BELLE PLAINE: From the desk of the mayor, January 2021

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

Belle Plaine Mayor Dave Fish

HAPPY NEW YEAR, BELLE PLAINE.

(I hope you also had a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday Season).

Several words or phrases I really hope I never see or use again will be 2020, Derecho, and Covid 19 Virus.

There are many great holiday lights around Belle Plaine, so I suggest that before they get taken down, everyone should drive around and view them. Congratulations to the people who took the time to put up some outstanding displays for all of us to enjoy!

I hate to bring bad news, but … When the City calls for a snow emergency all vehicles must be taken off the streets. Either park in the City lot or in your own driveway, garage, etc. This makes it much easier for the City to remove snow! Also, during any snow event, it is the property owner’s responsibility to remove the snow from your sidewalk.

City Code: 13.   Removal of Snow, Ice, and Obstructions from Sidewalks. All property owners shall keep the sidewalks abutting their property free from snow, ice, or other obstruction or accumulations. If such property owner fails to remove the same for a period of twenty-four (24) hours after the same has been deposited thereon, the City Administrator or the City Administrator’s designee may cause the same to be removed. Such officer shall file with the City Clerk a statement of the cost thereof, which shall be $1.00 per running foot of the walk from which the accumulations are removed. Thereupon the cost of the removal shall be levied against the property as a special assessment in the same manner and under the same procedure as special assessments are levied for the construction of sidewalks.

SECTION 3-42-3 PARKING PROHIBITED. No person shall park, abandon or leave unattended any vehicle on any public street, alley or public areas in the public right-of-way and immediately adjacent to the traveled portion of a street during any snow emergency parking ban. This section is not to be construed as to allow parking back on the snow routes even though they may be cleared.

SECTION 3-42-4  PARKING PERMITTED.  During any snow emergency parking shall be permitted in the city parking lot located between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue between the railroad tracks and 11th Street.

I can almost guarantee that you will get more than 24 hours after the snowfall to clear your sidewalks. The City will not start looking at sidewalks until we are done clearing streets & alleys. Please help our pedestrians by getting the sidewalks cleared! We really don’t want children walking in the streets.

I was surprised when I looked at last year’s newsletter and saw we were so heavily involved with the Herring Hotel issue. I’m also sure you were surprised that the hotel has been on the council agenda a couple times in the past months. Yes, a group thinks it is worth saving, but they don’t seem to get the council’s demands for a large amount of cash upfront and a serious plan on what would be done. As of right now, the council has made it clear that on or about February 1st, they will be applying for a demolition grant. I can’t make promises on what will happen but stay tuned for future action. If you have a strong opinion, please let your councilperson know. They hold the votes as to what action will take place. I can almost guarantee you will not see a situation that has happened with this building for the last ten years happen over the next couple of years.

January 6, the council will meet live in the Community Center with representatives of BPCDC. We can work out a new business grant arrangement and determine the relationship between the city government and BPCDC. We will be using the Community Center to spread out properly to protect against the Covid virus. Remember, BPCDC is an independent group. They are not a part of the city gov’t. Still, they are a vital part of our community’s economic development. They are looking for a director to replace Morgan, so if interested, contact BPCDC.

Steve and I are still exploring what camera we need to go live on Facebook with the meetings. It is not that we have forgotten the public. Since we moved to Zoom meetings, it is challenging to hear the complete discussion between council members. We will get this done as soon as we get a recommendation from some other city administrators and councils. We are convinced that using a cell phone camera is not the answer!

Preston Station

As we enter 2021, just ask yourself what George would tell us if he was still here to give advice! If you don’t know the stories behind BP’s Icon George Preston, do a little research. Start with a google search of George on the Johnny Carson Show! That could tell you a lot!

I wish we could get out and support the local athletes in basketball and wrestling, plus the band and cheer squads. Maybe we can do that in the future. I do have good news that I’m one of the 1300 UNI fans who gets to start attending games. However, I do not get to use my courtside seats because of the distance u have to be from the players. It should be interesting to see where they put my seats!

Just remember because we flipped the calendar does not mean the virus issue is over. Please continue to follow federal & state guidelines!

As always, “Go Plainsmen.” Remember, it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!

Mayor Dave Fish – January 2021

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