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Mayor’s September Newsletter

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

 WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO????? THERE SHOULD BE A LOT OF GOOD MEMORIES FOR BELLE PLAINE RESIDENTS FROM THIS SUMMER BUT IT IS TIME TO SEND THE KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL!

 PLEASE EVERYONE REMEMBER SCHOOL HAS OPENED SO WE HAVE CHILDREN, CARS, BIKES, ETC IN PLACES THAT HAVE BEEN RELATIVELY QUIET ALL SUMMER.  PLEASE SLOW DOWN, WEAR YOUR SEAT BELTS, & GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE IF YOU ARE IN A SCHOOL ZONE.    (That includes the adults!)

EXPECT LAW OFFICERS TO BE IN THE SCHOOL ZONES BOTH IN THE MORNING & IN THE AFTERNOON.  I WOULD HATE TO HAVE YOU MEET ONE OF OUR OFFICERS WHILE YOU ARE ALSO GETTING A TICKET.  SLOW DOWN & REMEMBER THOSE CHILDREN ARE EVERY FAMILY’S MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION!!!!!

Please pay attention to notices put in the paper, on the Belle Plaine Sesquicentennial Site, the City Website, various electronic message boards in town & our Nixle Alerts, for our household hazardous material collection event scheduled for September 17, 2016 from 9:00 to 11:00am at the City parking lot.  This will be done with the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency in charge.  There will be no cost to the Belle Plaine residents. 

LET ME REMIND YOU NO LATEX PAINT WILL BE COLLECTED!

This is the start of the City recreating various clean up days.

(This might make it a good time to sign up for Nixle.  If you do not have a cell phone that gets text message or a computer please call city hall & Sandy can get you hooked up to our Call’em All system.)

 Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago about my office hours.  Well my business card says I’m scheduled to be in the office on Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm but if you ask the staff you will find I’m at city hall almost every day from about 10:30 until 5:00 pm except during basketball season when I leave for practice at 3:00. 

My office door is always open. (Same belief I had as a teacher & coach.)

 In September the burning times change to every day from 4 pm to 9 pm.

 Nuisances were discussed last month but I will add a few items.  Most nuisance complaints come from residents concerning a specific situation and someone from the city goes to view it.  Sometimes they are brought to our attention from the city council.  Summers like this one we like because our wells are full to over flowing but they are also the ones where we all have to mow every five days.  Besides the mowing, weed control becomes a problem.  Remember the vegetation height in developed residential, commercial, and industrial zones is 6 inches. (Just because one person thinks it should be mowed does not mean it is a code violation.) Plus before the police file a nuisance abatement order they will probably give the property owner some leeway.  If we discover that the property owner has been gone for health or family emergency we will rescind the order.  A 30 day vacation is not considered a health or family emergency.  Also underdeveloped residential, commercial, and industrial zoned areas and the railroad right of way have a 12 inch maximum.  Plus unplatted property & agricultural zoned property has an 18 inch maximum.  All residents have the right to appeal any abatement order to the city council.  They also have the right to go to court.  So while we can act faster on grass & weed mowing issues other nuisance items take a longer time frame to run.  I know of one case over cars that started in May and will not be heard in court until October.  The justice system takes time.  So for those who think we don’t do enough it could be abatement has been filed & it is currently in the system.  For those who think we do too much I truly believe our staff & officers give everyone the benefit of the doubt to take care of their property.  Just remember our offices are always open so if you have a concern please call in or stop in & let us know.  We always try to error on the side of fairness! (I think in the next couple of weeks you will see some possibly long time nuisances disappear!)

   I would like to remind the citizens of Belle Plaine to please take a look at your house & see if your house number can easily be seen from the street.  This could become a key factor in getting an emergency responder to your residence.  If you are the owner of rental property it is your responsibility to see that this is done for your property.   I have been asked to look at various properties and I’m still surprised how many houses do not have visible house numbers.

The life you save in this case maybe a family member!

  Also do you have a fire extinguisher in your house? 

Once again if you own rental property have you supplied your tenant with a fire extinguisher & smoke alarms?  Both of these items are a part of reducing hazards at the individual level for residents of Belle Plaine.

 We will probably be doing some hydrant flushing this fall so please pay attention to future Nixle alerts or the city web page for when & what section of town we will be doing!

The Belle Plaine street department said GOOD BYE to a long time city employee on August 12th as that marked the last day Bruce Jacobs worked for the city.  After 39 years working for the people of BP, Bruce decided to park the white city truck and welcome his retirement.  Thank you Bruce from the citizens of BP & the rest of us in city gov’t.  No one was better at snow removal & your knowledge of our infrastructure is not replaceable.  Enjoy your retirement!

 Football, volleyball, cross country, marching band & cheerleading have opened their seasons so get out & support the hometown kids. (Here is a quick question:  How many of you have ever seen a XC meet? Try it you might like it & the cost is perfect they are free.  Only one, problem, all their meets are on the road!) 

 AS ALWAYS “GO PLAINSMEN”.  REMEMBER IT IS UP TO ALL OF US TO MAKE BELLE PLAINE THE BEST HOMETOWN IN IOWA!

 

Dave Fish-September 2016

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