Sheldon, Iowa — Sheldon’s Planning and Zoning Commission has been working for about a year to update the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. They were led through the process by the Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission. The Plan which is 154 pages long was approved by the Sheldon City Council at their meeting Wednesday.
City Manager Scott Wynja told the Council that the plan is a tool for Planning and Zoning as well as other elements of City Government when they need to make decisions regarding development. One chapter of the plan includes results of input from the public. Another chapter shows community trends for such areas of population and housing. The document also addresses Public Services in the City, Occupational and Employment trends, Transportation Diversity, Zoning and Parks and Recreation.
In other business the City Council approved the sale of a lot in the Sunshine Addition to Jeff and Sara Van Meeteren for one dollar. The buyers must comply with the stipulations placed by the City on all remaining lots in the Sunshine Addition, which is located on the South side of the City. The lot being sold to the Van Meeterens is located on the north end of South 9th Avenue in the Sunshine Addition.
The Council set January 6th, 2016 as the date for a public hearing on the final plat for the Nest Haven subdivision which is located by the old Smit Pits along Nest Avenue North of Sheldon.
The Council also heard a report by Public Works Director Todd Uhl that the abundance of rainfall this year has re-charged the City’s shallow wells enough to make it practical to begin using them again. He said it will be a slow process to get them back on line, however. He says the result of the changeover will be a reduction in the hardness of the city’s water.
Uhl also reported that Mid-American Energy is in the process of installing new L.E.D. lights on 56 of the poles in the city.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources public meeting on the request for a construction permit for the Baaken oil pipeline, the pipeline that would pass through parts of Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien counties, started out at a fever pitch Wednesday evening. Dakota Access is requesting the permit to allow the pipeline to cross public land in four areas.
Those who wanted to speak out at the meeting became upset when the head of the D-N-R told the audience members who had signed up to speak that they would be taking and recording comments from two people at the same time.
D-N-R director Chuck Gipp explained that they needed to record the comments to be able to transcribe them for use in making the decision. Jonas Nagram led off the comments by standing and shouting out to the audience.
Gipp directed him to sit down and Nagram replied “I don’t need to sit, thank you.” Gipp then instructed the staffer calling out the names of the speakers to move to the next person. That set off another round of chants.
Nagram was then allowed to continue his comments.
Things calmed down after that as the speakers came forward and gave their comments into a recorder. Emily Schettler of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry spoke out in favor of the pipeline.
Richard Hulley of Fairfield is against the pipeline.
J.D. Ramanco spoke out in favor of the pipeline, saying it would create jobs for people like him who are professionals in such work.
Around 140 people gave their comments on the issue. The permit request is to cross the Big Sioux River, the Big Sioux Wildlife Management Area, the Des Moines River and the Mississippi River. The D-N-R will continue taking comments on the permit request through January 5th. A D-N-R spokesman says they will likely not be making a decision on the issue until February.
Sheldon, Iowa — Rise Ministries, the organization behind the Christian music festival RiseFest, made an announcement on Thursday’s KIWA Morning Show with Wayne and Aaron about two exciting, and much requested artists who have signed to perform at Risefest 2016.
Lee Stover, of Rise Ministries, says one of these artists has hit the #1 spot on the Top Christian Albums chart with his new album Neon Steeple, and the album’s lead single, I Am peaked at #3.
The other artist, whose appearance at the 2016 festival was announced Thursday, won Male Vocalist Of The Year and Artist Of The Year at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Dove Awards, as well as a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2012. Rise Ministries Founder Rob Rozeboom tells us more
Stover says that, for more than a decade, Chris Tomlin has been providing the soundtrack for Sunday morning worship services around the world.
For more information on RiseFest 2016 and RISE Ministries visit www.riseministries.com. You can stay connected with RISE through social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 712-324-9763.
Ames, Iowa — The situation regarding labeling of retail meat cuts with their country of origin is changing.
The Country of Origin Labeling or “COOL” provisions in the 2002 Farm Bill require that retail sellers of certain food commodities inform consumers of a product’s country of origin. While it aimed at keeping American consumers more informed about where their meat came from, Iowa State University Agriculture Economist Lee Schulz says the governments of Canada and Mexico are not in favor of mandatory COOL. He says the World Trade Organization or WTO has ruled that Canada and Mexico should be able to retaliate via over a billion dollars in tarrifs per year to compensate them from losses they suffer due to COOL.
Schulz says a WTO panel set Canada and Mexico’s annual retaliation level at $1.055 billion.
He says Canada and Mexico will probably choose products that would be likely to force Congress to repeal the Country Of Origin Labeling law.
According to Schulz, Canada and Mexico could act as early as the first of the year, and they would be allowed to retaliate at the $1.055 billion per year level until the US repeals the law. Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has said that Canada will retaliate if the U.S. Senate does not take “immediate action” to repeal COOL for beef and pork. The US House passed a bill to repeal the law in June, but the Senate has not yet voted on it.
Schulz says commodity prices are already being affected, and that may or may not translate into retail prices in the longer term.
Sheldon, Iowa — Another Sheldon Business is expanding, moving to a new retail location in the east part of the city.
At the city council meeting Wednesday, Sheldon’s Development Director Curt Strouth announced that Bomgaars would like to build a new building in the Sheldon Crossroads Industrial Park. The lot will be 4.61 acres just north of White Wolf Web and directly across the street to the east of Ziegler Cat. According to Strouth the new building will be the second largest Bomgaars facility in the region. It will be a 28,000 to 31,000 square foot building that will carry an approximate assessed value of two million dollars. This project will retain twenty current jobs and create employment for four to six additional people in its first year.
The SCDC Development Committee recommended that the lot be sold to Bomgaars for one dollar with the stipulation that Bomgaars sign a two-million-dollar assessment agreement over ten years and enter a contract for development with the City of Sheldon. This new two-million-dollar assessment will generate approximately $61,200 per year in commercial property tax; and based on this, the estimated payback on the lot will be approximately four years. Based on the agreement with the City of Sheldon, the SCDC is obligated to reimburse the city $18,125 per acre when this land is sold. The city council agreed to forgive payment for this project.
According to Strouth, Bomgaars has plans to begin construction in 2016 on their new location. They will retain ownership of their current building and plan to develop it for other businesses.
Harris, Iowa — The City of Harris is one of fifteen Iowa cities that will benefit from a combined total of more than $9.1 million in low-cost water quality loans through the State Revolving Loan Fund.
The City of Harris has been awarded a Sewer System Planning and Development Loan of up to $192,000. Harris City Clerk Holly Wilson tells us more.
She tells us what the loan can be used for.
Wilson talks about how the loan works.
The Planning and Development Loans are zero-percent interest loans that are designed to assist with the first phase of project expenses. The Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources jointly administer the State Revolving Loan Fund in Iowa.
Once the planning and development work is done, the City of Harris can apply for a low-cost State Revolving Fund Construction Loan to help pay for the construction of the project.
Several weeks ago the Osceola County Board of Supervisors, in a controversial move, voted to allocate Tax Increment Financing dollars to help pay for the Harris Sewer project.