By Dave Fish, Belle Plaine Mayor
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
WOW, it is October already, so that means we have officially ended summer and are headed into fall. The positive side of fall usually means great weather and beautiful colors. (Continuing football, volleyball & cross-country seasons.) So, while it is still good weather, I hope you take the chance to enjoy the season because right behind it will be the winter with all of its difficulties. Continue to think positive and enjoy the great fall weather of the mid-west.
JUST A NOTE CONCERNING COUNCIL MEETINGS. BECAUSE OF THE WORK SCHEDULE OF SOME OF OUR COUNCIL PERSONS, WE ARE CHANGING THE STARTING TIME FROM 6:00 TO 6:30. We have had council persons using vacation time to make it to council meetings on time & as a city gov’t we decided that was not right so note starting in October council meetings will begin on the first & third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm
On a positive note, we have recently done several ribbon cuttings for the new businesses in Belle Plaine. One was the opening of the Benton County Brewery & the other one was the opening of the new Dollar General. We hope both are excellent additions to our business community and are very successful. Also, if you see Denny Schwab around town, congratulate him on his retirement, as he recently sold Country Foods. (More about the new ownership in the future!)
On another positive note, a really unique & exciting business that opened last October will be opening again this fall. That is the Deranged Haunted Attraction on 8th street at the site of the old sale barn. If that type of adventure stimulates your idea of entertainment, then be sure to check it out and then check out a couple of the others in Benton county. Nevertheless, we have some very positive business news in Belle Plaine.
Right along with that idea Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation has selected Sunday October 30 for their annual Trunk or Treat Event. (3-5 pm). Meanwhile, the Belle Plaine City Council decided to stay with tradition & make the city’s official Trick or Treat Nite be on Monday October 31 from 5 to 8:00 pm.
People ask why we don’t drill a new well so let me review that process which seems like it has gone on forever. About five years ago, we applied with the Department of Agriculture for a rural city grant to drill a new well. We were turned down but told if we completed a water study, there was an excellent chance we would get a grant. Governments typically don’t hire who they want for significant projects without having companies put plans together so they can be reviewed. Thus an RFP was put together to get engineering firms to bid on the project. Veenstra & Kimm got the project, and eventually, after several years, they just finished. This month they will present it to the city council, and we can start making plans on how to improve our water.
Along with that process, we are experimenting with a test filter for well six to improve the water quality. If we can get the filter idea to work, then there is a chance that we could get away with drilling only one instead of drilling two wells. Again, the filter will have to make the water coming out of Well 6 more compatible with the water we draw from Wells 1 thru 4. Well 5, has been shut off since the derecho, and we are in the process of closing it down. It was our lowest quality well & did not produce as well as the other four wells.
Stay tuned as the council reads the water report, and then we begin the process of what we need to do & how we pay for it.
In the latest council action, they approved the new city code to approve the bus pick-up area near William Park on 16th Street, sold off a city lot on 16th street, removed the term burn pit from all city codes, & accepted bids for a new police vehicle. (Over $30,000 of this will be paid by a grant.) They also adjusted the salary of our Police Chief, so it is more in line with those in the area who do not have nearly as much experience.
It is still better to be safe rather than sorry. If you notice something in your neighborhood or elsewhere in town that does not look right, please call it in. (319-444-2323) (Obvious emergency 911) DO NOT TAKE ACTION YOURSELF. Our officers are on duty to protect and serve the citizens of Belle Plaine. Do not hesitate to call them into action if you see something that should have the police involved. My strong advice is to call it in and let our officers deal with the situation. Trained officers know how to handle almost any situation and are better equipped to deal with anything from odd items to major law infractions. Sometimes we simply need people to be better neighbors to each other, but if that does not work, feel free to call the police department.
Time is running out for various fall sports. They will be starting the playoffs in October. So, if you have not seen XC, volleyball, football, or the marching band, you better check the schedule to see when their next event is happening.
As always, “Go Plainsmen.”
Remember, it is up to all of us to make
Belle Plaine is the best hometown in Iowa!