Belle Plaine Mayor’s Newsletter

Belle Plaine Mayor Dave Fish


Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
Belle Plaine lost an icon last week. The news of the passing of Henry B. Tippie caused a wave of sadness to pass through Belle Plaine, the University of Iowa, the business world, and his family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Pat and the entire Tippie family.

I first learned of his death in a text message from the Benton Development Group as I got to my car after the funeral of a Keota icon. As I drove to the luncheon following the funeral, I started to think about how this man has influenced so many things in our community, the business world, and the United States. I realized how much he has influenced me as being the first recipient of a Tippie Scholarship. His award paid almost all my tuition for my first year at UNI. That award dropped the stress level for a first-year college student by a considerable amount.

I know as Mayor I have had numerous conferences with Mr. Tippie and how much he has influenced me as a public figure. I proceeded to this funeral lunch and then contacted around 20 former students I had not seen in approximately twenty years. I started to think about how his decision to offer Belle Plaine students scholarships has a lasting effect that deals with more than just the person who receives the scholarship. In my case, I had the opportunity to reconnect with 20 kids who did everything in the business world, ranging from the east coast to the west coast to farming in South America. This group also included teachers, nurses, a Catholic priest, and a Lutheran minister. One of the youngest created & runs her own architecture firm in New York City.

Pat and Henry B Tippie in Cedar Rapids

In athletics, we talk about the great coaches and the family tree of coaches they have created. Can you imagine the family tree that Mr. Tippie has made through his work in business and his scholarship programs and philanthropy work? We have been so fortunate to have had this man call Belle Plaine his hometown and remember us throughout his life. Thank you, Mr. Tippie, for all you have done in your lifetime, and you will be greatly missed by this community but always be remembered.

God Bless Mr. Henry Tippie.

By Executive Order, I will be demanding that winter exit the city limits of Belle Plaine by March 32 or April 1st. It need not come back until sometime in December. Preferably with only a light dusting of the white stuff for Christmas. Let’s see if that helps.

Hang in there, everyone; spring is coming sometime!

If you have paid attention to what the council has been up to, they have been working on the final completion of next year’s budget. The final hearing on the budget will be March 16th, so feel free to attend any or all of our council meetings. We are still holding them at the Community Center so we can social distance. We are also still using Wednesday nights. If you can’t make it to a council meeting, please contact your councilperson or talk to Steve or me at city hall. Everyone’s number or email address is found on our new website. While we can’t solve every problem, we will be glad to listen and give an honest opinion on what can be done with an issue. Not every topic can be solved by the city government or city code.

In fact, at the first March meeting, the council began discussing how they want to put council meetings live online during the session. Hopefully, we can have that process in action before spring actually gets here.

The city continues to work with the DNR in dealing with our water production issues. I wish I had a timetable that I could tell you when we plan to drill a new well or when we could add a filter to well six that would drastically reduce the mineral content. Still, we are stuck in limbo until the engineering company we contracted to do our water study gets done with the final report. We can not apply for any needed grants until that report is issued. I can tell everyone who believes rural water is the answer; it will cost $4.8 million just to get a line to Belle Plaine. (Their figures, not ours.) Now add that they charge more per thousand gallons of water than we do. (Their figures, not ours.) Plus, we will have to charge to cover all water the city uses, like to run the sewer plant, fill the swimming pool, deal with water main breaks. The water we use for firefighting + training. Also, it will still go thru the system of old mains that create some of our current problems (no new mains come with rural water). I’m just not sure that is the direction the city council will want to follow. Maybe two new wells, a filter system for well six, and then exploring what areas need new valves and some new water mains to solve our problems. We will know more for sure as soon as that water report is done. No matter what direction we go, it will cost money, and you know what inflation is doing to the price of everything. Sorry, I wasn’t here, but I wish they had built the water treatment plant they priced in the late 1980s.

The winter athletic seasons are over, so hopefully, we can look forward to the start of track and golf season. I was told indoor track practice has started. I remember those days in Keota and my kids avoiding running into teachers or walking groups in the hallways.

Especially the fact that if track season has started then spring and warmer weather can’t be too far behind.

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

Mayor Dave Fish- March 2022

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