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Mayor’s August Newsletter

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY PLAINSMEN SOFTBALL TEAM & COACHES ON BECOMING THE FIRST BP SOFTBALL TEAM TO MAKE IT TO THE STATE TOURNAMENT & FOR THEIR

OUTSTANDING SIXTH PLACE FINISH.

 

I thought the fourth of July celebration was simply outstanding this year & Mother /Father Nature even cooperated with some fantastic weather.  Starting on Friday with the Farmers Market, heading to Saturday with the art exhibition at the museum for young Mr. Schlue, moving into Sunday with the car show/wine tasting/Taste of BP/ street dance & then moving into Monday with the parade, Franklin Park filled with activities for both young & old including the beer tent & closing it down with the fireworks.  I truly thought it was a great three days which was well organized & came off with only a few minor hitches.  My thanks to all the groups & individuals who made this happen, definitely a list that is way too long to mention here.  You know who you are so please give yourself a pat on the back & thanks to all who participated.  I encourage our citizens to attend other small city festivals around the country but especially in Benton County.  See what other towns are doing & if you see something that you think we should be doing bring it back to either the BPCDC, the Lions Club (BP 4th of July Committee) or let us know at city hall so we can get it to the right people.  I know personally after talking to one of the vineyard people (actually a former student) I have brought an idea back to BPCDC that we will look at for next year.  As a coach for the past 42 years I learned that you borrow from every coach that you meet so with that being said my advice is if we can borrow from other towns then let’s do it.  Any way it was a great

“OLD FASHION FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION”

Belle Plaine should be very proud of the job they have done!

 

Hey it is Iowa State Fair month; don’t forget Jane Hrabak has a project on display that honors the Jennings/Bradshaw Post #39 American Legion of Belle Plaine. 

Be sure to look it up!

 

The first family to have the flag at city hall lowered to half-staff for a veteran was the family of Dennis D. Kithcart Sr. (Army).  It was an honor to show our community respect & pride for a Belle Plaine veteran.

Please remind families of this new part of our city policy.

 

I found myself the other day working on a city problem where I was talking on the phone with the city attorney, while e-mailing with another legal group, & texting my city administrator who was on vacation somewhere out west.  When I got done I really started to think, how did we survive without modern technology?  I realize the same is true in every profession.  Gee I can watch basketball game videos on my computer when I get home from the game, when I started coaching only the football team had game film. (It was real film that had to be developed).   Basketball coaches did not even have video tape.  Then we got video tape but there were no portable machines so you only had tape of home games.  Then we got the portable tape machines and now every grade schooler can watch game video of their grade school games and

they can even send it to their grandparents.  Gee, what is around the corner?

 

I see the Highway 21 sidewalk project is moving along at an acceptable pace.  Just remember this is a DOT project & the city has no control over how they do it.  I can & have complained about certain aspects of it but it is a contracted state project.  The state has reminded us the company they hired has a finishing date so they don’t worry about how many days they take off.

On a positive note we received word from the state that Highway 21 from the west edge of Belle Plaine north to Highway 30 will be refinished next summer & the detour will be to send traffic to the east out old 131 to Highway 30.  Should be complete before mid-August so there will be no conflicts with the UNI football & volleyball season!

 

At the first council meeting in August the council will be making some decisions concerning tree trimming over the sidewalks & streets.  Really only discussing trees in the parking.   The city code says that the property owner is responsible to keep those trees trimmed at least 15’ above the street & 10’ above the sidewalk.   The council will be deciding how to go about enforcement of this nuisance area & what past practice has been.  It is becoming a major nuisance for people with campers & those folks who are out using our sidewalks. 

For the time being at least take care of your sidewalk area!

 

Speaking of nuisance problems, in the future I will address the whole concept of nuisances & why it is not as simple as “Why doesn’t the city just make them tear it down or clean it up?”  In a couple simple sentences the explanation would be:  the city does not have unchecked authority to just do whatever we want with a citizen’s property.  We do have city, state, & federal laws that come into play.  The second item is money.  We only budget for two nuisance properties per year to be taken down; there is not more money to do more.  Plus it costs the city more to take down a building than a private property owner because we have asbestos rules we have to follow.  We can only have the fire department burn down two structures per year (DNR regulation) & the fire department has final say on what property they will burn down.  So the concept “Why doesn’t the city do something?” is not as simple as it sounds. (Details in the future!)

 

Congratulations to the Plainsmen baseball & softball teams on their successful summer seasons.  I do not have complete lists of All-SICL players so congratulations to all who made an All-SICL & All District Team. 

Also good luck to the fall sports of XC, volleyball, & football, can’t wait to see you play!

 

Good luck to all the students & teachers as they soon will begin a new school year!

 

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

Belle Plaine the best hometown in Iowa!

 

 

Mayor Dave Fish – August 2016

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