•CertifiedSanitizingCleaners CarpetCleaning•JanitorialServices•Fire&WaterRestoration 319-291-3991 smbyharris.com Restaurant GUIDE
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.