WESTDALE SETBACK: J.C. Penney Co., a longtime anchor store at Cedar Rapids’ Westdale Mall, has, under its original lease, the right to approve or reject any physical changes at the mall. It’s using that power to negotiate its future with the Frew Development Group, manager of a $90 million redevelopment project at the struggling mall. That dispute also has delayed construction. So why was a lease giving any one store such broad authority OK’d in the first place?
IN A FLASH: So our latest major dry spell has been labeled a “flash drought” because of how rapidly it developed after a record wet spring. And now it’s sapping crop yields.
LEVY DEFEATED: A proposed 10-year extension of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy property tax in the Cedar Rapids school district was soundly defeated Tuesday. Understandably, asking voters to double the rate may have been too much for taxpayers to bite off. Nonetheless, if the PPEL, even at its current rate, isn’t renewed before expiring in 2015, the district will face a crisis on how to pay for building maintenance and equipment needs, for which the PPEL is the primary money source.
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