County Supervisors To Hear Report From County Treasurer
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear a report from County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann as she will present a review for approval semi-annual settlement of funds. Sitzmann will also share for review of approval the depository resolution. Surveyor, Al Fagin will appear before the county governing board seeking approval of Wenzel Second Addition, a
minor subdivision in Section 16 of Union Township. County engineer Tom Rohe will appear before the board of supervisors to answer questions regarding the Secondary Road Department’s proposed budget. The county supervisors will continue to work on the county’s budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022. The
supervisors are expected to set the tax revenue spending public hearing, and the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget public hearing date and times.
Main Street Organization Names Committee Chairs
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Main Street four committees are beginning work on 2021 projects. The mission of
Main Street Le Mars is to stimulate economic development in downtown Le Mars by encouraging cooperation and building leadership in the community; by maintaining the historic character while creating a positive downtown image and promoting it as an exciting place to live, shop and invest; by improving the appearance of downtown; and by strengthening and expanding the economic base of the downtown.
“The Main Street Committees are starting to meet virtually this month,” stated Main Street Manager Mary Reynolds. “In 2020 because of the pandemic Main Street projects and events were
put on hold. As committees meet via ZOOM, I are seeing volunteers eager to plan activities for the future.”
Serving as Vice President of the Main Street program is Michaela Brown. Brown has served on
Main Street committees for the past five years. She has shared many ideas that other communities across the nation have done in regards to downtown amenities and festivals through her
travel with the family musical group.
The four Main Street Committees are:
Design – Chair Rich Ziettlow This committee works on improving the looks of the downtown district through art—Alley Art and the fiberglass ice cream cones. The group is focused on the
historic architecture of the downtown and seeks to save building through historic restoration and preservation. They seek grants to help building owners enhance their projects— State of Iowa
Challenge grant and City of Le Mars façade grant are two grants that have been used multiple times in Le Mars. The Design Committee works with the Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission on projects and restoration efforts. Currently the Design Committee is beginning work on a new street-scape plan for downtown.
Organization – Chair Terri Schroeder This committee is the fundraising arm for Main Street.
Special events, activities, festivals, etc. are coordinated to raise funds and highlight our community. The Halloween Trick or Treating event is organized through this committee. Plans are being laid out for a large Fall Festival, Cricket Tournament, a RAGBRAI activity along with numerous other events. The organizational committee efforts bring together the public sector, private groups and individual citizens to work more effectively for our downtown.
Business Improvement —Chair Tim Claussen This committee looks at different ways to assist businesses in the Main Street district whether it’s grants, loans or educational opportunities.
They look for ways to use vacant or underused spaces. The committee distributes surveys to gain information about the public’s opinion of downtown Le Mars.
Promotions – Chair Brad Pick This committee assists downtown businesses by planning different promotions and events. The group is composed of business owners, managers and the media. This committee to make sure we have a strong downtown business district.
Le Mars has been a Iowa Main Street community since 1995. For more information on the Le Mars Main Street program, or to get involved, contact Mary Reynolds at the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce 712-546-8821.
Chamber of Commerce To Hold Virtual Awards Presentation
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce annual recognition program will be held virtually this year. On Thursday, January 28 the video presentations of Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Main Street Volunteer of the Year will be revealed. Three community videos are also included in the program. Boss of the Quarter, Employees of the month and retiring Chamber Board members will be recognized. Make time to enjoy the virtual Le Mars Chamber of Commerce annual recognition program. Go to http://recognition.lemarschamber.org starting January 28th. This program will be available through February.
Feenstra Appointed To Serve On U-S House Agriculture Committee
(Washington) — Iowa now has TWO representatives on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Third district Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, announced earlier this month she’d remain on the panel during her second term. Yesterday (Monday), fourth district Congressman Randy Feenstra announced he’s been assigned to the ag committee, too.
Iowa Soybean Association Honors Governor Kim Reynolds
Ankeny, Iowa — The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) honored Governor Kim Reynolds with its Distinguished Service Award.
Presented by the ISA board of directors, it recognizes Reynolds for her unwavering support of Iowa agriculture and dedicated advocacy on behalf of soybean farmers.
ISA President Jeff Jorgenson of Sidney says, “Governor Reynolds is a true champion for Iowa agriculture and among the strongest voices nationally for the needs of soybean farmers and rural communities. She has an impressive track record of pro-agriculture support and policy accomplishments.”
Serving as the state’s chief executive since 2017, Reynolds has routinely positioned advanced policies helpful to farmers and rural communities.
Jorgenson said her support of biodiesel ranks at the top of the list. In 2019, Reynolds signed an executive order requiring all new state-owned diesel-powered vehicles be able to use biodiesel blends of at least 20% (B20).
One year later, she signed into law a historic extension of the biodiesel fuel tax differential (SF2403). She also led a statewide effort to secure an additional $7 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for the expansion of renewable fuel infrastructure in the state.
Jorgenson says, “And she’s stood side-by-side with farmers throughout floods, the pandemic and historic derecho that last August devastated nearly one-third of Iowa’s soybean acres.” .
“As a farmer, you need someone that understands your interests including good roads and bridges, the ability to move product during harvest and the need to keep supply chains moving, especially during a pandemic. One need look no further than Governor Reynolds for that kind of understanding and support.”
In 2020, Reynolds took bold action to protect the state’s prosperity and Iowa agriculture’s future by introducing the Invest in Iowa Act (IIA). While temporarily shelved as the state recovers from Covid-19, the IIA would fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, providing sustainable, long-term funding for water quality and conservation across the state.
“The governor has routinely joined Iowa’s federal congressional delegation in the fight against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (and Big Oil’s) nonsensical and unlawful attacks against the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Jorgenson adds. “This work is vital in defending and protecting the critical biodiesel domestic market that adds 13% to the cash price of every bushel of soybeans produced in Iowa.”
ISA Policy Director Michael Dolch says Reynolds’ impressive track record of support and policy accomplishments made her the ideal recipient of ISA’s most prestigious award.
“She has demonstrated the grit and tenacity necessary to position the agriculture and soybean industry for sustained success,” he says. “And she’s done so despite a trade war, derecho and pandemic.”
The video showcasing her award presentation can be found on YouTube. More information about the ISA awards program and other 2021 award recipients can be found at www.iasoybeans.com/awards.
Senate Committee Advances Bill Allowing Parents To use Public Funding For Private School Tuition
(Des Moines, IA) — The Senate Education Committee has advanced legislation that would let some parents use public money to cover private school tuition. Scholarship accounts would be available to students at low-performing public schools. The same bill also creates a charter school system that would operate separately from local school districts. The head of the Iowa-Nebraska N-A-A-C-P says the move could create a cycle of defunding public schools and school segregation. Backers of the bill say it makes public school districts accountable to parents for low-performing schools. It’s possible the Iowa Senate will vote on this measure later this week.
Attorney For US House Candidate Defends Decision To Appeal Defeat
(Des Moines, IA) — The attorney for U-S House candidate Rita Hart says Hart’s decision to appeal her six-vote defeat in November’s election doesn’t set a bad precedent because she went first to a congressional committee. She could have pursued the question in the courts. The Hart campaign says it found 22 votes that should have been counted. It maintains Hart would have defeated Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks if the votes had been counted. An attorney for the winner says, “No amount of partisan spin can change the fact that the precedents of the House of Representatives required a contestant to first present her claims under state law.”
Republicans Back Bill Requiring Iowa Businesses To Use E-Verify Program
(Des Moines, IA) — Republicans are backing a bill that would allow the state of Iowa to enforce the federal crime of knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants. The legislation would require Iowa businesses to use the E-Verify program to check the immigration status of new hires. It was advanced by a Senate committee Monday. Republican Senator Julian Garrett says his bill will even the playing field for employers. Business groups and immigrant advocates oppose the bill. They maintain that E-Verify can wrongly identify people as ineligible to work and the mandate would be a burden on Iowa business owners.
Report: Des Moines Is 2nd-Safest Place To Live In America
(Des Moines, IA) — Don’t be misled by news stories about murder and mayhem. U-S News and World Report has conducted a study that reveals Des Moines is the second-safest place to live in America. Green Bay, Wisconsin was number one. The report looked at murder and property crimes based on population and F-B-I crime reports. Des Moines police passed on the store on the department’s Facebook page Monday, saying, “It takes a strong partnership between the department and our citizens to keep our neighborhoods safe.” Police say shootings in the city have steadily declined since 2018.