KLEM Expo Begins Today
(Le Mars) — KLEM radio will be hosting the KLEM Expo today and Saturday at the Le Mars Convention Center. Doors open today at 4:00 p.m. and will remain open until 8:00 p.m. There is free admission. More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand ranging from financial banking institutions, to flooring, windows,
furniture, roofing needs, and so much more. Tonight, free pork sandwiches and chips will be distributed to attendees, compliments of Farm Fresh Foodtown and Liquor. On Saturday, doors will open at 10:00 a.m. and Hy-Vee will feature a chili feed. Be sure to register for the Traeger grill to be given away.
Holz Says He Will Not Seek Re-election
(Le Mars) — State Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars has announced he will not be seeking re-election to the state legislature. Holz, a republican, has been in the state House for three years. He was first elected to serve the remainder of the term vacated by then Chuck Soderberg, who left the position to
be the executive director of the Iowa Electrical Cooperatives. Holz then was re-elected to office in 2016 when he defeated Democratic challenger Pat Ritz of Akron. The retired veterinarian says it has been an honor to represent the people of Plymouth County in the state house.
Holz says he has family located in central Iowa, and it is likely he may move away from Le Mars to central Iowa to be closer to his family members. Holz talks about the satisfaction he gained from being a state law maker.
Holz will complete his term which will end at the conclusion of this General Session scheduled for late April.
City Officials Hold Budget Conference
(Le Mars) — City officials reviewed the proposed Le Mars city budget during a budget conference held Thursday afternoon from the city council chambers. City department heads met with Mayor Kirchoff and city council members to propose
their department budgets. Mayor Kirchoff offers assurance to Le Mars residents and businesses that all of the city officials take the budget planning process very seriously. He explains the process involved for establishing the city’s
Kirchoff says once the budget proposals have been submitted, that is when the city council meets with each department head to figure out a final budget proposal.
Mayor Kirchoff says he’s proud of the process, saying it works well due to the hard work and planning conducted by all city officials. Kirchoff says the city council wants to “hold the line” on this year’s budget.
The city’s expected revenue for next year’s fiscal budget for both the general fund and the enterprise fund is listed at $21,835,749. The projected expenditures, prior to today’s conference is listed at $22,346,596. City officials hope to shave off approximately $510,000 from the city’s final budget.
The city’s final budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 will be submitted to the public for a hearing in early March, and voted on by city council and certified by mid-March.
Le Mars Main Street Organization Announces “Open 4 Business” Competition
(Le Mars) — Do you have a great business idea? Have you always wanted to own a business in downtown Le Mars.? Is your current business planning to expand services or add a new product line? Do you have a piece of equipment you wish
you could purchase for your business?
The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program is looking for interested entrepreneurs who could use $28,000 to launch or grow their business idea within the Le Mars Main Street district. The Open 4 Business contest, launched in 2015, is an opportunity for businesses located within a state- designated Main Street district, to compete for a chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to assist with a business development or expansion project that will benefit the local community. Businesses must complete an application and submit
a short video outlining their business idea and how it will benefit the local economic climate in their community. A 25% cash match is required. The grant funds are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa program.
An informational meeting will be held Monday, February 19 3:00pm at the Le Mars Chamber office, 50 Central Ave SE. A local competition will determine who represents Le Mars in the regional and state contests. In 2017, the Brown Century Theater competed and came in second place in the state winning $18,500.
Each designated Main Street community may submit one local business applicant that will represent Le Mars at the sub-state competition held in Des Moines on June 28, 2018. Sub-state winners will receive $8,000 and advance to the state
contest which will be held in Waterloo, Iowa the evening of August 28, 2018. The state winner could win up to $20,000.
For complete details about this program, please contact Mary Reynolds, Main Street Manager at 546-8821.
Old White House Bath Palace Listed On “Endangered Property List
(Le Mars) — An old bath house located on the northern edge of Central Avenue in Le Mars is listed as an “Endangered Property” by Preservation Iowa. Each year a call is placed for nominations through the Preservation Iowa membership, Main Street communities, and historic preservation commissions across the state. A panel of judges considers four criteria in choosing the final list: geographic distribution, historic significance, nature of the threat, and variety of building type. The White House Bathing Palace first appears on the 1907 Sanborn map as containing a public bath house. As Rich Ziettlow tells us, the primary
customers were railroad passengers stopping in Le Mars.
Its use as a public bath house diminished with the spread of indoor plumbing. In 1913, it had become the Le Mars Hospital. It was vacant from 1923-1940 and then was converted into the Central Apartments with 10 small rental units. It has remained an apartment building in some form to the present.
Today, the structure anchors the north end of the central business district and contributes to the overall sense of past time and place in the surrounding district. Ziettlow explains the Preservation Iowa organization believes by calling attention to the historic structure, it may generate interest to renovate and preserve the building.
The exterior of the two-story building retains the historic entrance door and sidelights as well as many other features including a projecting brick cornice and corbelled brick brackets, decorative ‘crossed-over’ brick units at each wall corner and a recessed porch and projecting balcony in the center bay of the
second story. The interior retains original hardwood floors in parts of the building and the original wood stair balusters and wood window frames.