LE MARS FEES AND ASSIGNMENTS
Le Mars city council members are considering a list of fees, license and charges for city services in 2024, as well as a list of Mayor, Council and Staff Assignments for next year. Most fees and charges remain the same, but some change. Shelter house fees for example will increase by 25 dollars, to 300 dollars in 2024 and 2025. Golf Course memberships will vary, depending on when and how you pay. Memberships paid before April 1 are the cheapest. Most fees from Le Mars Fire Rescue are the same, except for hourly rates charged for hazardous materials response.
Labor charges for water service reconnection are also proposed to increase next year. And base rates for ambulance response also increase. Final approval of fees and charges will take place when the city council meets January 2. Mayor, council, and staff assignments will be shuffled, as former councilman Mike Donlin steps down and the newly-elected councilman Brad Pick replaces him.
SHOP FOR A CAUSE BENEFITS DISTRIBUTED
Checks were distributed Wednesday afternoon to three nonprofit organizations in Le Mars as the result of a Le Mars Chamber of Commerce holiday promotion. “Shop for a Cause” raised more than $2300 as a result of this year’s efforts. The Table Food Pantry received $957, Le Mars Community Theatre $827, and the Le Mars Arts Center was given $592. Shoppers donated five dollars and chose one of the three charities in exchange for a discount card which was good at participating Chamber businesses November 13 through December 9. Executive Director of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Lori French commented that this year’s “Shop for a Cause” promotion raised over $400 more than last year.
PLYMOUTH COUNTY WELLNESS PROGRAM The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved of a 2024 Wellness Program for county employees. They are taking part in the program proposed by the Iowa State Association of Counties, or ISAC. Employees in the ISAC group health insurance plan are eligible to participate. The program offers, among other things, a health management consultant , biometric screenings, a walking challenge, and a cash incentive program to participants. The program extends through October of 2024.
HEELAN BAND AT BOWL GAME SATURDAY
The marching band from Sioux City Bishop Heelan High School will perform at halftime of the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Saturday. Jeana Larson, the school’s band director, says the Peach Bowl’s music competition committee sends representatives to marching band competitions around the country to scout for bands. Larson got a letter LAST December, inviting the band to perform in this year’s Peach Bowl. Tuesday afternoon, 62 students and 20 adults boarded buses and left Sioux City, bound for Georgia. Larson says before the bowl game itself, there’s a competition for the invited bands. The game itself features teams from the Big Ten and the S-E-C — 10th ranked Penn State and Ole Miss, which is ranked 11th. The Bishop Heelan band members have been advised to cheer for the Big Ten’s Nittany Lions.
GOATS ARE THE GATEWAY TO A MILKING BUSINESS
Iowa ranks third in the country among states for raising and milking goats. Extension Dairy specialist Fred Hall calls goats a gateway livestock enterprise, similar to chickens. Hall says it allows people to get into the milk business at a much lower cost than buying cows. He says he’s seen the goat gateway lead to bigger things, including cheese and yogurt production. Goats have another advantage over cows, according to Hall, goat milk has a higher yield. Hall and I-S-U Extension recently held some informational sessions for those interested in getting into goat milking.
LOOK BEFORE YOU MAKE A DONATION FOR 2023
With just a few days left in 2023, many Iowans are making year-end donations to charities to help with their tax picture next year, but they’re warned to look closely before writing the check. Teresa Fritz, with the Better Business Bureau, says to do some research before donating even a dime. Fritz says the bureau evaluates hundreds of charities at the website Give-dot-org based on 20 different factors, with one of the biggest being accountability. Also, if you get a phone call from a charity you’re not familiar with, Fritz says don’t give, especially if someone is pressuring you.