Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 20, 2009 7:34 AM

Man charged with meth possession pleads not guilty

An Iowa City man accused of possessing methamphetamine pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Police arrested Scott Hayslett, 42, last month and charged him with possession of a controlled substance — his third or subsequent offense.

Officials responded to Motel 6 in Coralville on Jan. 9 after receiving a report of suspicious activity.

After finding Hayslett in a room, police reported he consented to a search. Several bags containing a white, powder substance were allegedly found in a toilet along with drug paraphernalia.

The powder tested positive for methamphetamine, according to reports.

A third or subsequent offense of possession of a controlled substance is a Class D felony. Hayslett faces five years in prison and a $7,500 fine.

— by Olivia Moran

Council near completing 1-cent wording

The Iowa City City Council is set to discuss the final wording for the 1-cent local-option sales tax, which will be placed on a May ballot.

The councilors have debated the tax increase for weeks, moving the vote to a later date to ensure the appropriate language for the increase, but they will finally vote on the resolution at their work session on Feb. 23.

The 1-cent increase is part of a state-wide effort to aid flood-effected counties. If passed, sales tax in Iowa City would become 7 percent for the next five years and garner the city an estimated $45 million.

Iowa City officials expect to use the money to elevate Dubuque Street and reconstruct the Park Road bridge.

But Mayor Regenia Bailey said she would have concerns if the council tries to change the ballot too much.

“I have some specific questions about how it works when we pass the ballot language, but also about how we will send out information to voters,” Bailey said.

Once the City Council passes the language for its ballot, other towns in the county will be eligible to place the tax increase on their ballots.

Also on next week’s agenda will be a discussion for the fiscal 2010 budget as well as flood updates from city officials and talks with Iowa City School District officials on their facilities-improvement plan.

— by Amanda McClure

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