Home News Friday News, July 21st

Friday News, July 21st


Gayle Sitzmann Retires From City Water Department

(Le Mars) — For nearly 30 years, every time you turned on a faucet to get water for cooking, bathing, washing, or just for a refreshing drink to remain hydrated, one man was responsible for that water to be accessible, dependable, clear, clean, and free of harmful bacteria. Gayle Sitzmann has served as the
superintendent for the Le Mars Water Department for the last 12 years. Today (Friday) is Sitzmann’s last day with the city’s water department as he will begin his retirement. Sitzmann says he was hired shortly after the city took over the supervision of the municipal water needs. Sitzmann says as the city was growing, obviously the water department needed to grow with the city.

Sitzmann says the city of Le Mars has several water mains that are showing their age, and consequently, they are rupturing causing water main breaks. The water department superintendent says there have been four water main breaks since May.
Sitzmann says the city has been installing new pipeline to accommodate Iowa DNR regulations. He says the old water mains were four inches in diameter. But today, water mains need to be at least six inches in diameter. Sitzmann says when he started with the city water department, Le Mars had the capacity to store 300,000 gallons of water. Today, with the new water towers, Sitzmann says that storage capacity exceeds three and a half million gallons of water.

Sitzmann says while the city was expanding its water storage capacity, it was also updating its pumping capacity.

Sitzmann says Le Mars gets its water through a series of wells that have tapped into the Dakota Aquifer. He says we are fortunate to have clear and clean water of good quality.

The city water official says some of Le Mars water wells are capable of pumping up to 1300 gallons a minute. He says on average the city’s industrial base uses approximately 40 percent of the city’s water, and the residential and small business district uses approximately 60 percent of our water. Sitzmann says he
will miss the daily routine after retirement, as well as responding to people’s needs. However, he admits he will not miss the 2:00 in the morning telephone calls indicating a water main has burst. He says he looks forward to traveling, and he will continue to assist with his wife’s greenhouse business during his retirement.



Plymouth County Issues Burn Ban

(Le Mars) — Due to the excessive hot and dry conditions, the Plymouth County Firefighters Association has requested and subsequently were granted a burn ban for the the county. The State Fire Marshal’s office has approved the request.
According to the proclamation, conditions in Plymouth County are such that open burning constitutes a danger to life or property. The burn ban will become effective on Saturday, July 22nd as of 8:00 a.m. No person shall engage in open burning in Plymouth County until such time that conditions have improved, and the burn ban has been lifted.



Bicyclists Converge On Orange City For RAGBRAI

(Orange City) — Bicyclists will be dominating Iowa country roads this next week for the 45th edition of the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, or known as RAGBRAI. An estimated 25,000 people are expected to arrive at Orange
City for the start of the popular bike ride across Iowa, which begins on Sunday morning. Orange City is serving as the initial over-night host community. Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says bicyclists are already arriving at the Sioux County community.

Kurtz says responsibility rests with both the vehicle motorist, as well as with the bicyclist.

The Iowa State Patrol trooper says if at all possible, motorists should stay away from the designated RAGBRAI route and choose an alternative route. He says for Sunday, the first day of the cross-state ride, bicyclists will visit Orange City, Alton, Granville, Paullina, Primghar, Hartley and finish at Spencer.

Kurtz says the support vehicles for RAGBRAI riders will head north out of Orange City, and then follow U-S Highway 18 to Spencer, passing through Boyden, Sheldon, and Hartley. Due to the expected excessive heat and humidity, the Iowa State Patrol
trooper reminds bicyclists, and others to stay hydrated, and to take frequent breaks along the ride, and to ride safe.



School Board To Hold Special Meeting Today

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for today at noon at the Le Mars Education Center. School Board members will act on the submitted bills, as well as act on the resignation request by Mike Boyd who wishes to resign effectively immediately from his
position as a high school math teacher.



Senator Grassley To Hold Open Office Hours In Northwest Iowa

(Washington) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley will have staff personnel will hold office hours in Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux and Lyon Counties scheduled for Thursday, August 3rd. Regional Director Jacob Bossman will appear throughout the
region. Bossman will be at the Remsen City Hall located at 8 West 2nd Street in Remsen on August 3rd. Following the Plymouth County visit, Bossman will be at Sioux County at the Hawarden City Office located at 1150 Central Avenue between
2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Senator Grassley’s offices in Iowa regularly help constituents contact federal agencies to sort through problems with Social Security payments, military service matters, immigration cases and other issues.
Grassley says the “open office hours are designed to help more Iowans access the assistance that is available from their United States Senator.” Grassley says he hopes that anyone with federal agency-related casework will take advantage of the open office visits.



Reynolds Declares Emergency Disaster For Four Iowa Counties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for four counties in the northeast corner of Iowa that suffered storm damages.
The governor’s office said Thursday that the proclamation covers Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette and Winneshiek counties raked by storms Wednesday.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used to aid in recovery efforts.
It also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance program for qualifying residents of the four counties. The program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The money can be used for such things as home and car repairs, temporary housing
expenses or replacement of clothing or food.



Rural Economy Drops During June

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Drought conditions in some areas and weak grain prices are among factors weighing heavily on the rural economy in parts of 10 Plains and Western states.
The overall Rural Mainstreet Index for the region plummeted to 40.7 in July from June’s index of 50. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says July’s was the largest one- month decline recorded in the index since November 2008, which was in the middle of the Great Recession.
The confidence index, which reflects bankers’ expectations for the economy six months out, slumped to 38.4 this month from 48.9 in June.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.