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Mayor’s February Newsletter

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

What do elected officials do in the month of January?  BUDGET MEETINGS!!!!  Government groups have to complete their budgets in early March because we run on a financial year from July 1 to June 30.  This is always difficult for the public sector because we have no idea what the state legislature will actually do with state funding until they end their session in May (?).  It is actually tougher on school boards.  This year I have budget meetings to attend for the City of Belle Plaine, the Benton County Landfill, & the East Central Iowa Council of Governments.  Plus for Benton Emergency Management & the 911 Board.

 Nothing like driving to a few extra meetings when the wind chill is something below zero!!!!!

There will be a Benton County Hazard Mitigation Planning meeting on February 5 @ the Belle Plaine Community Center starting at 7:00 pm.  The public is encouraged to attend & participate.  I plan on a number of our city officials to be at this meeting.

 Hopefully by the time you read this we will have fixed the situation:

“It has been brought to my attention in the last couple of days concerning the cloudiness of our water in various parts of town.  After talking with the water department I will try & explain.  #1- there is nothing wrong with the water & it is perfectly safe to use.  Actually the only thing causing the condition of the water is additional air or oxygen in the water.  #2 This condition has been caused because we are adjusting the pumping of well #2 which at this time is being overused.  Thus the well has been putting air into the lines or cavitating, which is causing the cloudy condition.  #3 Why is well #2 being over used?  That is because well #4 has been off line for a while with what we thought was a screen problem, which turned out to be a pump problem.  Thus we are waiting on a new pump which should be installed this week & then the process for well restart will have to be followed.  The water department tells me that well #4 could be off line for another week.  If that is the case we will continue to experience these cavitating problems for that time period.

Summarizing:  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR WATER & WE ARE WORKING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TO CORRECT THE CONDITION.  Thank you for your concerns & please feel free to call us any time you have questions.”

A couple of things to note about this situation:  I would have published information concerning this problem sooner if I had known it existed.  As soon as I was made aware of the problem I checked in to it and informed the public.  This truly is a strange one because it can be happening at one house & across the block everything is normal.  Second if you have questions or concerns please feel free to call city hall & ask; sometimes we (city hall) are unaware of a condition that exists.  It’s like the water leak problems, if you see water running where you do not think it should be, please call us & we will investigate the problem.  Three: our wells are getting older & we do have equipment failure that takes time to fix or we do shut down for some type of normal inspection or maintance.  This can cause “stuff” to happen to our water.  We will never put out a product that is not safe & we will inform the public every time we believe there will be some kind of disruption.

On the positive side, keep your fingers crossed so far the winter has been kind to us with the main breakage situation and this is good for our budget.  Last winter with over 11 major breaks our water budget took a real hit, not to mention our costs with all the plowing, salting, & sanding!  The more this situation remains positive the easier it will be to set our city budget for next year.

The following problem has been brought to my attention by several of our council people & at least two business people.  Those concerns deal with pet owners allowing their pets to defecate on public &/or private property & also disposing of animal waste in our bio-cells.  Now I realize this does not apply to 98%+ of all pet owners but to those who are letting this happen please take care of your pets & clean up after your pets.  NO PEOPLE USING THE SIDEWALKS OF BELLE PLAINE SHOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT STEPPING IN ANIMAL WASTE ON OUR SIDEWALKS.  NOT TO MENTION WHAT KIND OF IMPRESSION DOES THAT GIVE VISITORS TO OUR CITY. 

Here is the city code dealing with this situation:

SECTION 4-59-23                REMOVAL OF ANIMAL WASTE.

1.)   It shall be unlawful for any person to allow animal waste to remain upon the property of another, upon property owned by the City of Belle Plaine, Benton County, the State of Iowa, or any other governmental entity

2.)   It shall be unlawful for any person to appear with an animal upon the public right-of-way, within public places or upon the property of another without that person’s consent, without some means for removal of excrement that may be deposited by the animal.

3.)   Any enclosure, pen, coup, or hutch in which pets are maintained shall be cleaned at least every other day or oftener if deemed advisable or necessary by a health officer or the Chief of Police. Said enclosures shall be located at a minimum of fifty (50) feet from the neighboring residential dwelling. No animal may be enclosed or fenced in the front yard, side yard of a corner lot of a residential dwelling or in the public right-of-way. Any kennel that is in existence prior to the passage of this ordinance shall be grandfathered in, except those located in the front yard, side yard of a corner lot of a residential dwelling or in the public right-of-way.

The penalty for this is a $30 fine & this ordinance will be enforced.  Please help us keep the city clean!

HERE IS A NEWS FLASH FROM CITY HALL:  FROM NOW ON THE CLERKS OFFICE WILL STAY OPEN UNTIL 6:00 PM ON THE NIGHTS OF COUNCIL MEETINGS. (That should be the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month)

HOPEFULLY THIS WILL HELP SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS WHO CAN’T GET TO CITY HALL BY 5:00 PM.

 

Rumor Department:  Here is another rumor that needs to be corrected, the City of Belle Plaine does not own the trailer park in the south end of town…………………..

 

Budget work is primarily done & it is balanced. 

I will discuss this in future newsletters to explain it!

 

Just thought I would note that the pride & joy of Benton Community Lady Bobcat basketball:  Madison Weekly is having a stellar sophomore season for the UNI Panthers.  Hey Benton County if you are looking for some moderate priced outstanding basketball action on a Sunday afternoon, then check out the Panthers home schedule & go support Ms. Weekly & the Panthers at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. 

 

Basketball & Wrestling are headed down to the end of their regular seasons & will soon be headed into tournament play.  I hope you get out & support them all while there is still some regular season left.  Don’t wait until tournament time to get your first look at this year’s group of Plainsmen & Lady Plainsmen.  The Belle Plaine boys’ basketball team is having an outstanding year & hopefully can ride their regular season success down the tournament trail.

I believe our speech students must be hitting that time of year where they go to contest. 

Another group of students who put in a lot of extra time so they can represent Belle Plaine.

 GOOD LUCK TO ALL THESE PROGRAMS AS THEY GET READY FOR TOURNAMENTS!

 

As always “Go Plainsmen”. Remember it is up to all of us to make

Belle Plaine the best hometown in Iowa!

 

Mayor Dave Fish – February 2015

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