FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:
Sitting in my office with my computer in the shop leads me to wonder does the Mayor’s Office come to a complete halt without a computer? Well the answer to that is no but it truly explains why I still do not plan to pay my personal bills on line. Four phone calls later, leaving messages at all of them, I’m now starting to think maybe my office does almost stop without an e-mail connection. Thankfully the computer was returned in less than twenty four hours so I could get back to work. Another reason to shop local, let’s see an out of town computer specialist beat the return time of our own Belle Plaine Computer Sales & Service!
If you saw in recent city news that the city council amended the City Code concerning monthly surcharges for water & sewer bills, let me assure you they did not raise your water bill. These charges were already there, all the council did was making the code accurate as to what was already being collected and so it will work with our new billing program. NOTHING NEW WAS ADDED!!!!!
Speaking of water bills the new billing system will definitely be an asset to our city clerks and will help us do more things with the bill. If you have questions concerning the lay out of the bill look on our website for a chart that explains it or call Sandy or Jacki at City Hall. Also there are charts available at city hall or stop by & get a personal explanation from one of our clerks. Like all new forms it will just take some time to get use to it.
IT IS AN UPGRADE THAT IS LONG PAST DUE!!!!!
In the water bill rumor department, the only raise in your bill was the seven cent per thousand gallons on water and sewer that was passed by the council at their June meeting. (I believe that went into effect on the August bill!) The only other increase is the county landfill tipping fee of $1 that will go into effect on the October bills. This actually goes to the county. There have been no other added fees. If your water bill does not seem right contact city hall & we can go through it with you.
In the future the closer we get to the sewer plant project getting under way there will be an increase in the utility bill. That has not been determined yet; we will keep you informed the closer we get to this project starting to shovel some dirt. I remind everyone this is a DNR MANDIDATEDPROJECT to build the over flow lagoon system, not something the council cooked up to just spend money. The lagoon system is much cheaper than building a new sewer plant: 2million vs. 10 million dollars is a ball park figure. Plus we should easily qualify for the $600,000 grant we have applied for to use on this project. We are deep into developing the plan to get started but the ‘RED TAPE” that goes along with this is unreal. One part of the required environmental study has us contacting a Native American tribe in Montana about a possible burial &/or village site on the land we have chosen to place the lagoon. I’m not kidding this is a real time consuming stuff which further explains why we need a city administrator who can handle this paper work and other projects at the same time. I do not care where your grant money comes from it always has forms to complete, studies to do, & usually comes with some kind of strings attached. This CDBG grant is no different.
I left on my first real vacation since I retired from the classroom & by the time I got back it sure felt like fall to me. As for vacation I know my Hawkeye friends were sitting in a variety of places after being defeated by the Cyclones, as for me (UNI fan) I was sitting at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. Believe when I say that scenic area very quickly took the sting out of UNI’s three point loss to the University of Hawaii. Now that I can check that off my bucket list but let’s see UNI plays in the Maui Classic next year so I just wonder what Christmas in Hawaii would be like????? By the way Pearl Harbor had all the emotion and patriotic feel that I always thought it would; what a tremendous memorial for all the Americans who were lost on that fateful day. Now sitting on battleship row is the U.S.S. Missouri where the final surrender papers were signed to end WW II. Thus you have the Arizona Memorial where WWII started & right next to it the Missouri where the war ended. Definitely a scene very fitting for our American heroes. Truly Hawaii is a vacation area that is all that they advertise. Thank You UNI for scheduling a non-conference game there. Definitely beats playing in Idaho or Montana or Ames or Iowa City!!!!
Now back to City Government: I assume by now everyone knows that our burning hours have changed to the everyday 4:00 to 9:00 pm time frame.
Again this is yard waste. Burning of garbage is illegal.
The City Council in the upcoming months will be working on future city goals. It is one thing to have revitalized Main Street but now we need to take a serious look at what other items do we need to address.
Also a note: TRUNK OR TREAT is scheduled for Friday October 31 from 5 to 7 pm on Main Street running from 8th to 10th avenues. This is a great place to have the kids do their Trick or Treating. This event is sponsored by the Belle Plaine Community Development Corporation. The council will be setting the regular Trick or Treat hours at their next council meeting which I would guess will be 5 to 8 pm on Friday October 31. Check our website after the council meeting for the updated time & hours.
Yes the Unity Point Clinic will be moving out of the city owned medical center. Ignore all the rumors & wait until the Health Care Facility Board meets with recommendations on what we do with it.
If you have not had a chance to see any XC, volleyball, or football action, you better get out & do it before the weather changes or the season is over. Late October means playoff will be starting. Also you might want to catch some of the action because they are all doing really well.
As always “Go Plainsmen”. Remember it is up to all of us to make
Belle Plaine the best hometown in Iowa!
Mayor Dave Fish – October 2014