Council To Talk About Rec Trail

new Sheldon signSheldon, Iowa — The Recreational Trail Project is the only new business item listed on the agenda for the Sheldon City Council to discuss at their meeting Wednesday October 21st. The Council will address an engineering proposal for approximately 6900 feet of additional rec trail in the new park on the East side of the City. The project would involve construction of a ten foot wide trail in and around the park according to the Master Plan for the area.

Beck Engineering of Spirit Lake estimates that the project would cost approximately $490,000 and could be constructed all at once or in phases and they would charge $19,500 for their engineering services. If the agreement is approved by the council, Beck Engineering will begin their work this month and have a preliminary design with the City Staff in November. They would have the plans and estimated construction cost ready for the city in December.

Wednesday’s Council meeting begins at 4:30 in the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.

Osceola Supervisors Approve Urban Renewal Resolution

Sibley, Iowa — About two dozen people crowded the Osceola County Courtroom this morning, with nine speakers rising in opposition, and written objections received from five others to the proposed establishment of an Urban Renewal Plan that would provide the City of Harris to use Tax Increment Financing to pay for upgrades to their sanitary waste system, as well as improvements to a section of White Avenue, during a Public

Dennis Peters of the HLP School District Addresses the Osceola County Board of Supervisors
Dennis Peters of the HLP School District Addresses the Osceola County Board of Supervisors

Hearing held during the Osceola County Board of Supervisors meeting in Sibley.

At issue is the utilization of TIF funds from a wind farm project in northeastern Osceola County to finance the improvements and upgrades needed by the City of Harris.

Several of those who spoke at this morning’s meeting voiced opposition that County tax revenues would be diverted into a municipality instead of being used to augment the County’s budget.

Dennis Peters spoke on behalf of the Harris-Lake Park School District, and he said the District opposes the resolution under the “Equal Protection Clause”, since the District’s residents who reside in Dickinson County have no representation in this decision.  He proposed that the Supervisors eliminate the White Avenue portion of the project from the TIF funding, and require the City of Harris to apply for a USDA loan or grant to help offset the cost of the sanitary waste system.

Harris Mayor Greg Spoethy told the Supervisors that the City of Harris had talked to other communities who said they had encountered problems with their USDA Grants or loans.  He said that the engineer with whom the City is working on the project advised them to not go to the USDA, saying that Harris’ project wouldn’t fit the USDA criteria.  Spoethy says Harris is already at it’s debt ceiling, which would require them to rely on grants.  He said they have applications filed for a Community Development Block Grant, as well as other grants, but that no word has been received on whether they will be approved.

Al Brueggeman chastised the Board of Supervisors for failing to answer any questions about the project.  He told the Supervisors that, “if you approve this, I guess we’ll have to see you in court”, before tossing a draft copy of his group’s proposed lawsuit filing onto the table in front of the Supervisors.

Board members assured the gathered crowd that the decision on this issue was not an easy one.

A motion was made and seconded to establish a Resolution to Declare Necessity and Establish an Urban Renewal Area, and approve the Urban Renewal Plan and Project for the Osceola County Urban Renewal Area #7.  The measure passed 4-1 on a roll call vote, with Supervisor LeRoy DeBoer casting the lone dissenting vote.

Click here to see a draft copy of the threatened lawsuit.

Kooiker Will Not Seek Re-Election In November ’16

Boyden, Iowa — Representative John Kooiker (R-Boyden) has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2016 and will retire from the Legislature at the expiration of his term in January 2017.
John Kooiker cropped
Kooiker says his goal was, and still is, to help fill the gap left by the death of his good friend, Representative Dwayne Alons. Kooiker says it has been a privilege to serve in this capacity. He says he will continue to work hard to serve the citizens of District 4 through the end of his term, and then he hopes to pass the torch to the younger generation of leaders.

Rep. Kooiker cited nine additional reasons for his retirement – his nine grandchildren who will all soon be living within fifty miles from home. He is a retired farmer, rural mail carrier, and teacher. He plans to continue serving in various other capacities, including volunteer work and as a Sioux County Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner.

Rep. Kooiker was first elected in 2015, in a special election following the death of longtime Rep. Dwayne Alons. During his time in the House, Kooiker served as Vice Chairman of the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee, and also sat on the Labor, Local Government, Public Safety, and Veterans Affairs committees.

Three Departments Fight Grain Bin Fire

Paullina, Iowa — Ten thousand bushels of corn was destroyed in a fire on Sunday, October 18, 2015 near Paullina.
Paullina FD truck logo
According to Paullina Fire Chief Brian Feltman, about 3:30 PM, the Paullina Fire Department was called to the report of grain bin fire at 5534 430th Street, about three miles north of Paullina on the Phillip Simm farm.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke coming from the top of the bin as they approached the scene. He says they broke into the bin on two sides, and slid the burning grain out of the bin. He says they sprayed water on the burning corn and then unloaded what was left.

Feltman says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Primghar and Archer fire departments, who provided water and manpower.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be that the bin’s stirator had overheated.

Chief Feltman reports that damage was estimated at $30,000, including the damaged corn and the two bin panels that will have to be replaced.

He says they used 3000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 7:20 PM.

KIWA has been able to obtain the details on a couple of other recent fire calls.

The Orange City fire department recently fought a field fire at 500th Street between Ironwood and Indian Avenues. Fire Chief Denny VanderWel says damage was minimal.

About 11:30 on Sunday, October 18, 2015, The Calumet Fire Department was called to a field fire about a mile south of Calumet on Highway 59. Fire Chief Mike Jensen reports it was a minor fire.

Manufacturing Day Scheduled At NCC

NCC logo and taglineSheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon will hold a Manufacturing Day event Tuesday to promote and showcase the Manufacturing programs at NCC: Production Welding, Advanced Welding Technology, Engineering Design and Design Technology.

NCC Instructor Ryan Steffen tells us what the college will be doing for Manufacturing Day.

Steffen says the college has a commitment to teaching their students about advanced manufacturing.  He tells us what, exactly, advanced manufacturing is.

He says advanced manufacturing brings the old ways into the computerized world.

Steffen says that the students who acquire the skills needed to work in the advanced manufacturing field can step into very well paying jobs when they leave NCC.

NCC’s Manufacturing Day Tuesday will run from 9 am to 12:30 pm, and will include company presentations, employment possibilities, displays of company products, and a tour of the Engineering/Design Technology and Production Welding/Advanced Welding Technology Programs.

Steve King Backing Webster For Speaker

Washington, DC — Iowa Congressman Steve King is urging his fellow House Republicans to rally around a Florida congressman’s bid to become the next speaker of the House.
steve king forster center

On Thursday, King sent an email to House Republicans, urging them to publicly endorse Webster.

Webster is a former state legislator from Florida. Nearly two decades ago Webster became the first Republican speaker of the Florida House for more than a century. King says the 66-year-old Webster, who is from central Florida, promises a “member-driven” approach to operations in the U.S. House of Representatives.

King says no other candidate running “or rumored to run” for speaker has matched Webster’s commitment to “bottom up governing.” King also praises Webster for his “excellent record opposing amnesty.” King’s letter to his House colleagues urges them to jump on Webster’s bandwagon to “build momentum” for his candidacy. Others are urging Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to change his mind and run for speaker. King says Ryan would face the same difficulties in uniting House Republicans that doomed John Boehner, the Ohio congressman who announced last month that he was resigning as House speaker and leaving congress. The House has scheduled the election for speaker for October 29th.

Story from Radio Iowa