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Mayor’s October Newsletter


Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

Yes, I was on the B-29 flight that went over Belle Plaine a couple of weeks ago. Many thanks to Mr. Tippie for offering me the chance to have this experience. As a retired US History teacher it was a fantastic experience to actually be in a World War II bomber and to be in the bombardier’s seat for part of the flight. Had a great view of BP and the Iowa River valley, I know why we have the mosquito problem, there is water sitting in places that does not normally hold water at this time of year.

Definitely a great experience, much different than flying in a jet.

On Saturday, September 1, 2018 those of you who have signed up for Nixle Alerts received a message that indicated you were to restrict the use of the sewer system and then later that afternoon you received a message that told you all was well and to use your wastewater system as usual. On social media, there were some comments concerning the original message and made reference to the fact that you paid for the new system so you were going to use it.


Let me try and clear up what happened without going into great detail. The massive rains flooded our sewage system with over a million gallons of sewage to be processed. (In less than 8 hours) (Proof that we have substantial infiltration of our sewer lines both the cities & the personal lines of our residents probably from age-related cracks) When this happens, the system is now designed to alert the city workers and send the excessive sewage to the new basin. I can’t get into details but the alert system failed, and we were faced with a flooded sewer plant. That is why the Nixle alert was sent out. We needed to slow the flow of sewage until we could clean up the plant and avert the excess to the basin. City workers accomplished that by the end of the day.


On the positive side, almost everything is up and running and the system does work. As I start to write this letter the basin was holding about 2.5 million gallons of wastewater that we are currently processing. The sewage system is more than a big filter; the wastewater must be treated so that when we release it back to nature, it is clean water. This is required by federal and state law. Without the basin, we would have been doing a “by-pass” and then filing out DNR reports to that effect and possibly facing fines. The bottom line is we are finishing this project, and it will eventually do everything it is supposed to do, but we have had a few glitches, and it will be up to our legal team to solve those situations. So when the city sends out a Nixle alert I would hope the public takes it serious because we are trying to make everyone aware that we have a serious situation that we are working on and we want everyone to be aware of it. If we send out a boil order, please don’t take the stand that you will ignore it because you paid for the water. If your cell phone or computer does not have the ability to handle the Nixle system then please contact city hall, and we can get you hooked up to our “Call Em All” system.


I thank the public for their cooperation and I appreciate the public workers who gave up their Labor Day weekend to be on duty.


The recycling of glass at the city shed has been working very well for about 90% of those who are using it. A couple of reminders; window glass is not a recycling item it must go in the garbage. All glass food containers must be cleaned out or we have to sort it and throw it away. Plus fluorescent light bulbs have never been recycling items so don’t bring those to the city shed. If you have doubts about an item please call city hall and ask.


Also in the area of recycling, the Benton County Landfill had a seminar with Republic Services on the state of recycling on a nation-wide scale, now that China has cut from taking 40% of all the recycled material produced in the US down to only 1%. Just a couple of items that maybe we should follow as long as Republic is our recycling company. Most caps on water bottles, plastic tea bottles, etc. should be taken off and thrown in the garbage. Those caps do not recycle, and they only slow down the process. Also even though the company says they will take recycled stuff number 1 thru 10, they really only use those items numbered 1, 2, & 5. One of the problems in this area is companies in the US are putting triangles on stuff they know can’t truly be recycled. Also, Styrofoam always goes in the garbage it can never be reclaimed.  Another area they stressed is no matter what you put in the recycling it must be clean & dry. We still want to keep recycling so we can keep this material out of the landfill and at this time the city of Belle Plaine is not paying an extra fee for recycled materials. Evidently some other communities are being forced to pay for their recycled tonnage.  


On a similar note the mulch pile is for yard waste only. Plastic bags that hold your grass clippings should not be left there. An old door off your house does not go there, in fact call city hall and you can have our garbage service pick that up. Only trees and vegetation from Belle Plaine can go to the mulch pile. This is not a Benton/Tama/Iowa county mulch pile. And yes there is a limit to the size of the logs that you can drop off there. By city code no logs greater than thirty-six (36) inches in diameter shall be deposited in the Compost/ Yard Waste site.



The revised golf cart & UTV ordinance is now in effect. ATV’s are not legal on the streets of Belle Plaine. (New tags will not be available until January 1st.)


Next month I will fill you in on the land we have bought at the well-field area and our plans to replace well #5.      




Time is running out for the various fall sports. They will be starting the playoffs sometime in October. So if you have not seen XC, volleyball, or football or the marching band you better check the schedule to see when their next game is being played. Homecoming is scheduled on the school calendar for October 5 vs. Cardinal.

(Iowa’s baseball coach played high school ball at Cardinal)


As always “Go Plainsmen.” Remember it is up to all of us to make Belle Plaine the best hometown in Iowa!


October- 2018- Mayor Dave Fish

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