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Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

Yes, we have a new city administrator who is scheduled to start on November 18. We interviewed four outstanding candidates from both in and out of state. Still, when all was said and done, we decided to stay local, and we hired former city employee Steve Beck.

More information in the future.

I hope that you get out & vote in the upcoming election. I know that this is not a Presidential year, but local elections still make a difference. If the right to freedom of speech, gun ownership, protest, etc. is important, the right to vote is just as important! If your history or government teacher didn’t tell you the limitations that were put on voting in this country when it first started, you should check them out and see just how far we have come as a democracy. (So by the time most of you read this I either will have only one more of these news articles to write or I will have forty-nine more of them to do.) Please get out there and vote.

On another note, as we near the holiday time, not all members of our community have the resources for celebrating those traditional times of Thanksgiving or Christmas. In responding to those needs, the Benton County Volunteer Program, in collaboration with the Benton County Food Pantry, will be sponsoring Thanksgiving Food Baskets for those in need across southern Benton County. For more information on how to participate in these programs or how to help these programs, please contact the Benton County Volunteer Program (319-434-6078) at 1309 5th Avenue, Belle Plaine, Iowa. This program does excellent work for the people of our area, and we all appreciate their hard work & effort. If you need help, call them and find out what services are available, and if you have some spare time, call them to volunteer. I know they can always use some extra volunteers

Don’t forget that on November 11, 2019, the school will be celebrating its annual Veterans Day program at the high school at 10:00 am. This is open to the public, and if you have the time, it is a very well-done program where the community honors all our vets. I know it is said quite often that Freedom is not Free. Still, we all need to remember if it weren’t for the veterans both past & present, we would not have all those freedoms that Americans enjoy.

Also, remember that it is Belle Plaine city policy; if the family of a Belle Plaine veteran requests it, the flag at city hall will fly at half-staff in honor of that veteranon the day of their funeral.

You may have noted from the minutes or press coverage at our last council meeting that the City of Belle Plaine had applied for a grant to replace the school stoplights on 7th Avenue and in an e-mail dated October 9 that the existing school traffic signal is not warranted based on the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Thus they will not be recommending the funding of this project. Some of their suggestions would be labeled as funny if this wasn’t such a serious project. (Such as changing 7th Avenue from a four-lane to a three-lane highway.) So before we go over the deep end, we will still look at several other options, including installing a pedestrian hybrid beacon and seeing what the grant options are in that area. We will also be contacting our local state representatives to see what help they can offer us. No need to panic; this was not a project that we hoped to install this year. But it does get little frustrating when we apply for a grant that we thought was a slam dunk, only to have it rejected because someone in an administrative position in state gov’t says we no longer qualify for such an item. Sure reminded me of a MASH episode where they didn’t qualify for an incubator because they were a front line hospital, but they could get a pizza maker!

Also, from the last council meeting, the City of Belle Plaine, in conjunction with the Benton County Landfill & the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) has asked if our city would be interested in becoming a pilot program for starting a composting project. After a discussion, the council asked if the Mayor could get Alicia Presto of ECICOG to come to one of the next council meetings to explain how the project would work. Again this would be on a volunteer basis only! Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

Snow season will be here very soon, so I remind the residents of Belle Plaine that it is your responsibility to remove the snow from your sidewalk.

It is also your responsibility to not have your vehicle parked on the street during a snow emergency.

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 because we 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.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING AND

THAT DOES INCLUDE ILLEGAL BURNING!

By the way it is against city code to burn leaves in the street, including the concrete ones!

Also, if you want large items taken away by our garbage program, you must call to make arrangements, not just set it out on the parking. Plus, all electronic type stuff will have a fee. If you have questions concerning the garbage program, please call city hall for answers & instructions.

In closing, let me say by a quirk, I seem to have over-purchased season tickets to UNI Women’s basketball. So if there is a parent in the Belle Plaine school district, who would like to take their daughter to top quality women’s college basketball game, then call me at city hall, and they are yours for the asking. (Three tickets per game- great seats, row two behind the scorer’s table.

Parking is free right across the street from the McLeod Center.)

Sorry, the Iowa game tickets have already been claimed.

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM ON WINNING THE SOUTH IOWA CEDAR LEAGUE CONFERENCE TITLE THIS YEAR!

ALSO CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOY’S FOOTBALL TEAM ON WINNING A DISTRICT TITLE & QUALIFYING FOR THE STATE PLAYOFFS.

Remember it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!

November- 2019- Mayor Dave Fish