Archive for  January 14th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —   Starting next week, parking meters in downtown’s Court Avenue District will begin charging on weeknights and Saturdays.

Starting on Wednesday, meters will charge for parking from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday instead of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the Park Downtown Des Moines Program.

The change is a welcomed relief for businesses like Vivian’s Diner and Drinks, whose owner, Jeff Duncan, says a lack of parking has impacted foot traffic. Duncan hopes more parking will generate more profits.

“The idea is that you should be able to drive down here around the block and at least see one to two spaces open or being open.”

Aside from street parking also comes changes to city-owned parking garages–the city will lower the hourly rate by a dollar. The changes aren’t sitting well with many downtown-goers even though they know parking is an issue.

“I’d rather not have to pay at all to have to park. I don’t want to come out every two hours to put money in the meter, especially on cold days like this.”

However, businesses say the changes are necessary.

“A lot of people say, come on, Des Moines. If you want to be a big city, you gotta walk a few blocks, this and that. Well Des Moines is not ready for that, they want convenience and consistency,” says Duncan.

Plans for the program include implementing the same changes in the East Village in spring and in Western Gateway Park over the summer. All phases of the transition will be complete by the end of the year.

URBANDALE, Iowa  —  A team of 10 people is leaving on Sunday for a mission trip to Houston to help rebuild homes damaged in flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Members of Timberline Church in Urbandale gathered on Saturday morning to load tools into totes before flying to Houston.

“God’s moving in churches all over the nation to come down and focus on Houston again,” said team leader Maxx Godsey. “It’s not in the news anymore, there’s always another disaster it seems somewhere around this country.”

Church members began considering this project back in October, and made an envisioning trip to Houston. The crew will work seven days there with two different churches.

“We knew from experience in the past there’s a time after a disaster there’s a lot of relief effort, food, water, clothing, and shelter,” said Godsey.  “Anywhere from a year or two years after that is where the real recovery and restoration occurs.”

Since the team is flying, it involves careful packing and carry-on items to get some power tools, batteries, and other items they will need.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of homes still that are unlivable and in desperate need of help,” said Godsey. “This is the time when the church can step in and start really helping these communities get back on their feet in a real concrete way.”