Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day: Government Affairs and Realtor Bus-In to Capitol Hill in Des Moines highlight the start of the week

Our Government Affairs committee as part of the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors met with Len Sandler, with the University of Iowa and with four law students to discuss the recommended changes in Chapter 69 of the municipal code of Cedar Rapids.

The main discussion was on adding Lawful Source of Income to the Civil Rights Protections in Cedar Rapids, in the areas of protection for Housing. The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission is recommended updated protections in the area of Familial Status, Gender Identity, Marital Status, Mental Disability, Association, Retaliation, as well as Lawful Sources of Income.

Realtors from all across the State of Iowa will bus-in to Des Moines on Tuesday to visit with State Legislators, as well as a visit with other members of State Government. This is our annual bus-in for 2011.

At Noon on Monday, Ted Townsend & Richard Pankey presented a Cedar Rapids Medical District Update to members of the Rotary Club of Cedar Rapids. Robin Tucker is a third generation Rotarian, with the Rotary Club of Cedar Rapids. Both his grandfather and father were members. His father, Tommy, is still an active Rotarian for over 45 years now. Robin joined Rotary in 1989.

At Rotary, the news mentioned that the City of Cedar Rapids has determined the language and breakdown for the proposed extension of the Local Option Sales Tax for 20 years through 2034. The Council will tackle the proposal and likely move it for a May 3Rd public measure at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

On Tuesday, the City Council will also have a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2012 City Budget, as well as the ten year Capital Improvement Budget. The City Council regularly meets twice a month in Cedar Rapids.

We currently have houses for rent in Cedar Rapids, as well as houses for sale in the greater Cedar Rapids area. Are you looking for something in 2011? Please contact us, if we can be of assistance for your property management and real estate brokerage needs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mayor Ron Corbett speaks to area Realtors on local economy, flood protection and upcoming May 3rd local option sales tax

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, Mayor Ron Corbett was the program at the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors luncheon. Mayor Corbett gave a detailed presentation of the local economy aiming it at a Realtors prospective, the ongoing work on flood protection for both sides of the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, how it will be financed, as well as reasons for the upcoming May 3Rd extension of the local option sales tax.

Mayor Corbett didn’t need a name tag at Statehouse - The Gazette
At noon on Wednesday, Corbett spoke to more than 100 Cedar Rapids area Realtors, telling them that Iowa lawmakers aren’t apt to help the city fund its flood-protection system unless city residents are willing to put some local dollars into the pot. Federal dollars for the system also will require local dollars, he said ...

After the Mayor's thirty minute presentation to Realtors, which may have served as a warm up to his scheduled State of the City address on March 2Nd, the Mayor took questions from the audience on a variety of subjects.
  • Dredging
  • Project Labor Agreements
  • Questions on the local option sales tax
  • Discussion of Federal funding
  • Discussion on State funding
  • The Mayor's visit to the State House this week on funding flood protection for Cedar Rapids
  • Property tax vs. sales tax for funding flood protection and residential street repairs
  • The options and powers of local government
  • The term "urban myth" was discussed, regarding the use of the current LOST monies and charges monies have not been used as stipulated by the public measure
  • What happens, if the LOST vote is not approved by the voters?

Clearly, the Mayor supports financing flood protection and additional street repairs with sales tax, as opposed to increasing property taxes on the community. It was a candid and strong presentation from Mayor Corbett.


Next week, Realtors from across the State of Iowa will meet in Des Moines and make a visit to State House to speak to state lawmakers on issues that concern our industry.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chapter 29 and Chapter 69 conversations in the City of Cedar Rapids

The City of Cedar Rapids changed Chapter 29 of the municipal code in 2010. However, the Courts are now involved, due to language used by the City in establishing an updated fee and inspection system that requires licensing, as well as specific crime-free language ...

Cedar Rapids landlord group fighting city’s crime-free ordinance

- The Gazette article is linked on the pending lawsuit against the City of Cedar Rapids

Attorney William <span class=Roemerman is representing a group of Cedar Rapids landlords seeking summary judgment in their lawsuit against the City of Cedar Rapids over the “Crime Free Lease Addendum." (Gazette file photo)

A group of landlords filed a motion for summary judgment Friday in its lawsuit against the City of Cedar Rapids over the “Crime Free Lease Addendum,” which was approved last summer. The Landlords of Linn County, a non-profit group comprised of 150 landlords, and Rehman Enterprises, owner of 14 rental properties, claim in the lawsuit ...

The City of Cedar Rapids is considering changing Chapter 69 of the municipal code in 2011. Some of the new recommendations have property owners, landlords and proponents of limited government concerned. Should a property owner, landlord or agent be required to accept Section 8 housing?

The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission has formed the Friends of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission recently. They are seeking support for advocacy efforts in the community for civil rights. We had the opportunity this week to sit down and learn about the advocacy work that is planned, including the formation of the Youth Advisory Board for Friends of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

We have a couple of two bedroom houses for rent in the Cedar Rapids area. Also, there are plenty of houses for sale in the Cedar Rapids area. If you are in need of assistance, please call and talk to one of our Realtors.

We are wrapping up the week of February 7Th through 11Th. We completed a city inspection on Friday. Next week, we have a final inspection at another local property. The City of Cedar Rapids has a five years inspection cycle, while the City of Marion has a three year inspection cycle on rental housing.

If we can be of service to you, with your property management or real estate needs, please let us know. You can contact us in various ways.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Gazette Headline: Area Roadways still Challanging is the truth

The Snow Storm has dumped plenty of snow, roughly 12" and all area schools are closed for Wednesday, February 2Nd, Happy Groundhog's Day everyone ...

The Gazette headline suggests that "area roadways still challenging" which is absolutely true. Tried to park in our downtown parking lot, but both entrances/exits, which were plowed in. Last night, most major highways were unsafe to drive and many in the SE part of the State are still closed.

There was some thunder snow last night in Eastern Iowa, raising the snow totals in parts of rural Iowa. Last night, snow and blizzard conditions were leading to accidents and road closings.

Our offices at 613 Second Avenue SE are currently today. Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment.

Much of our staff opted to make it a Snow Day, due to the snow overnight, but we are currently open for business. We are going to avoid showing properties on Wednesday, due to some residential streets not being passable and many properties have far too much snow to get up to the door.