Meet Coralville At Large Council Candidate Laurie Goodrich
Name: Laurie Goodrich
Address: 2109 Abbie Ct.
Seat seeking: At Large
Occupation: Co-Director of University of Iowa faith-based athletic organization
Educational background: Iowa Certified Elected Municipal Official; Johnson County Citizen’s Police Academy; Municipal Leadership Academy; LBI & Moorhead State University.
Why are you running for council?
Goodrich: I love Coralville and love serving on Coralville’s City Council. I want to continue to see seniors, young families, recent graduates and all those in between continue to enjoy services they have grown to expect, as well as find economic security in sustainable projects and growth.
What are the three largest issues facing the city? How will you address them?
Goodrich: I am proud of our public safety and will continue to support a highly rated police and volunteer fire department as they serve our community. The infrastructure of Coralville is receiving upgrades and expansion as we grow. Widening First Avenue between 6th and 9th and Coral Ridge Avenue between Oakdale and Forevergreen Road, adding roads and round a bouts and stop lights where necessary, as well as refreshing streets and sidewalks on a yearly rotation. Finishing the flood mitigation with stormwater improvements and expanded water and wastewater facilities. Economic development is at the height of importance as new business and business growth creates solid paying jobs which keeps our community thriving. The Iowa River Landing is bustling with the Iowa Arena, new hospital development, and new business. The Oakdale Research Park is ready and waiting for innovation and growth! Business is expanding in all corners of Coralville and that’s great.
Next summer, Coralville’s now 20-year-old tax increment finance district for Coral Ridge Mall expires, opening up millions in additional property tax revenue annually. For Coralville, that means about $2 million added each year to the general fund. How would you like to see that money used?
Goodrich: At this writing it is unclear what the exact amount will be. I’ve been recently told it will be $1 million. As time goes on the amount will become evident and for two years we will pay the Ready Mix on First Avenue which will move to the south west corner of Coralville. We will use it for the backfill if the State of Iowa decides to not renew the backfill for cities. And, in years to come, the upkeep of park and recreation areas is always important. Also we have some financial incentives to aid people who are of a certain income and want to keep up their homes with roofing and windows and weatherization already and possibly we can expand on that. Quality affordable housing is important.
The Iowa River Landing continues to grow in Coralville, with housing, storefronts and a soon-to-begin arena project all taking place. However, some have questioned if the area should be offering more affordable housing opportunities. Is this something lacking — or are there other elements missing — in the IRL area? What do you want to see added as development continues?
Goodrich: The Iowa River Landing mixed-use development has a number of options for rental and condo living. Because of the proximity to the river and amenities these spaces usually are in a higher price range. (In regard to most families, the IRL is a great place to receive medical care, dine, shop, enjoy sports, concerts and explore the river area, but probably not live.) This area does not include low impact housing. The development is going well.
Coralville — and cities across Iowa — could face revenue losses as the state revenues remain tight. The state is threatening to do away with the backfill funds it provides to communities in an effort to balance its budget. How would you balance the city’s budget if the city were to lose funds? What funding priorities do you have?
Goodrich: We don’t know if backfill funds will be rescinded completely or incrementally diminish over time. Coralville is prepared to use reserve funds if needed.
Where do you see growth occurring in the city in coming years? What should the city do to manage it?
Goodrich: I see growth across the city in various pockets and mostly to the west where there is about 1,000 acres and to the north Scanlon Family land near Liberty High. Through a series of planning meetings, City staff, officials and the public updated The Coralville Community Plan in 2014. I was a member of the Steering Committee. I am confident that this plan established a road map for growth and development to use within the City of Coralville over the next 15 to 20 years.
What other big issues would you like to see the council address in the next few years?
Goodrich: As a council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission I am prepared to focus on planning and funding the eventual replacement of the indoor swimming pool at the Recreation Center. Coralville is a great place to live, work and play!