FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day (Saturday, September 17): This was very successful as many pounds of dangerous chemicals were dropped off & left town to be shipped to safe sites for their disposal. I thank all who participated & to the Linn County Hazardous Waste Team. The team thought we did an excellent job & has agreed to do it again in two years. In the meantime if you have some household hazardous waste to get rid of, please take it to the Benton County Landfill & they will properly dispose of it at no charge. Please do not put this in your regular garbage.
Hey if you have the time & want to volunteer to help a Belle Plaine group, check the new Facebook page sponsored by the City of Belle Plaine & the Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation where groups can post what they need for volunteers. If you have a group that wants to post, please call city hall to get the agreement letter that goes along with belonging to this page. Check it out!
Just another step towards more cooperation & communication!
We did take a big step forward last month as we approved a valve & hydrant contract to fix and replace a number of these items that don’t work. This is only the start of projects that will go to improve our water system, sewer system, & storm water system. I wish I could tell you exactly when our sewer lagoon project & sewer plant project will visibly start but this entire project gets slowed by either requirements from the DNR or requirements from the federal government if we want our federal grant money. I absolutely cannot believe all the hoops we have to jump thru to get our $600,000 grant. As a city if we did not have a full time administrator & have the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) I not sure we could actually apply for & receive any federal money. We are hoping that sometime this winter we can send out the bids for the actual start of construction at the sewer plant. By the way developing this project has taken over five years!!!!!
The City Council in coordination with the Iowa Codification group is currently studying & will be rewriting the City Code of Belle Plaine so that it is up to date & does not violate state or federal law. You may notice in the upcoming months where the council has a specific part of the code on the agenda for discussion. In most cases this is because the Iowa Codification group has informed us that some parts of that city code are out dated & we should be looking at changes. This is required by state law every five years to update our city code. I guess my point is, if you see something that you think should or should not be changed please let the council or the Mayor or the City Administrator know what you are thinking. You can also come to the council meeting & get your voice heard during the resident comments time period.
I did an interview last month with two professors from Coe College dealing with an Iowa State study on gender equity in small town governments. According to the study five years ago Belle Plaine was rated as one of the worst small town governments in gender equity on boards & commissions and now we are rated as one of the best. (By the way it is state law that as a city government we are to bring gender equity into our boards & commissions.) The interview went on for over an hour but one of the questions that I found interesting, did I think that being a girls coach for over forty years was the key to changing our situation because I could get my former players to serve. I said I doubt it because not many Keota players are eligible to serve in BP city government. However one of my former players is the Head of the Board of Adjustment. They asked what the key to gender balance is and my simple answer was asking more females to serve.
In September the burning times change to every day from 4 pm to 9 pm.
(I know it is October & mowing season should be over soon but please don’t quit now!)
Did you know the Lions Club has an eye glass box in city hall so you can recycle your old glasses? Don’t leave them sitting in a desk drawer collecting dust bring them in so they can be recycled!
Trunk or Treat + Trick or Treat is coming on Monday October 31:
Please enjoy the events but be careful out there.
Just got a report from a Belle Plaine garage sale this week-end where the owners got stuck with a counterfeit $100 bill. Predators are out there so please be careful when dealing with big bills at sales or strange phone calls. The scammers are everywhere. Please report all strange incidents to the police department including phone calls.
We will be doing some hydrant flushing (all over town) or have to do some valve shuts offs the next few weeks as we fix some valves & hydrants. We will be warning people through the Nixle alerts, the Call’em All system, Facebook, City Website, & the Star Press Union so please be aware this could be happening any day in October or November.
I did have a first last month. I have had numerous student teachers during my tenure at Keota, as well as a number of observers to my classroom. But last month I had my first student, job shadow me. Yes Dana Supe, foreign exchange student from Latvia, asked if she could spend the day with the Mayor as a part of her foreign exchange program. I convinced her host family that spending a full day job shadowing the Mayor of Belle Plaine would be the most boring thing she has ever done in her life so we agreed on an afternoon. Actually it went very well and hopefully she learned a little bit about American gov’t, the city of Belle Plaine, & my job as Mayor. She is a very smart, well-educated teenager who should have a fun year in our system. She also taught me a few things about her country and how the US is viewed as a nation in her part of the world. Did you know they actually rate internet systems on a global scale? Surprise the US system is rated fourth!
WELCOME TO BELLE PLAINE DANA!
AS ALWAYS “GO PLAINSMEN”. REMEMBER IT IS UP TO ALL OF US TO MAKE BELLE PLAINE THE BEST HOMETOWN IN IOWA!
Dave Fish-October 2016