CITY OF CEDAR RAPIDS COMMUNITY FACILITIES PLANNING

CR OPENHOUSE #2 ONLINE FEEDBACK AUGUST 31, 2009 35 Online Respondents

CITY SERVICES What are your comments on our evaluation process?
_fantastic level of detail - sometimes I got lost in it and "lost the forest for the trees". _I think it is important to consider the intersection of social environmental and economic factors in your evaluation. I think the city has done a good job here. _I was pleased to have the opportunity to review the options. The information provided economic data that enabled me to make an informed decision. Making this available on-line was greatly appreciated and allowed more people to participate. _It is very important to get information out to the public. The use of this evaluation process served that purpose _Too long _I found it very complex but I appreciate the opportunity to give my opinion. I'm not sure how you could make it simpler but I felt there was way too much information and not enough time to digest it. It does make me aware of the amount of information that the Council has been dealing with. I don't know how they have time to breathe. I appreciate the many city employees who were there to answer questions. It was truly a major effort to get people involved. I don't know how else you could do it except to simplify it in some way. _taking way too long to make decisions _Question Why are the assessors not going through every home as they said they would? Why is this happening again as it did when the city hired Vanguard? _Too much focus on improvements, as opposed to reshuffling our existing facilities and services to be efficient. _Scoring system helpful when trying to compare benefits of different plans. _It's probably a good idea to consolidate some of these service locations, but if it gets too big, it's hard to find what you need. Have you ever been down to the U of I Hospitals? What a nightmare to find where you are going! _I appreciate that you are taking feedback online for those of us that didn't make it to either open house. _Absolutely Excellent, couldn't be better!

_As usual, too much talking and not enough "doing". When does the city actually start doing something? _While the evaluation process intent of including public feedback is admirable, it seemed to be quite long and cumbersome at times. _I don't have any concerns. I think it is an important process you are going through to gather feedback and engage citizens in their community.

Please share your thoughts on the City Services Center/Veterans Memorial Building.
_with the tight parking that has always been a factor here (I would not reopen the underground parking) I feel the old US Court Building would be a better City Hall _It is outdated, and really hard to figure out how to get in, how to get around. A very unfriendly building that emphasized that city gov't is not there for its citizens. Start over this is the proverbial "front door" for the city's services, and should reflect that. Option C _Option B is best in my opinion. The initial cost is very reasonable given the value received and given that available moneys need to stretch, and with HVAC and other building updates, would be environmentally better than completely building new, given the natural resources needed for new construction. I attended the open house but was unable to give all feedback due to time constraints. It was a very valuable presentation. _It is not necessary to return to the Veterans Memorial building. But if City Hall is moved away, there needs to be a plan for use of the building. It must not be allowed to fall into disrepair. _The existing City Services Center/Veterans Memorial Building is in need of substantial upgrading, it is not easily accessible to the public (very limited parking), and is at risk for future flooding. _Being the existing building is in need of extensive updating and repair, and the fact that it is in the flood plain does not make it a good option. Moving the Administrative functions to Westdale Mall could provide the best solution. _The current management structure of Veteran Memorial is what is prohibitive to the city moving back in. Having a highly functioning and efficient city government constantly at the mercy of a building management team and commission that in the past politically was at odds with the goals of city hall is a constant thorn in the side of city government. The Vets should give the building to the City, the City should help pay for the creation of a Vet's museum in the building and put a end to the bickering. _I think the Veterans Memorial Building should be fixed up for our Vets. You are getting money from FEMA to do so. _It is much more logical to choose option C (a new building) Room for growth, out of flood plain, centrally located, build for energy efficiency (Alliant Energy refund for going green) Option D is an option but certainly NOT A or B _Option B is the one I'd vote for. That building stands for CR government and ,more importantly, it is in the middle of the city. I don't live on the west side but I think we must try to unite the city and that island is in the middle of the river and the middle of the city. With FEMA willing to put in money it seems like an opportunity to remodel so the building could be used more efficiently and more of it.

_there may be valid reasons (cost, symbolism, location) to restore the upper floors of Vets for the purposes that were previously served there. If that is the case, it seems that serious consideration should be given to utilizing the old federal courthouse as an adjunct facility. The 2 combined should provide adequate space, and allow for growth _not on flood plain _rebuild the current building _Consolidation of facilities is important. I would like to see it be maintained, but only with good use of space. However, any increased use would require consideration of parking. _I believe that both of the buildings should be refurbished and reoccupied. _I do not want to see any city government offices at this location. Using it as free or minimal charge meeting space for local clubs, groups, non-profits, etc would be ok. So would sound proofing some areas, putting in transparent walls and offering it as free or low-cost practice space for instrumentalists, vocalists, bands. Could also be used for art classes, craft sales, etc. What I don't want to see is expensive equipment there on a 24 hour basis. I believe it's going to flood again. If it's too expensive to operate this way, see if the Grant Wood Window and gold flame can be moved to a newly constructed building outside the 500 year flood plain, raze the building and offer the space for community gardens. _Re-use the buildings, just not the lower floors. _I would rather see city government move back to City Hall. Maybe after the new courthouse is built some city services could be located there. _The Veterans Memorial Building needs to be rebuilt and protected from Higher Water if a permanent levee is built. The first floor could be used as a roller skating/ice skating rink because one of the things that the Veterans did when they came home from WW11 was start making a city that was great for young people to grow up in! _Option B is obviously the best choice. This is a great building and can be redesigned from the ground up to provide efficiency. _As a citizen, I support Option C, construct a new "one-stop" City Services facility on an undetermined, centrally-located site. Option C is my first choice. Option D, Remodel a portion of Westdale Mall to accommodate a new "one-stop" City Services facility is my second choice.

Please share your thoughts on the City Operations Center/Public Works Building.
_reoccupy _Operations / back office should be run at the most efficient cost possible. Pick the option with the lowest long-term cost (not total $, but a discounted 'net present value' figure). Looks like Option A _This city owned building has an acceptable location. Future needs and expansions of the various departments can be accommodated at this location. _I think that this building is satisfactory and can accommodate the needs of the departments that use it. _I'm torn between B and C. If a new facility were built on the same place, which would be practical, it would have the same flood possibilities as the present one so why not just take the FEMA money and make the existing one better? _not on flood plain _I think this building should be refurbished and reoccupied. __Mixed feelings. It looks and feels sort of like a rabbit warren. Eventually would like to see a more user and employee-friendly building, probably at a new site (Westdale Mall??) _If the Public Works Building is adequate at its sixth street location, then so be it, otherwise locate it on higher ground in a new or empty existing building! _A hybrid using primarily option B but with an appropriate new building as needed to consolidate city services at this site to provide co-location operating efficiencies.

Please share your thoughts on Fleet Maintenance.
_find a better existing building _Go cheapest - this is an operational issue. Option A. _This is one to let the department heads make the decision. _Option B because it seems that it spreads the maintenance in various parts of the city where the vehicules are used. _not in flood plain _It makes sense to keep the current space for the really large equipment. _Fleet Maintenance needs a new or existing bigger building so that all the entities that need maintenance can fit into the building. New or existing bigger building should be on higher ground! _C or D seem to be the most efficient models.

Please share your thoughts on the Animal Care and Control Center.
_find a better existing building _No need to build a large, new center. While it would be nice, it is a low priority. Go with low cost Option A. _Kirkwood College location is the best option. The original location in the flood plain would not be a good solution _We need to work with Kirkwood to provide a learning experience and care of stray animals. Work with them to share building costs and give the college students some firsthand experience taking care of animals. This is an excellent opportunity for both the city and Kirkwood. _Option C even though it's way to the south of the city. _I fully support a new building for the Animal Control and shelter services. The pre-flood facility was woefully inadequate in ways too numerous to mention them all. Highlights of the inadequacies are: 1) It was too small to serve the animals in need 2) dogs had be kept outside in frigid winter temperatures because the indoor kennels were full 3) There was no room to have separate kennels areas for incoming stray dogs and dogs already vetted and cleared for adoption. This had serious health consequences because parvovirus could spread from an incoming dog and other airborne diseases could easily spread because a sanitary air flow system was non-existent. 4) Everything about the building was old, dumpy and depressing. If you want people to feel good about coming to the shelter to adopt or volunteer, it has to be a place that's welcoming. The new facility is miles ahead of the old one in this regard (brighter, cleaner, etc.) but a new building can be designed specifically for what's needed, including education rooms and adoption rooms where families can interact one-on-one with a potential new dog or cat away from the noisy kennel area. 4) the pre-flood building was too remote. I've heard countless people say over the years that they didn't want to drive "way out there". Top that off with an old, depressing building where disease cannot be controlled in the most effective way, and it's a wonder any dog or cat was ever healthy and adopted. 5) The pre-flood building/ area floods regularly. Going back there would

be irresponsible. A new building would better serve the animals who are there through no fault of their own. A new building would be better for the staff who are there to care for the animals. And a new building would better serve the public through better accessibility and foster pride in a facility designed to save, protect and adopt family pets. _I think the animal control facility should stay in its current location or be move to the Kirkwood Campus. _Move it to Kirkwood. _The city cannot do enough to help abandoned animals. They desperately need a big permanent space and more help. The flooded building was not convenient for people wanting to adopt animals. _Needs to be more centralized. Before it was way out in the boonies! _The animal care and control center needs a new building with a yard that can allow several dogs to be played with at the same time. This will increase their adoptability and keep them calmer when people show up. The new building also needs a very large cat area so they aren't all crammed in crates, which makes for some very crabby cats. i think something like a petsmart set up would be good. Also, put it in a location that is close to town (like on the edge), not going to flood every year, and is convenient for people to get to. _When I first moved to Cedar Rapids I was disappointed at how far out of town, on an old road, in an old dirty building, animal control was housed. I can't imagine how anyone could even think of going back to that location. I am now a volunteer at the temporary CR shelter and that is an improvement. I strongly feel that the Kirkwood location would benefit our city. It would have ample parking, it would be a new building, and hopefully the vet tech program could continue to help the shelter out as they do now, by pulling dogs and getting them ready to be adopted. _A new shelter is needed. It would be nice if it would be more centrally located than clear out at Kirkwood. The facility now is in a good location how the facility is way too small. The metal building is far from desirable. I am a current volunteer. How the would end if the facility was at Kirkwood as it is way to far away from where I live. _I think that option C would be best, with D coming in second. The old location was too far out of town. A new location should be more at the heart of CR. In a building that more people see, it could lead to more volunteers and more awareness of the need in CR to help homeless animals. _Cedar Rapids needs a new Animal Care & Control Center. One that's actually designed as a shelter. One that will help us meet the needs of the animals and people of our community. _The Animal Care and Control Center should be centralized and definitely on Higher Ground! _C is by far the obvious choice. _I would like to see the new animal shelter located at Kirkwood community college. It would be a win win situation for all. _It should not be even an OPTION to go back to the building on the SW side. The flood of 2008 devastated that building, but it floods EVERY year. Earlier in 2008, the road to the shelter had been flooded over completely and the animals were not cared for several days. Once the workers were able to get back in, they found dead dogs, dogs with no food or

water and other sick animals as a result. This cannot happen again. The current building is fine for now, but it's not a permanent solution. My suggestion would be to have conversations with the Humane Society off of Mt Vernon Road and explore a joint building. Their building is inadequate as well and the public would be best served to have 1 full functioning building and services. _To return the CR Animal Shelter to the old facility, even if renovated would place it back in an area that requires staff to be boated in when the river reaches flood stage which is far below the levels of 31 feet in 2008. The Temporary Facility is not adequate to house an operation of a city this size. There are many fewer kennels for dogs at this facility yet the population of CR has not declined. Disease control with isolation rooms and separated areas for incoming animals from general healthy animal populations cannot be achieved. This is a sub standard facility that was set up in haste to provide a fast and temporary solution to the problem. The only cost effective solution for the long term is to build a new facility and that has been proposed at Kirkwood. The shelter and control functions will need to remain autonomous from Kirkwood however. A regional, state of the art facility that gives comfort and a clean disease free environment to the city's homeless animal population and reassurance to the citizens that these animals are properly cared for and given every chance for adoption, is the only logical choice. A destination shelter facility is long overdue in Cedar Rapids. This can go a long way for a city who has overlooked the shelter/control functions for the last 40 years. _I am a volunteer at the CR Animal Shelter. The work being done by the volunteers and staff is very impressive and the care shown for the animals is amazing. But we need a bigger building and it should be a permanent place. As our city grows, so does the pet population, and the problems that may bring. We have to be ready to take on more animals. In the future, our Shelter may be able to help out those surrounding areas that don't have a place of their own, perhaps at a minimal cost to them and a way to keep ours going without raising taxes.

Please share your thoughts on the Central Fire Station.
_not sure _It looked like Option C was probably the low cost option for the very long-term, in terms of operating costs. Go with it. _This is one to let the fire officials determine the best solution. _Fix up the one that is there. _Option B, since I'm not sure how many centrally located sites there are left. _build on stilts with parking under

_remain at same location _It needs to be in roughly this area but might be able to create a one city-block size mounded up area 15 feet or so higher than the current ground level to place the building on. Sort of like the Police Station. Need to replace the building. _Renovate & keep it at it's current location. _The Central Fire Station was not big enough and should be centrally located in a bigger new or existing building on Higher Ground! _A and D are not reasonable choices. B is workable, but C might be the best choice if a reasonable site is found.

Please share your thoughts on the Main Public Library.
_one of the First Ave sites would be a good move _This could and should be a city landmark. Not just to store books, but to establish the Library as a center of learning, culture and meetings. Option C gives us the ability to create a truly landmark, architecturally significant building. _The Library should be an important draw to downtown Cedar Rapids. It would be best to put it as close as possible to the old site. _The location needs to be outside the flood area. The First Avenue, between Seventh and Eight Street site appears to provide the best location and accessibility.

_The library's location needs to be outside the flood plain. _Option B or C. I think centrally located is really key and again, I don't know how many of those sites there are. _The True North option is intriguing, but only if True North can be retained as citizen of the Central Business District. We cannot afford to have any more outmigration from downtown; the critical mass necessary for a thriving city center is dangerously near the tipping point. The old Emerald Knights location seems to be convenient, and would remove blighted properties. It is intriguing. The Skogman site is less appealing in that it removes multiple buildings from the tax rolls. _not in flood plain _remain at same location. Why do they need a parking ramp _The good condition of this facility warrants that it continues to be used, with improvements. Building a new facility is a poor use of tax dollars. _I think the public library should be rebuilt on it current location with adjustments made for future flood risk. I think raising the library and building over a parking facility (like the Cedar Rapids Surgery Center) would be an adequate solution. This would allow more parking for patrons and flood protection. The current location is good because proximity to public transit. _Need a new building at a new location, FEMA insurance too expensive long term to make current site worth considering. I like the Green Square area best but the easy access to Hwy 380 location on First Ave might also be ok. _I don't think we need a bigger library downtown that what we previously had. We should keep a Westdale branch(it doesn't have to be as big as it is now) and build something smaller downtown or more central. The Marion and Hiawatha branches cover a lot of the east side as it is now. Make sure there is adequate parking, too! _Renovate & update the current building. Since there are plans to build an Intermodal Transit Facility, you could even increase parking by tearing down the GTC. I would rather have that torn down than tearing down the former furniture store. If the new library 'must' be in a new location I would vote for option B because it is close to the current location. The other two options are on 1st Ave which is a busy road & not many options for parking. Also option D is too far from downtown. _The Main Public Library should be centrally located in a bigger new or existing building on Higher Ground! _Parks and Recreation got it right with their Hybrid plan. A "midsize" but not overpowering central "activity center" with good distributed multi-neighborhood cluster sites. The library should be split in to three or possibly four nearly equal sized locations. A big central library is only a monument, not an example of good customer service. Since the planning did not include this very reasonable approach to good public service, we are left to choose among four very similar plans. 1. There should always be a branch in the Westdale Mall area. 2. The Skogman 1st Ave site is totally ridiculous. Far too many negatives. 3. The other three sites are workable. 4. Second story library at Site A is not enticing 5. "Free" parking only available at site D.

_I am most excited about having a new, more technologically advanced library build in the heart of downtown. My favorite location is the TrueNorth location as I think it will enhance the Green Square/Museum area. Plus I appreciate the historic value of locating the new library just a block from where our library started in this community. I think the library is one of downtown's most important attractions and is a vital service in this community that people of all ages can utilize and appreciate. _The Library at Westdale is very cheery. It is brighter and better lit than the downtown main library ever was. Free parking abounds, downtown had meters to feed. Everything is easy to find. The one thing that should be added is more computer terminals to check the catalog to see what is on the shelves.

Please share your thoughts on the Community Safety Center concept.

_not opposed _Combining the Linn County and Cedar Rapids safety departments into one location that would provide one communication system for both should be strongly considered. _I'm not sure that bigger is better in this case. Communication is such that I don't think everyone has to be physically side by side. Our new police station was just built. _I like any concept that causes us to use centralized common space. The multiple locations for services makes no sense. _The Community Safety Center should be centrally located in a bigger new or existing building on Higher Ground! _Couldn't this be combined with the Central Fire Station planning or the space that is freed up at the Police Station now that we have no helicopters and the fleet maintenance will be centralized.

Please share your thoughts on the Neighborhood Centers concept.
_these are needed _Having a center in each quadrant of the city would provide better accessibility for all ages of the population. _Cedar Rapids is a city of neighborhoods. You need to build in both neighborhoods and in the city's central core. "Just Do It." _It might be good if people would use them. _The Neighborhood Centers concept is an excellent idea and should be implemented! _This sounds similar to the Parks and Recreation Hybrid plan. Branch libraries would be a great fit here. Much better idea than just one "Multigenerational" facility.

Please share your thoughts on the Intermodal Transportation Facility.
_SE side just past 5th ave somewhere _Get it out of the core of the downtown, and put it on the long-term edge of DT. With bus traffic so disruptive, and the clientele not conducive to retail or office growth, it should probably adjoin industrial and be next to the rail if we get to light-rail options _Apparently we have the money for it so we should go ahead. I'd surely like to see some inovation in design and appearance. We should make our new buildings beautiful and unique, not just practical. _If I am not mistaken, $9,000,000 was earmarked for this project pre-flood. The old Pepsi bldgs. appeared to be a logical and non-controversial choice. therefore, why wait. Put pressure on our congressional delegation to free up those funds and get this project underway. _not in flood plain _Unneeded remodel the current GTC. _Enough longer term parking for commuters cars and bikes and for employees important and also shorter term parking for people picking up passengers from non-local buses? Could this also be a place for car-pooling vans or buses to pick up passengers going to University of Iowa, Kirkwood College, Meskwaki Casino, rec dept trips to Brookfield Zoo, etc. _Keep it away from the main library. _The Intermodal Transportation Facility should be centrally located in a bigger new or existing building on Higher Ground!

Please share your thoughts on the Former U.S. Courthouse.
_I think it would make a good City Hall and Municipal Courts building _Sell it into private sector for redevelopment - prime waterfront should fetch a good price. _If it is not feasible to be used for city functions, then it should be sold for private use, precluding any restrictions on the gifting by the US government. _The possibilities are endless. Youth center, boutique, meeting areas,--something to draw people to the downtown. It's an interesting building and working around the National Register shouldn't be a big problem unless you try to change the structure and I'd think you could work around that creatively. _not in flood plain _sell old courthouse. City needs to quit buying property. _Until flood walls and levees are in place, I'd strongly prefer no government offices in this location. _What were they going to do with it before the flood? Why not stick with the plan, unless it was going to be torn down? If Smulekoff's isn't going to be torn down, why should all of these other buildings be destroyed? This is beautiful building on the outside and it would be a shame if it had to be torn down. _The Former U.S. Courthouse should become a Museum and/or Halfway House where trustee's from the Linn County Jail can conduct tours and/or maintain the building!

Please share any other thoughts or comments here.
_Combining the Cedar Rapids, government, Linn County government, and the Cedar Rapids School System into one campus at Westdale Mall would be best for the future of the community. _We have such an opportunity to reinvent our city. We can emphasize the positives and eliminate the negatives. I'd like to see a per cent for art ordinance adopted so we would be insured of a beautiful and exciting appearance that would draw visitors and settlers here. Again, this can be a great opportunity. _green space in 100 year flood _Please build a new facility for the animal control and shelter services. The animals deserve better than what they've had for years in this city. _Why are we building houses for low income people when there are many low priced homes on the market? _We have an opportunity to consolidate services and the facilities we use. To maintain our multiple locations and uncoordinated services approach is to keep Cedar Rapids in the "old school" mode. You don't attract new people by sticking with old, lethargic approaches to City service. Thanks. _I would really like to see both City and County Government and the Cedar Rapids School District offices out at Westdale Mall. If we provide lots of services and own the building then potential other tenants would be willing to open businesses at the mall. Guaranteed foot traffic would lure new businesses to the mall, those businesses would pay taxes, this would defray the cost of running the structure and maintaining the parking lot. It's true the mall and it's parking lot need a lot of work. A new roof, some additional walls, electrical, etc. But we also have a skilled workforce that can do a lot of the work in-house. The library's maintenance staff has done the majority of the renovations needed for several library storefronts in the mall and the small downtown branch. OPN architects came up with a preliminary plan, elicited staff input and revised the plan. It CAN be done IF the city/county/school district decides it wants to do it. _I think anything rebuilt downtown needs to be remodeled with parking on the first level in case of future flooding. _Something should be done with the May's Island buildings other than tearing them down. They're just too historical and beautiful to destroy. I think we should reuse as many of the buildings as we can-fix them up or improve them. Once you figure out how to best protect them from future flooding, why not reuse them? We're buying out all those residential properties, isn't that suppose to help with flooding? It's important to take into consideration the environmental impact of your decisions. Good luck getting through all these decisions to be made.

_I have a business plan for a Renaissance Festival site in the Corridor area, which will provide jobs and tourism attractions. In this plan is a tavern, coffee shop, and restaurant with dinner and a show. Please contact me with questions and concerns. Thank you. _I find it interesting that you want companies to locate downtown and your not sure if you want to yourself. _It is my hope to see as most of the city facilities move back to existing buildings w/ some upgrades. This is preferable because it is more cost effective than building new. And although, the floods were horrible, I do not want to see everything move away from downtown just because there is a risk of future flooding. It seems everyone is paranoid about that. _The Open Houses are very well done and extremely informative! _I think most of the public offices should stay at Westdale Mall. The island is too small, too outdated and too expensive. Plus future flooding issues.

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