Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, December 20

KLEM News for Tuesday, December 20


The Le Mars city council held a public hearing on the 24th St SW bridge repair project. The east abutment of the bridge was damaged by a fire in February, and the council considered a motion to publish plans, specifications to bidders, and form of contract on the project. Councilman Clark Goodchild moved that the matter be tabled, while another inspection of the bridge be done. The city council approved the motion. Taking up the matter at the next council meeting won’t disrupt the schedule for collecting bids, and awarding a contract for the project. The estimated cost of the repair project is 140-thousand dollars, paid through the city’s road use tax fund.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have established an ordinance providing for class C roads in the county. During a public hearing, County Engineer Tom Rohe explained that class C roads are limited access roads, intended for use mainly by local residents. Class C roads are usually roads with one residence on them. Roads will be included as class C status by request of a landowner, and approved by the Board of Supervisors. The roads would be blocked by a padlocked gate, with access only by the landowner and the county. After the public hearing, the Board this morning passed the ordinance, then voted to waive a second reading and adopted the ordinance.

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard several budget requests for the next fiscal year. Dick Sievers, Director of Mid-Sioux Opportunity, gave a report on their agencies work. Mid-Sioux, based in Remsen, administers Head Start, Health and nutrition programs, and energy assistance in their five county service area.
In Plymouth County alone, Mid-Sioux provides service to over 21-hundred families, and 866 households, a value of 2.9 million dollars in the current fiscal year. Sievers requested 16,500 dollars in Plymouth County’s 2023-24 fiscal year budget. The Plymouth County Fair Board also met with the Supervisors. Fair Board President Loren Schnepf asked for the county’s support in the next fiscal year. Their latest project is a paved parking project near Century Hall. They want to begin work next spring, so it can be ready for the next Plymouth County Fair. The fair board requested 28-thousand dollars in the next fiscal year, the same amount requested over the past several years. Mike Wise, of Plymouth County EMS brought information on this year’s activity, and a budget request for next fiscal year. Wise says they are asking for support for EMS training, which is ongoing in the communities they serve. Wise requested 105-thousand dollars toward operations next year, and 8% increase. Wise says that’s mainly due to inflation. These are considered operational funds used by the county’s EMT services. They also maintain a training fund. Wise says there is no problem with maintaining training funds, the problem is finding recruits to take the training.



A long-time Le Mars business is purchasing another long-time Le Mars business. Tom Mullally, owner of Lally’s Eastside restaurant in Le Mars, is purchasing Vander Meer Bakery.

Mullally been considering purchasing Vander Meer Bakery for some time, but the deal didn’t come together until recently.

The sale will take effect before the end of the year.  Mullally intends to operate both businesses out of the same building.

Mullally says there’s been a long-standing relationship between the two businesses.

Mullaly will continue to sell the Vander Meer items people have come to enjoy, plus try some new items.

Mullally says Vander Meer Bakery has been doing business with Lally’s Eastside for decades now. He had been considering purchasing the bakery for a couple of years, but the opportunity didn’t present itself until just recently.

In the future, they will sell the Vander Meer items people have come to enjoy, plus try some new items.



Plymouth County Extension and Outreach welcomes two new staff members today.  Kerstin Thoms will begin her work at the County Youth Coordinator.  There’s also a new K-12 Program Coordinator, Shelby Kaestner.  She will manage Extension’s Clover Kids program.



University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook is looking for ways to ensure students in U-N-I’s Teacher Education program get a stipend while they’re student teaching. Nook says student teaching is the original internship in higher education, but it’s always been unpaid. Students are supervised by a licensed teacher as they gain experience in managing a classroom for a semester and those students are responsible for paying their own living expenses.  Iowa is not unique. Student teachers in the U.S. are rarely paid, although lawmakers in a handful of other states have begun discussing how to change that. Nook is asking the 2023 Iowa legislature to provide U-N-I four million dollars to support teacher development and he envisions using some of that to pay student teachers.



Pet ownership grew across the country and around Iowa during the pandemic and now it has become harder to find a  veterinarian to treat the animals. The State Director of the Humane Society of the U-S Preston Moore says increase in pet ownership came as Iowa struggled to recruit new veterinarians while simultaneously losing vets to other states. There is now a backlog of medical visits and Moore says there’s some evidence to suggest that the pandemic played a role as pet owners were choosing to put off bringing in their pets. He says folks are struggling to get appointments to do even preventative care.