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Mayor’s June Newsletter

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR
Dear Citizens of Belle Plaine:

CONGRATULATIONS BELLE PLAINE CLASS OF 2020!
I know this has been an extremely tough year to be a senior in high school. Still, I honestly thought the school did a superb job designing and then pulling off your unique graduation ceremony. Probably no one will ever have one that equals yours. Congratulations to Superintendent Strait, Principal Werner, the BP School Board, the Belle Plaine Faculty, & all the volunteers that helped make that night a success. I hope you get to head off to college in a more regular fashion, but I would not bet on it!

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS!

I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO THE NEW NORMAL, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CHANGES FROM DAY TO DAY. Still, AS AMERICANS I HAVE FAITH THAT WE CAN MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS. PLEASE TRY TO COMPLY & MAKE THIS AS PAINLESS AS POSSIBLE. SOMEDAY WE WILL ALL LOOK BACK & TELL THE YOUNGER GENERATION HOW WE SURVIVED THE COVID-19 VIRUS OF 2020. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH WARNINGS ISSUED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT. ALSO, PLEASE RESPECT PEOPLE’S RIGHTS TO ASK FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING OR SPACING WHEN IN PUBLIC PLACES. RESPECT THOSE WHO CHOSE TO WEAR A MASK. ALSO RESPECT THE BUSINESS OWNERS RIGHT TO REQUIRE SHOES, SHIRT, MASK, OR NO SERVICE. LIKE I SAID THE NEW NORMAL WILL BE WITH US FOR SOME TIME
UNTIL WE GET MORE SOLUTIONS TO THIS VIRUS!

Keeping the city gov’t running on a smooth basis has not been easy, especially when we have our city clerks operating from two different buildings. We will probably move back to council meetings in council chambers but respectfully spaced out and asking all members to wear a mask. Also, those who appear before the council must wear a mask. (We will have them in the hallway.) The council will continue to run the meetings live on Facebook from the Park & Recreation page.

JUNE IS ALWAYS THE MONTH TO TRY & REFRESH OURSELVES ON WHAT PUBLIC CODE BECOMES ACTIVE IN THE SUMMER MONTHS.

Let’s make sure we understand the burning hours and days. Now that we are in June, the burning hours are three days per week (Wednesday-Saturday-Sunday) from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. The rest of the year, it has been seven days per week for the same hours. This is for vegetation only, leaves, grass, branches, etc. IT IS NOT LEGAL TO BURN TRASH & THAT INCLUDES PAPER AND CARDBOARD. If you call the police, they will investigate. We also advise, please be aware of how windy it is and how dry it is before you decide to burn. It also wouldn’t hurt to see if your neighbor has wash on the line drying or a party in their yard. Good neighbors would not burn in those situations.  Also, just a reminder that we have a mulch pile that is open seven days per week for vegetation items only.  Please remove all plastic & paper sacks that you bring to the mulch pile, We do not really want to deal with those different items.  Also, construction materials are not acceptable in the mulch pile, that goes to the landfill.

We will be holding a public hearing concerning delinquent animal licenses. Please contact the clerks concerning why you have not renewed your license. Once the public hearing is held, the council will hand this off to the police department to contact the delinquent owners. It will save all of us the time and effort if you take care of this business now. If, for some reason, you no longer have the pet, please let the clerks know so we can get the name removed from our records. If the pet is registered with their tag on, we take them to the owner right away. They will never be taken to the vet clinic unless you are not home. If someone wants to restart the rescue group, I’m sure the council can work with you. If someone wants to start & run an animal shelter, I’m sure the city will work with you.

Speaking of registration, everyone has done an excellent job registering golf carts and UTV’s. Many thanks, and if you have not done it yet, please get your vehicle registered. They must be registered every year & that includes proof of insurance to operate on the city streets. I have had several calls concerning the operation of golf carts/UTV’s in Belle Plaine. Because the city code is two pages long, I do not have space to review it all. In general, you must have it registered with the city, and you must be a licensed driver to operate it on our city streets. You must have a seat for every passenger, have a slow-moving vehicle sign, & a bicycle safety flag on it (5 foot above ground). You can only operate between sunrise & sunset. Plus, have your city license on the rear left fender, if it has seat belts you must wear them & do not drive on state highway 21 or 13th street east of 7th avenue. If you drive an out of town UTV into Belle Plaine, then it must be registered with the city of Belle Plaine, or you can not operate on our streets. For all details of the BP city code, please consult our website where the entire code is available to read. Oh, by the way, it is not required that you wear a helmet, it might be a nice safety feature, especially for children, but it is not required!

I know we remind people to please keep up with their yard work, and I know it is difficult when we have plenty of rain with good growing weather, so thank you for your efforts. I also remind you that it is illegal to blow your clippings into the street. The reason behind the ordinance is grass blown into the road will eventually find its way into blocking our stormwater system. I realize this is different depending on the type of street that you live on, but the code is in effect for all of us. Also, grass blown into the roadway can be extremely dangerous for motorcycle or bike riders. The street sweeper is not responsible for picking up your grass or leaves & in most cases, on some of the seal coat streets, the sweeper is not even used in those areas. However, you still have storm sewers & riders.

We will be spraying for mosquitos starting after June 1st. Sign-up sheets are available in city hall for advanced warning & property avoidance. Please contact the clerks.

According to ECICOG & the Benton Landfill Website, the Benton Co. Landfill is back up & running for public use. I would call before I ventured over there with a load of junk. (319-454-6392)

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

Mayor Dave Fish –June 2020

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