The 2014 edition of the Johnston Chamber Directory and Community Guide was unveiled at the Johnston Chamber annual dinner on February 13. The Directory will be distributed to Johnston residents, and it will be used as a resource for new residents and businesses in Johnston. Be sure to turn to page 18 for the Economic Development section which features the Merle Hay Road Gateway project.
Update. A summary of this informational meeting has been published.
The City of Johnston hosted a meeting to present information about future land uses and infrastructure along NW 107th Street between NW 70th and NW 78th Avenues. The meeting was held in the Johnston City Council Chambers at 6:00 PM on Thursday, February 6, 2014.
The Johnston Community Development Department recently published a summary of development activity which occurred in 2013. Here are some notable numbers from the report:
- Total New Valuation Permitted in 2013: $118,869,871
- Estimated 2014 Population: 19,500
- Zoning Changes Enable 171 New Single Family Residential Lots
- Zoning Changes Enable 365 Multifamily Units
Thanks to David Wilwerding, City of Johnston Community Development Director, for sharing the 2013 Development Summary.
The property tax rate for the City of Johnston may be set at $11.34 under guidelines recently discussed by the City Council. The current rate is $11.15. Council members have been working to hold any rate increase to a minimum, notwithstanding the effects of taxes for debt service associated with the new public safety facilities. An updated budget memo is posted here for further background information, including projections on the expected effects of tax rates on a home with a standard valuation of $200,000.
January 30 Budget Memo
The City of Johnston is moving forward with plans to construct a new roundabout in NW Johnston in 2014. The proposed road improvements are associated with pending road construction in the area by the City of Grimes, and the need to prepare for future traffic associated with the new Johnston High School facility. No formal action has yet been taken, but the issue is expected to be advanced in the coming weeks.
At their meeting on February 3, 2014 the Johnston City Council adopted a resolution setting dates for accepting bids and authorizing construction for Phase 1 of the Terra Lake project. A public hearing has been scheduled for March 17, 2014, and a contract may also be awarded on that date. Phase 1 is estimated to cost $2 million.
Terra Lake Phase 1 Resolution
Hubbell Properties II, L.C. has requested a rezoning of 5.72 Acres West of Pioneer Parkway/Corporate Drive from PC, Professional Commerce Park District to R-3, Medium Density Residential District. The rezoning is requested to facilitate construction of a 46 unit assisted living facility. The development concept is titled Edencrest at Green Meadows.
The City Council referred the request to the Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission at their meeting on Monday, February 3.
Clay Guthmiller, Bruce Amendt, Tony Sparks and Ann Wiley and a great group of Johnston students provided the Johnston Leadership Series class an update on strategies for 21st Century Learning and how technology is being used to transform education and advance academic achievement. The event was held in the Johnston High School Library on January 29, 2014. Key themes in the Johnston strategy are to help every student grow in proficiency each year, build strong character and reduce gaps in student performance for various groups. Technology is changing the way everyone works, collaborates, and communicates, and the Johnston schools are working to provide access to technologies that will best prepare students for their careers and future learning.
Thanks to the Johnston Schools team for providing an informative and fun program!
The Johnston City Council and staff are facing some difficult choices as they prepare for FY 2015. They are working hard to balance the need for services in a growing community with a desire to keep taxes competitive. The variables are changing as a result of property tax reform, and one of the options is to either use reserve funds to suppress increases in tax rates, or to maintain reserves and be prepared for possible future changes in state policy. The City administrative team has prepared an informative background document which explains the details. It is worth reading.