By Dave Fish, Belle Plaine Mayor
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
HAPPY NEW YEAR, BELLE PLAINE
(I hope you also had a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday Season)
Yes, we are still battling covid & probably will be for a few more Christmas times, but at least this year, it seemed more manageable.
There are many great holiday lights around Belle Plaine, so I suggest that everyone drive around and view them before they get taken down. 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 on the roads.
My apologies that the Santa Report was a little late this year. Let me give a valid explanation. We have our family Christmas on the 24th, and with two new great-nephews in attendance, I did not get out of Toledo at the exact time I thought I would. Then when I got home, my personal computer told me that I was now locked out due to suspicious activity on my personal Facebook account. After messing with that for 15 minutes, I decided my Mayor’s account at city hall was the best idea. It took a little longer to get that up and the message sent than I planned, so the Santa Report did not come out until after 10 pm. I plan to make it on time next year, even if it means putting Facebook on my phone.
Speaking of Mayor’s duties, I wonder how many mayors across the United States would be out making a house call on Christmas Day? Not bragging or patting myself on the back. Just trying to re-emphasize a point that if you have a problem that you want the City to be involved in, then get ahold of us, and we will attempt to fix it. I can’t promise you we will solve everything, and I know the whole water issue has us battling something every day. But we do have a staff attempting to solve every problem that we run into. Believe me, it is a whole lot easier to get us to respond if you contact us rather than put it on Facebook and hope we see it. The number for the city hall is 319-444-2200. Our website should have a contact method for the Mayor, the city administrator, and each council member. Feel free to contact us, even if it is a weekend.
In some cases, you may not like the solution, but we will give you a chance to explain your point of view! Oh, by the way, on your January water bill, the council voted to give every water account 700 gallons of free water just as compensation for the mineral hardness of our current water. There was no discount on the sewer side, only 700 gallons of free water, no free sewer.
On January 5, 2022, the city council will continue to meet in the Community Center until the covid situation is resolved. We will be using the Community Center to spread out properly to protect against the virus. Also, note there will be two public hearings at that first meeting of the year. One is a zoning change meeting for all the land from Country Foods west to the west boundary of Belle Plaine. That area is zoned industrial, and it should be zoned commercial, thus a minor zoning change. The second public hearing is a budget change hearing. In most cases, it is to move money from one account to another because it was not set in last year’s budget. A prime example is the money used to buy a new fire truck in a capital account,
but we did not budget for that expense in this fiscal year.
Steve and I are still exploring the process we need to go live on Facebook or U Tube with the new equipment that the city has purchased. I can’t guarantee the date, but I genuinely believe that our council meetings will be broadcast live starting in February or March. Will it be equal to an ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox broadcast? No, but it will be as good as a couple of amateur video specialists can do. Stay tuned. It will happen!
Get out and support the local athletes in basketball and wrestling, plus the band and cheer squads. If you missed the news, there was a doubleheader basketball victory over Lynnville-Sully right before Christmas. That might have been the first time the Hawks ever rode home on a bus from Belle Plaine, sulking over a doubleheader loss at the hands of the Plainsmen in basketball. (At least DA couldn’t remember it ever happening!)
As always, “Go Plainsmen.” Remember, it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!