Proud to be selected a Main Street Iowa Community in 2008
Career, family, home . . . Belle Plaine offers a great place to come home to. Quiet street with a friendly wave . . . a place where the neighbors know your name.
Payday Loan UKpayday loans usa

Mayor’s February Newsletter


Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

I really do understand that no one is happy to see their sewer rates go up.  I guarantee you that no one in city government from the council to the city administrator to the Mayor enjoyed raising the rates.  But I will remind everyone that it was the Department of Natural Resources who ordered these changes to the sewer facility.  It definitely was not something that the city gov’t thought up. Also a couple of items were brought up in public discussion of these topics and our city clerks reminded all of us of the following information:

  • The city rarely uses an estimate to determine water usage.  All meters are read EACH month.  The only time an estimate would be used is if the meter won’t read and is in need of some repair.  This is usually only 1-2 meters in any given month out of the almost 1,300 meters that get read.
  • The usage/meter reads on bills are several weeks behind.  For example:  The 1-1-18 bill would have covered a usage timeframe of roughly the first week of November through the first week of December.  If there is ever any question, the exact dates can be obtained from City Hall.
  • The increase to our customers is $4.27 per thousand and affects the SEWER rate only.  There was no change to the water or garbage rates.
  • It is illegal for the city to offer a different rate for seniors so therefore we are not allowed to do any type of senior discount.
  • Yes, the city DID apply for and get a $600,000 grant to put toward this $3.2M project.  That was taken into account when the new sewer rates were established.

As a city government we know that the additional rates are not desired or welcomed by anyone.  However the costs to add the Ultraviolet Disinfection and Flow Equalization Basin additions to our Water Pollution Control Facility that are required by the DNR have to get covered.  The City Council felt the fairest way to raise those funds was to increase the sewer rate so that all sewer users were impacted based on their usage.

My office door is always open to discuss this & any other issue in a reasonable & responsible way.  As I told my players & students for years, my office or classroom is always open for discussion or for advice.  That policy remains in effect with my position as Mayor.  I will be glad to discuss anything & I will respect your opinion but that does not mean I will always agree with your opinion.  I also remind the citizen that I do not have a vote on any issues so if you want to further effect the outcome of an issue then you also need to contact the council person for your district &/or one of the two councilpersons at large.  Again I always remind everyone respect is a key in communicating with anyone that includes your parents, teachers, coaches, neighbors, friends, any government officials, law officers, & anyone else with whom you come in contact.


On to the next concern–water issues.  At this point in time the water reports are looking better.  I don’t know exactly if it is because we have fixed about four recently discovered leaks or that consumption has cut back somewhat or the fact we have changed how we are operating our wells but at the time of this writing I have not had any negative well reports and the speculation that well #6 would have to be activated sooner rather than later has not crossed my desk.  We are sending in water samples to make sure well six is completely tested to put into operation if we are forced to do so.  Again we will give the public ample warning.  In the meantime we are bringing in the US Geological Survey Central Midwest Water Science Center out of Iowa City to give the city council some information on where our water supply is headed and what steps we should be taking to make sure that the city of Belle Plaine has ample safe and secure water supplies for the future.  We need an unbiased expert opinion on what steps the city should be taking to hopefully make sure we are not going thru this on again/off again scenario with well #6.  We all have our opinions but not many of us are experts in water production & climate change so the council is seeking help in this area.  I will let you know the outcomes of this meeting.  They will be at our February 5 council meeting (6:00 pm council chambers)


 Remember when the city calls for a snow emergency all vehicles must be taken off the streets.  Either park in the city lot or in your own driveway.

 This makes it much easier for the city to remove snow!


MEALS ON WHEELS COULD USE SOME HELP!  I was recently informed that our Meals program has developed a shortage of personnel to deliver the meals.  Call Ashley or Wendy at the Community Center to see if you can fit it into your schedule.  It is a great chance to help our older citizens & to meet some really great people.  Takes about an hour & twenty minutes depending on how long you chat!


Also a quick reminder that dog & cat licenses were due in January.

Please get them taken care of this month so the penalties don’t add up.


The city administrator & the clerks will be presenting the council the new budget for next year so we can have it certified by the due date in March.  Definitely not an easy job to make projections when you are never exactly sure how the state legislative process will affect your tax base.  Currently I have worked on budget projects for ECICOG, Benton Emergency Management, Benton Landfill Commission, Benton Economic Development & in February the 911 Commission.  The first three months of every new calendar year keep local gov’ts very, very busy with budget hearings and certifiying budgets besides the normal operations of all these groups.


The council is also in contact with Johnson County Refuse to determine if they will enact the five year contract extension clause in the current contract or will they rebid the contract again.  Remember operations have changed considerably since the Landfill Commission took control of the landfill from the county board of supervisors.  It is not a simple or cheap process to get rid of garbage anymore and in some of the DNR articles I have been reading lately it is going to get even more complex.  Again the DNR also controls this area just as they do with sewer plants & water production.


Special Congratulations to Dakota Henry (120) & Ethan Allie (195) on their South Iowa Cedar League Conference Championships on the wrestling mats.

Also special congratulations to Emma Johnson on being selected as

 KCRG’s Student of the Month.


Don’t forget to get out and support the local athletes in basketball and wrestling plus the band & cheer squads that also perform.  It is getting to the end of the season and tournament time is right around the corner.


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 2018

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.