Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 30, 2014 5:00 AM

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Council to mull local-option sales tax

In a special work session meeting, the Iowa City City Council will discuss putting a local-option sales tax on the election ballot on Nov. 4.

Last week, a 1 percent additional tax option was presented before the councilors as a means to generate additional revenue in the wake of the most recent state of Iowa property-tax move.

The new state legislation will begin in 2015.

Officials estimate that the property-tax move will mean a $37 million loss to the city.

A local-option sales tax would be an alternative source of revenue that could go into funding property-tax relief, street maintenance, and affordable housing in Iowa City.

Many Iowa communities have adopted this tax levy. Iowa City voters approved a four-year local-option sales tax plan in 2009 following the flood one year earlier.

Council to vote on Linn Street rezoning

Earlier this month the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended rezoning the property at 203 S. Linn St., regarding building height limitations, reduced parking requirements, and a local-landmark designation.

City councilors will vote Tuesday on the matter.

The vote was passed the commission on a 5-1 vote, with Phoebe Martin voting against the approval.

Local contractor Michael Hodge requested the zoning change; he plans to put in a restaurant in the first floor of the building, the former home of the Haunted Bookshop.

— by Paul Osgerby

Man faces theft charges

Authorities have accused a local man of stealing machinery.

Elijah Briggs, 32, was charged March 19 with second-degree theft and fourth-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, a Bobcat skidloader, valued at $8,500, was stolen from 1610 Willow Creek Drive.

On April 15, Keokuk County deputies arrested Briggs and reportedly found the driver’s license of Kellen Andrew Roberts in his possession.

During a search of his vehicle, authorities located paperwork related to the sale of the stolen Bobcat.

The located paperwork had the name Andrew Roberts, as well as other paperwork with various combinations of the name Kellen Andrew Roberts was located in the vehicle.

Briggs denied stealing or having possession of the Bobcat but said he would try having it returned to its owner.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office, helped assist with the search warrant. During the search, a chain saw was located and found it to be reportedly stolen from Wood County, Texas.

Second-degree theft is a Class-D felony. Fourth-degree theft is a serious misdemeanor.

— by Rebecca Morin

Police bust suspected Herky assailant

Authorities have accused an Iowa man of breaking a Herky on Parade statue.

Robert Lee Jr., 48, was charged June 26 with second-degree criminal mischief.

On June 26, a citizen reported that the statue titled “Organic Herky,” which was located on the sidewalk near the intersection of Dubuque and Washington Streets, had been damaged.

Each ankle of the stature was cracked almost all the way around the leg/foot, making it very unstable.

An anonymous tip was received identifying Lee as the person who damaged the statue.

Authorities interviewed Lee on June 27. He allegedly admitted to causing the damage by punching the statue.

Lee offered to make an arrangement to pay for the statue. The cost to repair the damage is estimated to be $1,300.

Second-degree criminal mischief is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Area woman faces drug charges

Local authorities have accused a North Liberty woman of possessing meth.

Jacqueline Naughton, 30, was charged Jan. 10 with possession of a controlled substance and gathering for use of drugs.

According to a North Liberty police complaint, members of the Johnson County Drug Task Force served a narcotics search warrant at 456 Heritage Place, North Liberty. Naughton paid rent and lived in the basement of the residence.

In the basement, authorities reportedly located methamphetamine, paraphernalia, tubing, a receipt for Coleman fuel, and a Pyrex dish with meth residue.

Gathering for use of drugs is a Class-D felony. Possession of a controlled substance is a serious misdemeanor.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man charged with forgery, theft

Authorities have accused a local man of cashing a fraudulent check of more than $600.

Torian Cleggette, 22, was charged May 22 with forgery and third-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, on May 22, Cleggette cashed a fraudulent check from Debbie’s Staffing at Hy-Vee for $698.27. Cleggette does not work at Debbie’s Staffing.

Debbie’s Staffing has not issued paper checks to its employees since 2013. Cleggette provided an ID for the Hy-Vee cashier.

Forgery is a Class-D felony. Third-degree theft is an aggravated misdemeanor.

— by Rebecca Morin

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