Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
CONGRATULATIONS, BELLE PLAINE CLASS OF 2021!
This has been an extremely interesting two years to be in high school, but please think back to all the traditions you got to keep that the Class of 2020 did not get to do. Hopefully, no other classes will face the times that you met as high schoolers. I hope you get to head off to college or the work world in a more normal fashion. As a UNI fan, I look forward to seeing the UNI-Dome & the McCloud Center filled for games rather than the 15% limit used this year.
(Plus, spring football wasn’t really that enjoyable.)
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS!
I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO THE NEW NORMAL, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CHANGES FROM WEEK TO WEEK. STILL, AS AMERICANS, I HAVE FAITH THAT WE CAN MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS. PLEASE TRY TO COMPLY & MAKE THIS AS PAINLESS AS POSSIBLE. SOMEDAY WE ALL LOOK BACK & TELL THE YOUNGER GENERATION HOW WE SURVIVED THE COVID-19 VIRUS OF THE 20S. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH WARNINGS ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT JUST IN CASE THEY CHANGE AGAIN. ALSO, PLEASE RESPECT PEOPLE’S RIGHTS TO ASK FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING OR SPACING WHEN IN PUBLIC PLACES. RESPECT THOSE WHO CHOSE TO WEAR A MASK. ALSO, RESPECT THE BUSINESS OWNERS RIGHT TO REQUIRE SHOES, A SHIRT, MASK, OR NO SERVICE. LIKE I SAID, THE NEW NORMAL WILL BE WITH US FOR SOME TIME UNTIL WE GET MORE SOLUTIONS TO THIS VIRUS.
Fire up, we at least get to have our traditional July 3rd & 4th of July celebration, which was canceled last year. Some items may have changed, so please review the schedule when released by the Fourth of July Committee & Belle Plaine Community Development. One thing that will be different is the parade has been moved back to 11 a.m., so it doesn’t interfere with church services on Sunday morning.
Before I start looking at what the council will be trying to improve this year, let me review a few items that the city still has to pay off. We very quickly forget financial obligations the city was committed to in the past and are not paid off, so they still are a a large part of the city budget. Please think what Belle Plaine would look like if the council & citizens had not taken on this debt in the past.
- 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 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 sewer plant on Labor Day 2018.)
We do have new ideas being planned concerning at least one new well. Also, at the recent council meeting, we 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 like the City Code and other items of interest concerning the City of Belle Plaine. The new one will be much better & faster.
Congratulations to Rachel Montgomery on being hired as the new Executive Director of Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation. Congratulations, Rachel, and hey, Belle Plaine, stop into her office and say hi when you have the time. She will be a crucial player in helping with future economic development of BP.
Reviewing economic development, we have a lot of rumors out there about new businesses coming to town. Some of them are true, and some are fabrications of someone’s imagination. Until you see some action on a piece of property or you see an official announcement, then it is still only a rumor.
In most cases, city officials will not be commenting on it. However, there are some exciting things in the works, so give it time and see what develops over the next few months.
Yes, the city still has Business Incentive grants that are run thru BPCDC. They are first-come, first-served, and limited to no more than $4,500 per building per year. We budget $15,000 per year in that area, and if we could, we would love to budget more. (This money comes from local option sales tax.) I was informed last week that we are the only town in Benton or Iowa County that has such a program. We have a similar program for homeowners & their houses.
Congratulations to the girls and boys track teams on their excellent performances at the state meet last week. Special Congratulations to the Shuttle Hurdle Relay Team of Jacy Gates, Jacey Reineke, Alyssa Tegeler, and Olivia Bohlen on bring home the gold as they finished first.
Good luck to the softball & baseball programs as they start their summer season. Just think back to last year when there was a chance you were not having a season.
As always, “Go Plainsmen.” Remember, it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!
Mayor Dave Fish – June 2021