FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
Last year I started the May newsletter with the following phrase: THANK YOU TO ALL OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS!
I will echo those sentiments again as we head into the second year of dealing with our Covid situation. As more and more people get vaccinated, we are moving closer to getting back to normal. I realize we are not out of the woods yet, and this virus has created other complications, but it sure feels like we are getting closer to normal. Please continue to respect every business & the rules they set. Also, respect others as they attempt to find their new normal in our covid world. I can’t wait until we no longer have zoom meetings and do all meetings live.
I genuinely believe that spring is here.
Please remember as the days get longer and it gets warmer, we have more bikes, golf carts, utility trail vehicles, and motorcycles on the streets. We also have more people out walking & jogging, so please be aware of this additional traffic and remember to please share the roadways. Also, remember that last year the council approved UTV’s, not ATV’s as being legal on the same streets that we allow golf carts. They also agreed that both golf carts & UTV’s must be registered and have a city license. (Proof of insurance.) Either check on the city website for the complete city code concerning these vehicles or stop in and have our city clerks explain the registration procedure.
I hope you noticed we test the sirens on the first Friday of every month at about 1:00 pm. So far, they have never failed us, and that includes the old one that sits on top of city hall. We also now can set the sirens off from the police station. Another item we need to note every spring comes from our Benton Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service, outside sirens are not designed to warn people when they are inside their homes. Instead, you should rely on your weather radios, mass communication, or a weather app on your phone. This is the city’s advice by the emergency management staff who specialize in storm warning management.
As spring approaches, it becomes time to get our lawns mowed and remove the junk that has accumulated over the winter. Please be advised our police department will be in the process of issuing nuisance violations. If you genuinely believe that there is a nuisance violation in your neighborhood, please call city hall during regular working hours and ask to talk to the police department. (This is not a 911 call!) It is not possible with only one officer on duty to see all the potential nuisance situations. Remember, what may seem like a nuisance to you, may not be a nuisance by code, or the court might not rule it a nuisance violation.
Also, as we approach June, the burning hours change from every day (4:00 to 9:00 pm) to only Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Only yard vegetation can be burnt; rubbish fires are never legal. As always, recreational fires are legal.
My office door is open to discuss issues in a reasonable & responsible way. I will be glad to discuss anything & I will respect your opinion, but that does not mean I will always agree with your ideas. I would also like to note that it is probably easier to contact me at my e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org than to send me a message through Facebook. But, yes, I am in my office every day, and if you want to talk to me, have the clerk buzz me so I can get my MASK ON. Also, I ask that you wear a mask until the CDC gives us a different set of instructions. Yes, I’m fully vaccinated.
We have several people who have not taken care of their cat or dog license. Please do so as soon as possible. Also, if your pet passed away this year, call one of the clerks at the city hall to remove their name from the list.
Before I start looking at what the council will be trying to update, let me review a few items that we quickly forget the cost the city is committed to. In most cases, the current city council was not around on many of these topics.
- Aquatic Center will be paid off in 2028
- Main Street Project paid off on June 1st, 2024
- The total Street Scape projects will be done in 2029.
- The newest is the 3.1-million-dollar sewer plant will be paid off in 2027. Remember, this was ordered by the DNR. (Also, the city & the construction company are in a legal hassle over the flooding of the plant on Labor Day 2018.
We do have new ideas being planned concerning at least one new well. At the last council meeting, they approved upgrading the city website, which had become unworkable. The website is necessary, so we can publish the council agendas and the council minutes. It is also helpful for many other things and instructions. The new one will be much better & faster.
CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2021!
As a class, you have gone through some extraordinary situations in your high school career but at least this year was the start of getting back to normal.
As always, “Go Plainsmen.” Remember, it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!