Drought Is Not Over — Sheldon is Under a ‘Water Watch’

sheldon water tower smaller croppedSheldon, Iowa — The drought is not over…that’s what Sheldon Public Works Director Todd Uhl told the City Council Wednesday.  Uhl said water levels in the city’s wells are one to three feet lower than a year ago, therefore he recommended that the city declare a ‘Water Watch’.  Under a water watch Sheldon residents and businesses are encouraged to limit or curtail all nonessential uses of water in order to conserve precious water resources.   According to the city ordinance this includes no watering of lawns, shrubs or gardens between the hours of eight a.m. and 8:30 p.m.  No water should be used to fill private swimming pools, children’s wading pools, reflecting pools or any other outdoor pool or pond.  No water should be used to wash streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or building exteriors.   No water should be used for nonessential cleaning of commercial and industrial equipment, machinery and interior spaces.   The ordinance also states that water should be served at restaurants only upon the request of the customer.

Uhl pointed out that compliance with the water watch is voluntary, but if water usage in the city is not significantly reduced, they may have to move to a ‘water warning’ which would be much more restrictive and would be enforced by the city.  He also pointed out that because of the drought, many lawns or portions of lawns may need re-seeding this spring.  He wanted residents to be aware that if they do re-seed a lawn they might not be able to apply needed water to restore the grass growth.

Sioux County Sheriff Looking For Information On Hit And Run Accident Near Sioux Center

Sioux Sheriff CarOn Thursday, April 18, at 3:14 p.m.,the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office investigated a hit and run accident that occurred at the intersection of Highway 75 and 430th Street,two miles south of Sioux Center, IA.

Elizabeth Scholten, age 24, of Maurice, IA was driving a 1991 Oldsmobile Regency northbound on Highway 75. Scholten slowed and began turning left onto 430th Street when a black Chevrolet pickup, which was northbound behind her, began passing and struck her vehicle. The black Chevrolet did not stop and left the scene driving northbound on Highway 75.

No injuries were reported.

The Oldsmobile sustained approximately $2,000 in damages.

Anyone with information about this accident is asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office. If you wish to remain anonymous you may use the Text‐a‐Tip program.

Hospers Woman Taken To Hospital After Thursday Accident

Hospers AmbulanceHospers, Iowa — A Hospers woman was taken to the hospital after an accident on Thursday morning.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 8:05 Thursday morning, 55-year-old Deborah Bishop of Hospers was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Impala eastbound on 400th Street, a mile and a half west of Hospers when she lost control of the vehicle. It entered the north ditch and rolled.

Bishop was transported to the Orange City Hospital by the Hospers Ambulance.

The Chevrolet sustained about $4,000 in damages.

The Hospers Fire Department and Hospers Ambulance assisted the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

Orange City Man Arrested For “Carrying Weapons”

Michael MulderOrange City, Iowa — An Orange City man was booked into the Sioux County Jail on Thursday (4/18) after he was found to be carrying a weapon.

In the 1 AM hour, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested 25-year-old Michael Mulder of Orange City.

The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop that occurred on 400th Street, one mile west of Hospers.

Upon further investigation the deputy discovered that Mulder, a passenger in the vehicle, was in possession of a dangerous weapon (without a permit).

Mulder was charged with carrying weapons.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.

Congressman King Responds To “Gang of Eight’s” Immigration Bill

Congressman Steve King OfficialWashington, DC — Congressman Steve King released the following statement in response to the comprehensive immigration bill introduced by the Senate “Gang of Eight” this past week:

“The Gang of Eight’s bill is aggressive and outrageous amnesty,” said King. “It is instant legalization of all illegal immigrants in the United States, with very few exceptions. It contains only promises: the promise of a plan for border security, of a backup plan for the border security, and of workplace enforcement in the form of making E-Verify mandatory. What makes anyone think President Obama would enforce any future immigration laws when he has violated his own oath of office to take care that the laws be ‘faithfully executed’?

I expected this from Democrats who have long understood their brand of more taxes, more borrowing, and more government giveaways, and know how to sell it. It is the Republicans who should know better. Republicans who support this bill have effectively said to Americans, ‘we are prepared to sacrifice the Rule of Law on the altar of misguided and erroneous political expediency’.”

Sheldon City Council Approves Financing for Multiple Needs and Projects

Sheldon, Iowa — community services center 300pxAfter hearing comments on the downtown project assessments at their meeting Wednesday, the Sheldon City Council proceeded with the rest of their busy agenda.

They gave their approval to a $2.86 million dollar General Obligation Capital Loan Note which will be used to finance the Sheldon Crossing residential development.  This will cover streets, sewer and water lines, and other infrastructure.  Following this the council approved another note for $2.5 million dollars.  This will provide financing for the downtown improvement project, a new motor grader, improvements at the waste water plant, and the new deep well. Then another vote was taken to combine these notes into one for $5.35 million dollars to take advantage of a 1.5 percent interest rate.

In other action the council approved the final plat of the Trilogy Village development and the lot prices.  In answer to a question from Marv Van Riesen, city manager Scott Wynja explained that the prices represent the total amount the city has spent to develop the lots.  Marv Uittenbogaard whose home is adjacent to Trilogy once again cautioned the city about the drainage situation in that area.  He felt that when there is a heavy rain the water would end up pooling near his home.  The City engineer had previously explained that after the street was installed the water would find its way into storm sewer drains.

Then the council addressed a recommendation from the cemetery board to amend the current city ordinance to allow upright markers in the area where only markers flush with the ground are now allowed.  The motivation for this comes from family requests to make the change.  At the present time the other section of the cemetery is slowly filling up while the area where flush markers are required has 250 to 300 unsold lots.  No one seemed to know why the flush markers were originally required in this area.  The council moved the ordinance change on to the next meeting to give them time to  learn how the public feels about the proposal.

The council also heard from public works director Todd Uhl who explained why the city is issuing a “Water Watch”.  This means all Sheldon water customers are encouraged to limit or curtail all nonessential uses of water. This is voluntary, but if water use is not significantly reduced, it will become mandatory with enforcement.

And, council member Brad Hindt asked for discussion about the need for the city’s sirens to sound each evening at six o’clock.  It seems that originally this was implemented to test the system each day, but EMA director, Walt Pruiksma has pointed out that these tests are now held on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM.  This topic will be up for discussion on the agenda for the next meeting.