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Mayor’s November Newsletter

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR

Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

By the time you read this, the election will probably be over; I hope you voted.  Hopefully, as a country, we can all come together and act like Americans. If our city government ran and acted like the federal government, I’m not sure for snow removal, we wouldn’t use spring’s warm weather as our key removal tool.   Some of our other government groups above the local level don’t operate much better than the feds.

Don’t forget that on November 11, 2020 is Veteran’s day.  Normally I would be reminding everyone of the great veteran’s day program that the school and the American Legion put on at the High School.  However, on Sunday the Legion informed me that because of the risks posed by the Corona virus they have canceled the Veterans Day program.   This was a decision made by the Legion as they felt it put their members & families at too great of a risk.    I know it is said quite often that Freedom is not Free. Still, we all need to remember if it weren’t for the veterans both past & present, we would not have all those freedoms that Americans enjoy.  If you see a veteran this week make sure you thank them for their service. 

TO ALL OUR AREA VETERANS THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

Please remember that it is Belle Plaine city policy; if the family of a Belle Plaine veteran requests it, the flag at city hall will fly at half-staff in honor of that veteran on the day of their funeral.

My November 2019 newsletter started with the announcement that we had just hired Steve Beck as our new city administrator. A typical first year on the job can be stressful.  Think about a rookie city administrator who has had to face the C-19 virus & the situations that has brought.  Then top that off the massive wind storm that brought us the famous word “DERECHO.” (A term we never want to hear again.)  Thanks, Steve, for being so steady during these tough times!

Just a couple of notes to discuss from the most recent city council meetings.  We have the company,  D & D Real Estate Holding, LLC, who is buying the old Hill Top Apartments to remodel them into 55 & Older housing.  There is hope for a future building project in the area behind that current structure.  The Zoning Board & the council must first change the zoning of this area from R-1 to R-4.

Because of the staff’s workload with FEMA documentation & insurance claims, the council has decided to expanded the clerk’s team so they can train a new assistant city clerk.  Jacki will be retiring in a year. With the percentage the city will be paid for project management, we can afford to hire an assistant clerk and have them fully trained before Jacki heads out the door.  Sandy will move up to the project manager position as she aids the city administrator in all the extra paperwork. At the same time, she will train the new clerk & thoroughly learn the finer points of the city clerk’s job, which she will assume when we move back to a staff of two.

In a recent note from Senator Grassley’s office, if you applied for FEMA INDIVIDUAL funding grant & you have insurance and were turned down. You have a full year to file again, not the sixty days some of you were told.  If you have questions, please call Rochelle Fuller at 319-363-6832 in his Cedar Rapids office or call the Senator’s DC office at 202-224-3744.  On November 18, 2020, Ms. Fuller will hold a listening post in council chambers starting at 11:00 am. If you have any questions, please stop by.    

From the last council meeting, the City of Belle Plaine, in conjunction with the Benton County Landfill & the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG), was informed that letters from Alicia Presto of ECICOG would be going out to those who signed up for the composting program.  If you don’t get one shortly, please let city hall know so we can check & see what happened.  A lot of instruction for this program will be done online to avoid any Covid situations.

Snow season will be here very soon, so I remind  Belle Plaine residents that it is your responsibility to remove the snow from your sidewalk.  It is also your responsibility to not have your vehicle parked on the street during a snow emergency.

City Code:  13.   Removal of Snow, Ice, and Obstructions from Sidewalks.  All property owners shall keep the sidewalks abutting their property free from snow, ice or other obstruction or accumulations. If such property owner fails to remove the same for a period of twenty-four (24) hours after the same has been deposited thereon the City Administrator or the City Administrator’s designee may cause the same to be removed. Such officer shall file with the City Clerk a statement of the cost thereof which shall be $1.00 per running foot of the walk from which the accumulations are removed. Thereupon the cost of the removal shall be levied against the property as a special assessment in the same manner and under the same procedure as special assessments are levied for the construction of sidewalks.

SECTION 3-42-3                  PARKING PROHIBITED. No person shall park, abandon or leave unattended any vehicle on any public street, alley or public areas in the public right-of-way and immediately adjacent to the traveled portion of a street during any snow emergency parking ban. This section is not to be construed as to allow parking back on the snow routes even though they may be cleared.

SECTION 3-42-4                  PARKING PERMITTED.  During any snow emergency, parking shall be permitted in the city parking lot located between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue between the railroad tracks and 11th Street.

I can almost guarantee that you will get more than 24 hours after the snowfall to clear your sidewalks because we will not start looking at sidewalks until we are done clearing streets & alleys.  Please help our pedestrians by getting the sidewalks cleared!  We don’t want children walking on the roads.

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM ON WINNING THE SOUTH IOWA CEDAR LEAGUE CONFERENCE TITLE AGAIN THIS YEAR! ANOTHER GREAT YEAR & A GROUP THAT HAD TO BATTLE THE C-19 VIRUS WITH A THREE WEEK LAY OFF!

ALSO, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOY’S FOOTBALL TEAM ON A SUCCESSFUL YEAR & ON QUALIFYING FOR THE STATE PLAYOFFS.

 

Remember, it is up to all of us to make

Belle Plaine, the best hometown in Iowa!

November 2020 Mayor Dave Fish

(Only two months left in 2020!)

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