6 Ways to Stay Connected with the City of Muscatine

City Hall Cropped

With school starting today in Muscatine, schedules are getting busier. It’s finally time to admit that summertime is coming to a close. It was enjoyable to see the way our community embraced the summer. From seeing our parks and trails system utilized to observing the way Muscatine came together to welcome RAGBRAI to our town, citizens of Muscatine were active and engaged! We even gained a new downtown street fest called Muscatine Second Saturday, which takes place the second Saturday of every month from June to October from 5-8 p.m.

Having full schedules means it may be difficult to stay up-to-date on relevant information. That’s where the City of Muscatine’s communications efforts come in. Our goal is to keep you informed about what your city government is doing and create opportunities for open communication with you. We want to share how we are working to make Muscatine better while also hearing from you about how we can best move us into the future.

  1. Like the City of Muscatine Facebook Page – Facebook is by far the place we tend to see the greatest level of engagement with citizens. We post regularly about anything from construction projects to the services we offer to job opportunities. Staying connected with us on Facebook is a wonderful way to keep informed.
  2. Follow us on Twitter – Like on Facebook, Twitter is a place for us to share timely information about what’s happening in the City.
  3. Sign up for Notify Me –  Our website has a great feature called Notify Me that allows you to receive text or email notifications about areas that interest you. Take a look at the and sign up for notifications. You can get notifications about anything from City Council Agendas to Kent-Stein Field Conditions to Declared Snow Emergency information.
  4. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter – We send out a monthly newsletter via MailChimp that gives an overview of news from each of the City’s departments. The newsletters are a great way for you to read and stay informed in one place. It’s delivered right to your email inbox so you don’t have to search for information.
  5. Attend a City Council Meeting – The City Council meets the first, second and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers.  Meetings are televised on Channel 2, the Government Access Channel. We also have a YouTube Channel where videos of the meetings are shared.
  6. Of course, we can’t wrap up this blog post without pointing out that another way to stay connected with the City of Muscatine is by following this blog! You can do so by clicking the “Follow” button at the bottom right of the screen. Enter your email address to receive blog posts directly in your inbox.

We hope that by utilizing some of these 6 ways to connect with the City that you will be able to stay informed and engaged as we work together to enable Muscatine to thrive!

Back-in Angled Parking is Being Demonstrated in Muscatine – Here’s Your Guide!

Here’s your guide to back-in angled parking that is now in Muscatine! Linn Street, between Mississippi Drive and Alley #1, was recently striped and prepared to accommodate back-in angled parking. This is a demonstration project in order to allow community members to experience back-in angled parking.

Linn Street Back-in Parking

Back-in angled parking is being considered for incorporation into the design for the Mississippi Drive Corridor Project because it will increase safety and allow for a greater number of on-street parking spaces to be added to Mississippi Drive. This type of parking is also safer and more convenient for loading and unloading vehicles, especially when children are present.  Additionally, it allows you to see better as you are pulling out of the stall. At the 2nd Mississippi Drive Corridor Project public meeting, 67% of attendees voted that they were open to this concept.

Linn Street Parking (1)-page-001

Because it is a new concept to Muscatine, a demonstration of back-in angled parking has been set up on Linn Street. This will allow community members to experience back-in angled parking and offer feedback prior to the final decision of whether to incorporate such parking into the redesign of Mississippi Drive.

Back-In Parking

So, how do you do it? 

Cars parking on Linn street will be utilizing back-in parking on both sides of the street. Whether you are entering the area from Mississippi Drive or from Alley #1, you are able to pull forward and past your desired stall, use your right turn signal, stop, and then back into the stall. Back-in parking is one step easier than parallel parking.

The following YouTube video demonstrates how back-in parking is being used in the City of Austin. This is just one example of the effectiveness of back-in parking as it is being used in cities all across the United States.

Shelter Rentals with Muscatine Parks and Recreation

The Muscatine Parks and Recreation Department takes pride in maintaining clean, quality facilities for use by citizens and visitors.

Rose Garden Shelter

There are 14 shelters within the City of Muscatine’s park system and on average the Parks and Recreation Department sees 400 rentals per year. Advance shelter reservations may be made one day less than a year prior to the desired date.

Each shelter contains approximately 6 picnic tables. The rental period is the full day during park hours (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.) for a fee of $30 for residents and $40 for non-residents. Extra tables may be reserved for a $15 fee for 3 tables. To make a reservation you may do so in person at the Parks and Recreation office at City Hall or by phone with a credit card payment at 563-263-0241.

Eversmeyer Park Shelter

On the day of a reservation at a shelter, Parks and Recreation staff will post the notice of reservation on the shelter and clean it between the hours of 6-8 a.m. The shelter is prepared for use on the morning of the same day of the reservation.

Your satisfaction is our highest priority, but please keep in mind that once our staff members have prepared the site, some situations are out of our control.

Guidelines for Usage Success

  1. Parks open at 5 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.
  2. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the parks.
  3. Fire is only allowed in grills.
  4. Dogs must be on a leash of no more than 6′ in length.
  5. Motor vehicles are allowed only on roads and parking areas.
  6. Your receipt is your permit. Please have your receipt available throughout the duration of your event.
  7. If you see anything in a park or facility which is in disrepair, or if you witness vandalism at any time, please notify the Muscatine Parks and Recreation Department at 563-263-0241 within business hours. If it is outside of business hours, you may contact dispatch at the Muscatine Police Department at 563-263-9922.

We hope you enjoy your experience utilizing your park system and take the opportunity to rent a shelter for your next outing!

For more information about the shelters available for rent, see our Facilities Listing.

City Council Approves Pilot Sidewalk Poetry Program

Sidewalk Poetry 1

Beginning this year, your walk around Muscatine could be inspired by more than just green grass and trees. On Thursday, the Muscatine City Council approved a Pilot Sidewalk Poetry Program. Community Development Director Dave Gobin gave a presentation to request the approval of the Muscatine County Arts Council’s pilot program to install stamped poetry in new or replacement sidewalks. The program will be done under the direction of the Public Works Department as part of the annual sidewalk construction projects throughout the community.

In April, the Muscatine County Arts Council held a poetry contest, with over 40 applicants participating. All poems were judged by Iowa Poet Laureate, Mary Swander. Five winning poets were chose to have their poems embossed into stamps that will be placed into wet concrete as Public Works replaces or repairs sidewalks. The intent is to have one or two poems stamped per block. Residents will have the choice as to whether they would like poetry stamped onto concrete in front of their home if the sidewalk is being replaced or repaired.

There is no cost to the City for the poetry stamps as they were donated by the Muscatine County Arts Council after receiving a grant from the Community Foundation.

Gobin introduced the project to the City Council because he believes it’s a step in the right direction to encourage arts and tourism.

“It’s a low or no cost way to attract visitors from outside of town,” Gobin said. “With our best foot forward, the City can leave a lasting impression.”

To see example photos of sidewalks with poetry stamped into them, visit the Public Art Saint Paul website.

Sidewalk Poetry 2
Stay tuned next week to see the winning poems that were chosen and approved to be stamped into sidewalks throughout Muscatine!

What Happens When the Mississippi Floods in Muscatine?

127  Pearl City Station 24.34

Muscatine has seen its fair share of floods over the years. Because our city is nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, we are bound to see occasional high water. Many of you may remember the record floods of 1993 and 2008. Floods like those don’t happen often, but when they do, we must have a plan in place to keep our community safe and secure.

At this point in the summer, we are getting toward the end of the normal flood season for the Mississippi, but we still wanted to give you a brief overview of how the City responds to floods. The City of Muscatine has an efficient plan in place to monitor river levels and then respond at the necessary flood stages.

The following departments are directly involved in flood control: Public Works – Engineering and Street Maintenance Divisions, Water Pollution Control Plant and Sewer Maintenance Division, Parks and Recreation, Police Department, Fire Department and Finance Department.

035 Clam man statue on riverfront 24.34

Here’s a brief overview of what happens once the 16′ Flood Level is met.

  1. 16′ is the Official Flood Level – It is monitored on the Muscatine gauge, which is located at the Municipal Power Plant, River Mile 453.0. Once the flood waters reach this level, City staff will monitor the weather and projections for river stages along with Mad Creek’s potential flows.
  2. 17′ Gauge –  Wait and watch. Water will encroach upon the walk area at Pearl City Station at 17.5′. Toe drain pumps will get ready to run when necessary.
  3. 18′ to 19′ Gauge – Once a prediction of 18′ is determined, 2000 sandbags are made, preparations are made to phase all parking out of the riverfront parking lot and detours are set up. At 18.2′ water starts to back out of the storm inlet at Mississippi Drive and Walnut Street. By 19.2′, two lanes of traffic are covered. At 19.5′ water is across all four lanes of Mississippi Drive at Walnut and all of the riverfront parking lot is underwater. At 19.64′ water is to the center line of Mississippi Drive at Mulberry. At 19.83′ water is on top of the deck at Pearl City Station.
  4. At this point, local weather forecasts must be observed closely in order to predict Mad Creek flows. Necessary notifications must be made to the Railroad and businesses utilizing the railroad.
  5. Procedures are followed from 20′ and up that include closing structures and the flood gates. Randy Howell, the Street Maintenance Supervisor, makes the call for when flood gates go down. During the next phases, levees are patrolled to watch for boils. Sandbags are added as necessary. Correct emergency maintenance procedures are followed in conjunction with the State of Iowa.

This is just a glimpse into what happens when flood levels reach a certain level and how the City of Muscatine responds to flood situations at the riverfront. The City has an extensive plan in place to respond to any flood situation that may arise.

5 Places Pokémon Go Players Shouldn’t Miss: A Quick Guide to the Best Pokéstops in Muscatine — Made In Muscatine

Check out the Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau’s latest blog post that features some of the City of Muscatine’s features as tourist attractions!

Pokémon Go has swept the nation! It seems like everybody’s playing this new augmented reality game. Muscatine is surely seeing its fair share of players — even our CVB director is committed to catching them all! What’s not to love about exploring new places and getting intimately acquainted with their hidden treasures while leveling up as a Pokémon trainer […]

via 5 Places Pokémon Go Players Shouldn’t Miss: A Quick Guide to the Best Pokéstops in Muscatine — Made In Muscatine

RAGBRAI® is Just Around the Corner!

With just over two and a half weeks until RAGBRAI riders will dip their tires into the Mississippi, Muscatine is gearing up for the big event!

Residents of Muscatine have several ways they can get involved. One of the biggest current needs is town greeters! Being a town greeter is easy. It involves being present on the day of the event and answering simple questions about Muscatine – and who knows Muscatine better than its residents? You might even be asked to take some quick phone pictures for riders as they pose at the dip site.

Town Greeters Need for RAGBRAI

A volunteer meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 12 at 6 p.m. at the Riverview Center, 110 Harbor Drive, for those wishing to learn more about getting involved as a town greeter! If you can’t make it to the meeting, you can sign up to volunteer at VolunteerMuscatine.org.

Best Yard Contest

If you live along the route on Hershey Avenue, you are eligible to enter the Best Yard Contest! Two winning homes will receive a $250 cash prize and one winning business will receive $250 in advertising in the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce’s newsletter. The deadline to register for the contest is July 22. More information about this opportunity can be found here.

Public Art Contest

Do you or does someone you know have a decorated bicycle displayed in your yard? Would you be interested in creating one? If so, you can have it displayed along the route. The person with the winning bike will win $100 Chamber Dollars. The deadline to register for the contest is July 22. More information can be found here.

Stay Connected with RAGBRAI Muscatine

For more information about Muscatine serving as the RAGBRAI dip site, be sure to visit the RAGBRAI Muscatine website and the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.

Meet the New Firefighters!

The Muscatine Fire Department has five new members! Join us in welcoming them to the City of Muscatine!

This week and next, the five new firefighters are undergoing training in a mini academy so they will be equipped when they join their assigned shift.

BeckerBrett Becker is from West Liberty, Iowa and joins the Muscatine Fire Department after having served multiple deployments with the Army Reserves. He said he is looking forward to having the opportunity to do his hobby full time and build upon the skills he’s acquired in the Army over the past 14 years. Becker shared that he is grateful to be able to serve as a firefighter full time and looks forward to being able to continue a career of service.

 

 

 

Levins

Trevor Levins comes to the Muscatine Fire Department after serving as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Wilton, Iowa for three years. He originally had intentions of going into law enforcement, but after joining volunteer fire service, decided to pursue classes to become a paramedic.

“I look forward to serving the community,” Levins said.

 

 

 

McCarthyJustin McCarthy is originally from Yorkville, Illinois and attended St. Ambrose University while living in Bettendorf, Iowa. He served as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Bettendorf for nearly 5 years. McCarthy said he is thankful to be able to serve as a firefighter because it is truly a job like no other.

“In this job, you get to see the immediate results of what you do,” he said.

 

 

Moser Kyle Moser is from Burlington, Iowa and joins the Muscatine Fire Department after serving as a volunteer firefighter in the City of West Burlington for a year and a half. He has been trained as a paramedic and said he looks forward to building upon his skills and serving as a full time firefighter in Muscatine.

 

 

 

 

Nickels Kyle Nickels is from Davenport, Iowa and attended Kirkwood Community College where he received his Firefighter 1 certification. He originally did not intend to become a firefighter and had plans to do EMS. After his father was a victim of severe burns, Nickels was able to talk with firefighters in Iowa City who helped change his mind. He said he looks forward to being able to use both EMS and firefighting skills in his new role with the Muscatine Fire Department.

Fire Safety for the 4th of July

MFD red Logo

As you gear up to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, it’s important to keep safety in mind to protect yourself, your family and others around you. Muscatine Fire Department has tips to help keep you safe so you can enjoy the holiday.

While it is fun to watch fireworks at the Muscatine riverfront each year, attempting to create a fireworks display at home is both illegal and unsafe. Anything beyond the usual sparklers, snakes and caps are not allowed by state code. Anyone using them would be subject state law consequences (which include tickets, etc.) as well as City Fire Code violations. City Fire Code violations include a $125 citation.

Safety Tips for Using Sparklers: Even though sparklers, snakes and caps are legal, there is still danger in using them. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, sparklers alone account for more than 1/4 of emergency room fireworks injuries. Sparklers can burn hotter than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third degree burns. They may seem safe for children to use, but like other fireworks, they can be very dangerous.

  • If allowed to hold sparklers, children should be under adult supervision.
  • Leather gloves may be used to protect hands while lighting and holding sparklers.
  • Always stand up when holding sparklers.
  • Do not allow children under age five to hold sparklers. Glow sticks can be a safer alternative for younger children.
  • Never hand a lighted sparkler to another person. Give an unlit sparkler to the person and then light it.
  • Never use a sparkler while holding a baby or small child.
  • Do not wave or run with lit sparklers.
  • Avoid bringing sparklers to large public events as it could pose a safety risk.
  • Overall, please exercise caution and use common sense.

 

fireworksinfographic

Code of Iowa Chapter 727 Health, Safety and Welfare  727.2 Fire Works

The term “fireworks” includes any explosive composition, or combination of explosive substances, or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation, and includes blank cartridges, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, or other fireworks of like construction and fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or other device containing any explosive substance. The term “fireworks” does not include goldstar-producing sparklers on wires which contain no magnesium or chlorate or perchlorate, flitter sparklers in paper tubes that do not exceed one-eighth of an inch in diameter, toy snakes which contain no mercury, or caps used in cap pistols.

A person, firm, copartnership, or corporation who offers for sale, exposes for sale, sells at retail, or uses or explodes any fireworks, commits a serious misdemeanor. However, the council of a city or a county board of supervisors may, upon application in writing, grant a permit for the display of fireworks by municipalities, fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals approved by the city or the county board of supervisors when the fireworks display will be handled by a competent operator, but no such permit shall be required for the display of fireworks at the Iowa state fairgrounds by the Iowa state fair board, at incorporated county fairs, or at district fairs receiving state aid. Sales of fireworks for such display may be made for that purpose only.

This section does not prohibit the sale by a resident, dealer, manufacturer, or jobber of such fireworks as are not prohibited by this section, or the sale of any kind of fireworks if they are to be shipped out of the state, or the sale or use of blank cartridges for a show or the theater, or for signal purposes in athletic sports or by railroads or trucks, for signal purposes, or by a recognized military organization.

This section does not apply to any substance or composition prepared and sold for medicinal or fumigation purposes.

 

For more information about firework safety, please visit: