Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
I hope you enjoyed the July 4 celebration, and most people I have talked to thought it was a great celebration. A special thank you to the Lions Club, BPCDC, the Fourth of July Committee, the Athletic Booster Club & all Associate groups for all the work & sacrifice they make every year so we can have a two-day celebration
It takes a city of volunteers to pull off a city-wide celebration.
For those with new ideas, contact the groups who put on these celebrations and get involved with the group. I saw some great ideas on Facebook, but if you genuinely want to make those ideas become a part of reality, you have to get involved. Just mentioning it on Facebook is not enough. Remember, the Kid’s Zone & Bags Tournament on Main Street were only in their second year. Plus, the car show was a return from past celebrations and some of the stuff in the park was new either this year or in recent times. If we want more fantastic fireworks, we will need more donations because the local option sales tax is stretched about as much as the city can make it. Again, a great time Belle Plaine and a special pat on the back to the Lions Club for making the right call with the parade delay and all the rain. At 8:30 am, I was pretty sure that weather radar would cancel a big bunch of the day.
It is hard to believe that it is August already and the summer is about to wrap up. When I was still teaching, as August 1 rolled up on the calendar, I knew the enjoyable, carefree days of summer were just about gone. Remember, those school zones will become active in a few short weeks with more pedestrians, bike riders, and traffic in general. Be very careful during school hours. Please slow down and follow the traffic laws. As long as I’m on traffic laws, you will find we still have the same system on 7th avenue as last year. Please obey those flashing yellow lights and the guard’s stop sign as students cross the street.
No, the city does not like the current crossing light situation. We have contacted the state DOT to have another conversation concerning the Hawk system we would like to install. Especially when we feel there will need to be a crossing for the new Dollar General that could use the system we currently have at the school crossing. We are trying to convince the state to let us replace it with a Hawk system which would be a modern version of what we formerly had on that site. Please be patient as we try to appeal to the common-sense side of the DOT.
When U drive-thru that area, be aware that it is a school zone, and we have a new type of stoplight. Also, if you have children that cross there, make them familiar with how to use the new system correctly. Look both ways before they step into the street and only when the yellow lights are flashing.
Over the last two years, it has been challenging to adjust to the day-to-day situations that have arisen over such things as the derecho problems, the pandemic, and problems created by covid. As Americans and Iowans, I knew we could adjust. As we head into a new school year and the end of the summer, we once again are facing an increase in a new strain of covid virus that could create some of the same problems we have had in the past. As a city government, we will follow the recommendations and orders of the federal and state governments.
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH WARNINGS ISSUED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT& THE CDC. Also, continue respecting people’s rights to ask for social distancing and a businesses’ right to require you to wear a face mask. Noting that Linn County requires face masks in all public buildings and every medical facility I’ve been to in the past year still requires masking; don’t be surprised to see some of this increase in the future. I’m not a doctor nor a scientist, but the city gov’t will follow the guidelines that we are told to follow. If that includes moving council meetings back to the community center, we will do that. We are operating as if nothing new is in the wind. Please take care of yourselves, and if you get covid, please follow the doctor’s orders to quarantine yourself. As you can see, the disease doesn’t care who you are or your social status as President Biden is currently being isolated with the virus.
Again, a public service reminder IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Things that just don’t look right must be reported to the city hall or the police department. These are strange times we live in, as witnessed by the recent park shootings in Blackhawk county. If you see something that does not look right, please call it in. Our department can’t be everywhere, so please help them by calling in all suspicious activity. By the way, we just made new police hires, so as of August 1, we will have a fully staffed police department. Believe me, small towns trying to keep a full staff in this day & age of police labor shortages is no easy task.
By the way, last month, I reported about the city and one of our builders being involved in a lawsuit. Again, the court docket is overloaded, so we got bumped until November. Probably just as well. The Vinton Courthouse is more comfortable in the fall than it is in the summertime. Also, maybe the company we are in dispute with will reconsider and take one of the many offers we have given them to finally make a logical out-of-court settlement! (We will keep U posted!)
Remember the 71st Annual Firemen’s Dance is now August 12 and will be held this year in Franklin Park from 8 until Midnight. Remember, these guys still make house calls!
School is just around the corner, so hopefully, U will be able to get out and support the XC team, the volleyball squad, the football program, the marching band and the cheerleaders.
As always, “Go Plainsmen.” Remember, it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine the Best Hometown in Iowa!
August 2022- Mayor Dave Fish