Large Grassland Control Burn Gathers Attention
(Le Mars) — A large white-grey colored cloud of smoke seen yesterday afternoon, approximately five miles west of Le Mars gathered a lot of attention. Many people reported seeing the billows of smoke and notified the Plymouth County
Communications Office, as well as the Le Mars and Merrill Fire Departments.
But, what appeared to be a grass field fire that was out of control was actually a controlled burn being coordinated by the Iowa Conservation Corps from Ames and Council Bluffs. Nearly a dozen people were involved. They intentionally set the
blaze on a tract of ground that is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve program.
The group monitored the fire, by constantly watching its burn pattern, circling it with All-Terrain Vehicles. The group from the Iowa Conservation Corp were equipped with shovels and were walking along side the flames. Prior to the
grassland being set on fire, local farmers used a tillage disk to turn over the soil and surrounded the intended perimeter burn area so it would remain within the designated controlled burn area. The area of the controlled grass fire involved several acres, and extended from county road K-42 to the east to Iris Avenue to the west, and from 190th Street to the north to 200th Street to the south. The fire was intentionally set shortly after 12:00 noon on Friday. Le Mars Assistant Fire Chief Mike Wise confirmed the fire was a controlled burn.
City Changes Dates For Park Lane Road Closure
(Le Mars) — Le Mars city officials have changed the dates for Park Lane to be closed for a paving overlay project. Originally, the city had announced the street that goes through Municipal Park was to be closed between May 16th and May 26th. The new dates for the road to be closed will be Monday, May 22nd
through Wednesday, May 31st.
County Treasurer Announces Tax Credits For Elderly And Disabled
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann, wants to remind
individuals of the tax credit for elderly homeowners and homeowners with
disabilities. Those who qualify, must sign up before the June 1st deadline.
To qualify and receive the credit on your real estate taxes, Iowa residents who
own their own homes must:
• be 65 or older as of December 31, 2016, OR be totally disabled and at least 18
• have total household income under $22,584 for 2016
You may fill out your form at the Treasurer’s office. Bring your 2016 social
security statement of earnings, any 1099’s you may have received, or any other
income that you received in 2016. The Treasurer and her staff will help in
getting you signed up for this state credit. June 1st is the deadline.
If you need additional assistance or have any questions, please contact the
treasurer’s office at 546-7056.
Mike Wells Named To State Economic Advisory Board
(Des Moines) — Governor Branstad has named a handful of business executives to the state advisory board created when Branstad recast the Iowa Economic Development Agency into a public-private partnership.
The new state agency was renamed the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
There’s a board of directors for the authority, but there’s another board called the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress. It’s called an advisory board. Its 11 members are not paid. Branstad has appointed five new members to this advisory group. Mike Wells, the C-E-O of the Wells Dairy in Le Mars that makes
Blue Bunny ice cream is one of them. The four others are executives at Vantec in Webster City, Workiva in Ames, Accumold in Ankeny and DuPont in Johnston.
Branstad Keeps Leopold Center For Sustainable Agriculture
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has decided to keep open a longtime research center, though he still plans to remove its funding.
Branstad used his veto power Friday to cut language in a roughly $7.2 billion state budget that would have eliminated the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. But he kept plans to redirect a tax worth roughly $1.5 million that helps pay for the center. It will go to a separate ISU center that studies water quality.
The governor’s staff did not give a reason for the setup, only noting it will preserve the center’s existence.
GOP lawmakers with majorities in the Legislature had indicated the 30- year-old center had completed its work. Staff for the center disputed that, arguing their research is valuable to farmers.
Northey Accepts Position With USDA
(Des Moines) — The Cedar Rapids Gazette is reporting that Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has been appointed to a position in the U-S Department of Agriculture by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Northey, a Spirit Lake farmer in his third term as state agriculture secretary will be the new
undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. The position includes overseeing the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. A replacement will be appointed by the