Home News Wednesday News, May 15th

Wednesday News, May 15th


County Supervisors Raise Zoning Ordinance Fees

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors took action during Tuesday’s meeting to raise several of the fees associated with the county’s zoning ordinances. County Zoning Administrator Alan Luckin appeared before the county board to review the zoning rates. Luckin says it has been several
years since the zoning rates were last increased. The county zoning administrator says the county board of supervisors raised the fees on six different zoning items.

Luckin says the county board of supervisors also addressed building permits for homes.

Luckin says there were a few categories the fees were left the same.

With the possibility of Plymouth County having a wind turbine farm located within the county, according to Luckin, the supervisors wanted to review the current rates and update the zoning fees to be more in line with other surrounding counties for what they charge. The county zoning administrator
says once the supervisors wanted to look at the rates charged for windmill turbines, they then decided to review all the zoning rates and fees. Luckin says when he researched the zoning fees of counties across Iowa, he saw those rates were all over the board.

The new zoning ordinance rates and fees will take effect on June 1st.



Floyd Valley Healthcare Among 67 Critical Access Hospitals To Know

(Le Mars) — This week is National Hospital Week, and Floyd Valley Healthcare was given some good news recently. Becker’s Healthcare survey announced that Floyd Valley Healthcare is among their list of 67 Critical Access Hospitals to know. In recognizing Floyd Valley Healthcare, Becker’s wrote:
“Floyd Valley Healthcare has its roots serving the Le Mars, Iowa community since 1966. In 2014, the hospital began a multi-million dollar project to complete three additions, the largest of which would cost $27.4 million and add 23,000 square feet of space. In 2019, the Chartis Center for Rural Health analytics named Floyd Valley Healthcare among the top 100 Critical
Access Hospitals in the nation. The year before, Floyd Valley earned the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s best hospitals for Obstetrics.
Floyd Valley Healthcare is one of six Critical Access Hospitals in the state of Iowa that was recognized. Critical Access Hospitals have 25 or fewer inpatient beds and also offer 24/7 emergency care and are located in rural areas.



Sioux City Approves Construction Of Expo Center

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City officials have approved nearly $15 million for a new center featuring 80,000 feet of exposition space that they hope will attract events such as trade show and youth sports tournaments.
The Sioux City Journal reports that the City Council awarded the
contract to L&L Builders on Monday for the Siouxland Expo Center project. The contract bid was over $2 million higher than initial projections.
The multi-functional venue will be constructed on a plot of land near Interstate 29 and the Floyd River channel.
The Expo Center is part of the downtown Sioux City Reinvestment District , which includes three other projects that developers say could generate a total $13.5 million in hotel and sales taxes.
The facility is expected to start hosting events in 2020.



Hornick Still Recovering After Flooding

(Sioux City) — It’s been nearly two months since floodwaters forced the residents of the Woodbury County town of Hornick to evacuate. Mayor Scott Mitchell says the clean up and rebuilding efforts on homes and businesses are continuing.

Mitchell says the city is also looking to improve infrastructure to prevent flooding of that magnitude in the future.

Mitchell made his comments Monday after being honored by the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department as the citizen of the year.



Missouri River Communities Still Vulnerable To Additional Flooding

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Communities that were flooded when levees failed along the Missouri River earlier this spring will likely remain exposed to high water for months to come, leaving displaced residents wondering when – or if – they will be able to return and rebuild their homes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – the federal agency that regulates flood control along the waterway – has been assessing the levees that were crippled in March when heavy rain and snow melt caused the river and its tributaries to overflow in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. But repairs have been hindered by the extent of the damage and lingering floodwaters.

The flooding that caused an estimated $3 billion in damage in the Midwest forced 94-year-old Ardis Rogers from her farm near the small community of Percival in southwest Iowa. She said she’s heard from people who flew over her home that it appears dry but that the roads leading to the property remain flooded.

Only a handful of the more than 40 construction contracts needed to fix the damaged Missouri River levees have been issued.

Even the quickest repairs – plugging holes in two levees near
Hamburg and Percival, Iowa – won’t be completed until the spring rainy season is over.

But completing the repairs will be difficult.

Often after floods, officials are able to drive along the levees to
assess the damage, but that hasn’t been an option this spring in many places where floodwaters surged over the top. The Corps is relying more heavily than ever on watercrafts and helicopters to find out what is going on. Even in Hamburg, where repair work is underway, some of the still-flooded job sites
can’t be accessed without a boat.

Once the damage surveys are completed, the Corps will review which levees were the most effective in protecting populations and the most critical infrastructure. That helps determine which repair projects come first.

The federal government will pay for all of the repairs to levees in the federal system and 80% of the cost to repair levees owned by cities or agricultural groups.

Until the levees are repaired, any heavy rain will threaten Missouri River communities with more flooding, said Mike Crecelius, emergency manager for Fremont County, which includes Hamburg.

The dragging levee repairs make it hard for people to decide when or if to rebuild their homes and businesses. Only six of the 32 businesses in Hamburg have reopened since the floods, and residents are still boiling water.

Hamburg Mayor Cathy Crain says, “Right now we’re not alarmed,” . “But we have to get through May and June.”




Osceola Couple Accused Of Child Endangerment

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) – An Osceola husband and wife accused of abusing two adopted children have pleaded guilty to two counts each of child endangerment.
Television station KCCI reports that 42-year-old Kenneth Fry and 40- year-old Kelly Fry entered their pleas Monday in a deal with prosecutors that saw several other charges dropped.
Prosecutors say the children, ages 8 and 9, were adopted from Ghana and that the Frys kept them in an unfurnished room divided by a wooden wall.
The divided room contained only a couple of blankets and buckets for use as toilets, and its door was equipped with an alarm that would sound if opened.
Doctors say the children were also dangerously malnourished.
Prosecutors say the Frys’ five other children had typical age-
appropriate bedrooms and did not have food restrictions.
The Frys each face up to two years in prison when they’re sentenced May 23.