FROM THE DESK OF THE BP MAYOR

Belle Plaine Mayor Dave Fish

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

Last year we were upset and disappointed because of the Covid we could not have a Fourth of July celebration. This year we are upset because the Fourth of July celebration has been changed. I totally understand everyone’s concerns, and I assure you there will be an improved planning session next year. By the way, the city council did not have anything to do with setting the agenda, nor did they have anything to do with canceling the car show.

With all that being said, let’s be thankful we are having a celebration and go out to enjoy it.

Let’s worry about next year sometime in the future.

Plus, I hear the band will be fantastic and could be the best BPCDC have had in years. Please come out, get involved, enjoy the festival, and let’s celebrate because it has been a tough, tough year. (And this covid thing may not be over yet!)

So, thank you to the Lions Club, The Fourth of July Committee, BPCDC, Joel Hanzelka & his fireworks group for all they do to make the Fourth of July a fun, enjoyable, & safe activity for the entire community. I know they are all always looking for new volunteers to help them out every year.

Remember the Drive-Thru Sweet Corn Festival on July 17th. EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET OUT & SUPPORT THE BELLE PLAINE AREA AMBULANCE SERVICE!!!!! Yes, they liked the way the drive-thru worked last year, so they will do it again this year. That means be prepared for 11th Street to be one-way headed east on July 17th from 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Also, you better get there early cuz they ran out of eats last year.

It is excellent food & it goes fast. PLUS, IT IS A GREAT CAUSE.

Speaking of registration, everyone has done an outstanding job of registering golf carts and UTV’s. But please remember to put them on your vehicle. Those who are unhappy with the UTV’s being on the streets really need to complain to the state legislature. They are the group that laid the groundwork for those vehicles running all over Iowa.

I still wonder why we don’t register them like we do motorcycles.

If anyone thinks the city council or those who work for the city are happy about being forced to start water restrictions, you are kidding yourself. We are not the only ones who have started this, beginning with the state capital Des Moines and we won’t be the only ones who have to do it if we don’t get some rain. In 2014 many communities were doing it, including Poweshiek Water who went on restrictions. We have been trying to get federal money for about two years to drill one or two new wells, but that first requires completing a water study. Our engineering firm is not yet done with the water study, close but not done. So, until that is complete, we cannot apply for the grants to tell us exactly where we should drill and what type of wells they will grant us the money to drill.

Yes, we have a lot of water under us, and our emergency Well #6 can produce enough water to run the entire town. The problem is the water is loaded with minerals. If it is not mixed correctly with the current wells, nobody in the community likes it. Even then it is not the most drinkable stuff in the world. We are hoping to hold off until we absolutely have to turn on well #6.

Those who think the answer is rural water never listened to that discussion about 8 years ago when we invited rural water into a council meeting to give us a proposal. If you thought water is expensive now, you have no idea what we would be paying with rural water. The cost at that time was a $3 million charge to bring it to BP, and then the city would pay for every gallon that everyone used. Thus, we would have to charge to cover all water leaks, filling the pool, fires, and other times where water is used by the public but never paid for. We would also still have to maintain our own facilities such as water lines, wells we continued to operate, & the sewer lines + sewer plants. The bottom line is running a water system costs a lot more than most of us realize.

Just another quick note about planting trees. No trees can be planted on the parking without the approval of the Belle Plaine Tree Board. At this time, they will review all situations concerning trees on the parking and where we have water lines & sewer lines located. Also, all tree planting in your yard should have a One Call done before you start planting. The last thing you want to do is hit some underground line that could create a real mess. Let’s be safe out there.

Speaking of being safe out there, we are on a burn ban until we get a decent amount of rain. Thus, be careful with those firepits and remember the city of Belle Plaine never approved the use of fireworks. If you want the firework ordinance changed, you need to talk with the council members. Some things to think about in the fireworks discussion are the dry weather, pets, & veterans. Not to mention your neighbor’s house and everyone’s lawn.

The new school stoplight is up and running on 7th avenue. IT IS DIFFERENT! When it is activated, it has a yellow flashing (strobing) light. That means stop, not caution. This is the only type of lighting system that the DOT approved, and as most of you know, the city can make no decisions on Highway 21 without the DOT approval. The old lighting system was outdated and could not be repaired or replaced. We are asking the state if we could replace the flashing yellow lights with red ones. Still, until that situation is resolved, it is what it is, a yellow flashing light that means stop because a pedestrian is crossing the Street. Please be careful kids are traveling there in the summer, especially with a summer school program in progress.

It is great to see high school softball & baseball up & running with both the Plainsmen teams under new management (coaches) this year having successful years. Remember, Iowa is the only state that runs summer softball & baseball programs & it is getting to be tournament time. I understand that you must buy your regional & district tournament tickets online through the Girls Union & the Boys Athletic Association. Welcome to the modern age of high school athletics. If you have questions, see AD Tegeler & while you are at it, wish Mark good luck in his new endeavor as he heads down the road to assume the duties of HLV K-12 Principal. I know we are losing an excellent part of our faculty & coaching staff.
He, however, will still be on the city council. Good luck, Mr. T.

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

Have a safe Fourth of July!

Mayor Dave Fish –July 2021

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