Home News Wednesday News, April 20

Wednesday News, April 20



The Le Mars Community School Board Tuesday gave approval to the district’s yearly inrasteructure plan. This is for Fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
The list of yearly expenditures include, such ongoing needs as new carpeting, concrete, mainternance, technology and transportation. Specific items for 2022 include the last phase II payment on a project to build new math and science rooms, and work on the high school gymnasium.
Other items include payment for stadium improvements, and air exchange equipment at Le Mars Community High School. This is reimbursed through federal Covid funds.
Fiscal year 2023 improvements include a new entrance and restroom remodel at the middle school, and second to the last payment on bonds for stadium improvements.
The 2022 infrastrucgture plan is estimated to cost 2.56 million dollars, and in 2023, 2.97 million.


Michigan-based nonprofit Trinity Health has announced an agreement to acquire all MercyOne health care facilities in Iowa. MercyOne C-E-O Bob Brits says National Catholic Health Systems came together in Iowa in 1998 to combine their ministries. This improved access and availability of health care services in Sioux City, Dubuque Mason City, Clinton, and Central Iowa and Illinois. He says they made multiple changes to adapt and this is another one.

He says they have worked for months to come up with a plan.

Brits says this was something that has been discussed for years — but was never thought possible.

Trinity Health’s Mike Slubowski, says things have been operating well in the last 24 years and they are hoping to keep it that way.

MercyOne’s Iowa network includes 16 medical centers and 27 affiliate organizations. The health system serves more than three-point-three million Iowans every year. Brits says they don’t expect this merger to save any money — but it could help improve the efficiency of the operations. The two non-profits will work together on the integration to Trinity and expect it to be completed this summer.



The Le Mars city council Tuesday decided to take the task of Community Development under direct authority of the city.

Mayor Rob Bixenman says it is intentional to call the new position a COMMUNITY Development Director.

Bix1    OC:as a city    ;20

As the community grows, all those elements will come into play.

Bix2    OC:forthright planning           ;23

In the past, the city handled economic development in an arrangement with the Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation. The city now comes to the forefront under this new model.

Bix3    OC:the LBIC              :25

Bixenman says the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce also welcomes this change.

Bix4    OC:was very difficult ;13

It will be cost-effective to hire a new position of Community Development Director

Bix5    OC:of this position     :23

The city council also adopted a resolution which authorizes reporting of the receipt and use of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.  The city will receive just over 1.5 million dollars for losses due to COVID restrictions.  Half of the funds are already in hand.

The council hired an engineering firm to oversee repairs on the 24th street bridge.  The structure was damaged in a fire earlier this year.  A decision on the agreement was tabled at the last council meeting.

An Engineering firm was also hired to oversee construction of a force main from the Wells North Ice Cream Plant.  This plan would divert was from the ice cream plant to the city’s industrial treatment plant.  Currently, waste from the North Ice Cream Plant goes to the Municipal Treatment plant.  Segregating the waste will reduce waste volume in the Municipal plant by 31%.



Plymouth County Chief Deputy Rick Singer made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday about the state of their current rescue vehicle, and the need for a new one.

There have been times when the old Peacekeeper was needed but not available.

The Bearcat is a better rescue vehicle than the Peacekeeper because that’s what it was designed for.

Le Mars police own the current vehicle, but Singer says it would work best for Plymouth County to own the new vehicle.  The Bearcat is a versatile vehicle

Singer says it’s best to have one owner of the rescue vehicle

The cost of the vehicle is 227-thousand dollars.  The Plymouth County Supervisors expressed their desire to share the costs of the vehicle through the other agencies.

The vehicle could be of service between 30 and 40 years.  The Supervisors will consider funding options at a later meeting.



Former Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to attend a political event in Carroll this Saturday.  Pence will help Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra serve breakfast at Carroll High School starting at 9:30 a-m.  Then, Iowa’s Fourth District Convention will get underway at 10:00.  Feenstra says Pence is a “Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order.”  The Iowa Republican says those values represent the fabric of his constituents in the Fourth District.



An Iowa lawmaker points out that it can cost as much as three-thousand dollars to replace a stolen catalytic converter.  That’s why the Legislature is working on a bill to address a surge in thefts of the easily-accessible vehicle parts that are attached to exhaust systems to reduce air pollution.  State Representative Cherielynn (SHARE-uh-linn) Westridge of Ottumwa says the measure makes sure there is a paper trail to give an additional tool to law enforcement as they try to find the thief.  Sellers will have to show recyclers and scrap metal dealers a receive showing they have purchased a replacement catalytic converter – or a certificate for a recently-junked vehicle.



The National Weather Service confirms what Iowans already knew – it was cold in the Hawkeye State overnight, record-setting cold.  Several Iowa cities experienced record lows overnight.  The low temperature of 19 degrees in Sioux City came on the latest date in the year the thermometer there had ever fallen below 20 degrees.  The old record was set 69 years ago.  The 19-degree reading in Cedar Rapids broke the record low of 20 that was set 34 years.  And, Des Moines beat a 94-year-old record when its low temperature reached 21 degrees.  The mark set in 1928 was 25 degrees for a low.