Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, May 16

KLEM News for Tuesday, May 16


The city council of Le Mars today contracted an engineering firm to create a final design for a new Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant Project. Michael Washburn team leader for McClure Engineering, presented a report on a one year study of the Le Mars water treatment plant. The study looked at several reverse osmosis systems, and completed a preliminary design of the new plant. The city plans a 23 million dollars project to build a new water treatment plant, using parts of the current plant. The council approved an engineering services agreement with McClure Engineering to develop a final design of the plant, with their fee not to exceed 1.6 million dollars. Construction on the plant could begin in 2024, and be completed in 2026.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today approved an amendment which expands the Hinton Drainage District. This is to spread out the tax liability for a drainage project in the Hinton community. Under the amendment, the current district of 490 parcels and 2323 acres will include an additional 369 parcels covering 6275 acres. Over the next five years, these parcels will be assessed 50 dollars per parcel per year, raising a total of 191 thousand dollars, which is the drainage district’s share of a drainage project with the city of Hinton. The assessments will begin in the fall.


An Alton man has been arrested on theft charges after an alleged theft in Orange City.  KIWA Radio reports that a criminal complaint has been filed with the Sioux County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Orange City Police Department, against 62-year-old David Hunter. The Alton resident is accused of taking money from the Orange City Dollar General Store. He was arrested on Friday, May 12th.  Hunter allegedly stole five deposits totaling 41-hundred dollars from the store last month. He’s charged with second degree theft, a Class D felony. Hunter posted bond and was released, pending a later courrt appearance.



Orange City council will consider cost estimates for a new aerial ladder truck for the city’s volunteer fire department. Fire Chief Dennis Vander Well says the current ladder truck is 25 years old, and costs to maintain the equipment are increasing. The council tabled the matter at their May 1 meeting, because there are a number of capital projects that are also competing for part of the city’s bonding authority. Vander Wel told the council that the fire department is being offered a demonstration model from Heiman Fire Equipment Company at 1.4 million dollars, but needed council approval at today’s meeting, or the deal is off. This would increase the costs of the new unit by some 500-thousand dollars, because of anticipated price increases for the new equipment. The council approved of finding a chassis for purchase, and then considering the apparatus to place on the chassis. Vander Wel says this will spread out the costs of the new equipment by a period of several years.



A new report finds the number of Iowa teens in foster care has dropped significantly. The Annie E. Casey Foundation report says the number of Iowa foster kids 14 and older fell 40-percent from 2006 to 2021. Samanthya Marlatt, with the non-profit Y-S-S which works with foster care youth, says the report is encouraging, but she’s also concerned about the significant increase in kids who are being removed from their families due to neglect. She says this is often linked to poverty and families not having access to the resources they need. Marlatt says she’s glad to see the shift away from placing foster care teens in group care settings, and instead, putting them in family-based settings or with other familiar adults. The report found about 16-hundred — or 22-percent — of Iowa’s foster kids were 14 and older in 2021.



The Orange City council Monday approved the sale of up to 10 million dollars in Hospital Revenue Bonds to expand the independent and assisted living portions of the Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community.  This is Orange City Health Systems CEO Marty Guthmiller.

Guthmiller says the project involves an expansion of their food service, and additional living space.  There will be no displacement of residents while construction takes place.

There will be more dining options for residents of Landsmeer Ridge.

Guthmiller says there’s greater demand for services at Landsmeer, and this project helps keep residents in independent and assisted living longer.

The expansion includes a new community room.

The city council approved the bond issue. The city hospital board, which manages the retirement community, also approved the bond issue.

The Orange City Health System is also building an independent living facility at Kanaal Huis, or Canal House, a 36 unit townhouse facility, near the new elementary school.



A Sioux City man was arrested Saturday on several charges after a traffic stop in Plymouth County.  A deputy with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office made a traffic stop on a vehicle for registration issues.  The vehilce’s  owner, 24 year old Charles Burrell of Sioux City, was barred from driving, and was taken into custody.  An investigation of the vehicle revealed several open containers and a loaded handgun.  Burrell was transported to the Plymouth County Jail where he was charged with driving while barred, open container violations, operating with no insurance, operating without ignition interlock when required, and possessing a firearm and or ammunition by a felon or convicted domestic offender.



A scientist who’s monitored Iowa’s water quality in the public and private sectors for 36 years is retiring this week, while also publishing a book about what he says are the reasons our waterways are dying. Chris Jones has run the state’s largest water sensor system at the University of Iowa’s Institute of Hydraulic Research the past eight years. Jones says we need common-sense regulation of corn and soybean production with regard to its environmental outcomes. He calls it “perverse” to ask taxpayers to spend millions to mitigate pollution while giving the ag industry license to do whatever it wants. In his book, “The Swine Republic: Struggles with the Truth about Agriculture and Water Quality,” Jones says the solution to the long-running water pollution problems may also lie in diversifying what we grow in Iowa, as the majority of our fertile cropland is devoted only to corn and soybeans. The book is being published by North Liberty-based Ice Cube Press.