Q. In the Nov. 16 edition of the Quad-City Times, Mr. Rich the CEO of the Iowa Lottery stated that the state was on track to receive $71 million in lottery proceeds for the year. How is this money spent? Does it go into the general fund or is it earmarked for education? It either case how will it impact either the state's budget or the Davenport and Bettendorf school budgets? -- Mike, Bettendorf
A. We contacted the Iowa Lottery to find out. Mary Neubauer, Iowa Lottery vice president, external relations, said, "Great question, Mike, and thank you for paying attention to details like that! Today here in Iowa, lottery proceeds have three main purposes: They provide support for our state's veterans and their families through the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund; help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund; and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools. As you likely know, the General Fund is the largest pool of money within the state budget and many different programs receive their funding through it, including education, law enforcement, agricultural programs and natural resources. The proceeds from the lottery are a financial resource that otherwise would not be available. In addition to today's current uses, Iowa Lottery proceeds have been dedicated to many different causes through the years. Here is a link to the "Where The Money Goes" page on the lottery's website: https://ialottery.com/Pages/Pressroom/WhereTheMoneyGoes.aspx
Q. In rural, unincorporated, Rock Island County, are building permits required for having set-on-the-ground, portable storage sheds? Or any portable buildings as such, clearing lot lines? -- Bruce, Milan
A. We contacted Rock Island County to find out. Greg Thorpe, CBO, CFM, Rock Island County director of zoning & building safety, responded:
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"Yes, permits are required if they exceed 120 square feet. With the wind we experience around here, if these sheds are not tied down they sometimes wind up in their neighbors yards.
"The clearing lot lines is a little more complicated. Again there is a threshold and it depends on what you consider “clearing” the ground. We require a grading and drainage permit if you disturb more than 10,000 square feet. If you just cut trees or brush down, no. But if you use equipment to remove vegetation/ground cover, and exceed 10,000 square feet, or if the slope exceeds 7 percent, a permit is required. This permit is part of our compliance with our (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit and the clean water act.
"I hope this helps. I always encourage any resident to contact our office (309-558-3771) and ask first if they have questions."