State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says a carbon pipeline bill introduced in the House will add protections for landowners. Jeneary says the bill is a workable solution for both proponents and opponents of the pipeline.
Jeneary says these pipelines are moving forward too quickly, and more deliberation is needed.
The three main components of the House bill include a requirement that 90% of landowners must be signed up for easements before eminent domain can be considered; a broader window in which landowners can file claims for damages from pipeline construction; and that proceedings for pipeline construction wait until the Environmental Protection Agency finishes its report on carbon capture pipelines.
Le Mars Police submitted its annual report to the city council this week. Police Chief Kevin Vande told the council that police calls have increased since 2021. There were over 11-thousnd calls for service; over 12-hundred complaints investigated by officers; 551 arrests; 253 accidents, 23 of them involving injury; and an increase in Community Police Contacts. These include house watches, foot patrols, Citizens academy, the DARE program, and School Resource programs. Goals for 2023 include hosting K9 trials this summer, expanding the School Resource Officer program and implementing a Community Impact Officer/Investigator into the department.
Reports from the Streets and Public Facilities Departments, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau were also presented to the city council this week.
DOT TRAFFIC REPORT
Traffic was down on the state roadways in the last month of 2022. The D-O-T’s Stuart Anderson tracks the numbers.
Recent lower traffic volumes have been attributed to higher gas prices — but he says this time it looks like winter is to blame.
Anderson made his comments during the recent Iowa Transportation Commission meeting.
Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson is praising the effort by Ukranians to fight Russia’s invasion of their country. Hinson was in Israel one year ago today (Friday) when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. She says she wants Ukraine to win this war and we cannot let Russia win this war. Some have questioned whether the U-S should continue giving Ukraine billions of dollars in aid. Hinson says the U-S can continue to give Ukraine lethal aid while still ensuring accountability for taxpayer dollars
SPECIALTY SCHOOL CONTROL
The president of the Board of Regents addressed concerns this week about the proposal to move the governance of the state’s deaf, blind and visually impaired students to the Iowa Department of Education. Mike Richards said that it is part of the effort to streamline government and bring all K through 12 students within one department. Richards says the special schools already work closely with the D-O-E and this alignment makes sense. He says it and will the students well. Richards says the Board of Regents wants what’s best for these students. Richards also said the search for a new superintendent for the special schools will be put on hold until the reorganization process is complete. He made his comments at Wednesday’s board meeting.