FLOOD PROTECTION BREAKTHROUGH: Cedar Rapids got the big funding break it needed to make possible the construction of permanent flood protection on both sides of the river when a state board on Wednesday OK’d the city’s request for $264 million over 20 years, siphoned from a portion of the growth in state sales tax revenue generated in this community. Coralville, Iowa City and Dubuque were other area cities who also had their smaller but important requests OK’d by the Iowa Flood Mitigation Board.
DECADES OF SERVING: A hearty thanks to public servant extraordinaire Don Saxton. After 44 years, the first six as an Oxford City Council member and the next 38 as the mayor, he’s stepping down. Saxton, a retired teacher with 37 years in education, also is the longtime chair of the Johnson County Emergency Management Commission.
BUS DEPOT BACK: After a decade-plus of debate, and damage from the flood of 2008, Cedar Rapids’ downtown bus depot reopened its renovated building with an improved bus arrival/departure process, and a revamped fee structure that assists low-income riders and offers free rides on Saturdays to stir interest.