Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, March 5

KLEM News for Tuesday, March 5


Two measures before voters in the Hinton School District failed in a special election Tuesday.

Proposition RS, which would increase the district’s bond levy to 4 dollars, 5 cents per thousand property value, gained 197 yes votes, and 296 no votes.  The measure needed a 60% majority in order to pass.

Proposition RT, which would extend the school district’s PPEL levy to ten years, and increase the levy to a maximum one dollar, 34 cents per thousand, gained 217 yes votes, and 277 no votes.  The measure needed 50% plus one yes votes in order to pass.

The Le Mars City Council will hold a public hearing next month on a proposed increase in the city property tax rate. The council passed a motion to approve a property tax rate of 12 dollars, 78 cents per thousand in the next fiscal year. The current levy is 11.90 per thousand.
City Finance Director Joe Mohning prepared an analysis of the city budget. He determined that the city faces a budget deficit because property valuations fell 1%, some 5 million dollars… and new residential rollback rates were lowered from 54.6% to 46.3%. This will reduce the amount of property taxes collected in the next fiscal year.
The city council was presented four options… keeping the current tax rate with no additional city employees hired. This would create a budget deficit of 464-thousand dollars. Three other options included higher property tax rates, and from zero to two more city employees hired, The budget deficits under these options range from 63-thousand to nearly 170-thousand dollars. In all four options, homeowners would have a lower property tax bill.
The option proposed by the council would set a tax rate of 12.78 cents per thousand, and create a 170-thousand dollars budget deficit. There would be two additional employees hired – one for Le Mars Fire/Rescue, and one for the Parks Department.
This option will be the subject of a public hearing at 11-45 am on April 2 in council chambers.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today approved a contract for a consultant to do a survey by drone aircraft for a road project. Alpha Surveying LLC of Omaha will use a drone and a survey car to gather data for the project on L14 east of Remsen. County Engineer Tom Rohe says the project will be a complete reconstruction of L14. It will extend from the intersection of Iowa Highway 3 north seven miles to the Sioux County line. The project will take place in 2026. The contract with Alpha Surveying totaled 29,500 dollars.


Final Plans for three bridge replacement projects in Plymouth County were approved by the Board of Supervisors today. County Engineer Tom Rohe presented the plans for the projects on 165th Street, east of Remsen, 190th Street, two miles south of Brunsville, and Roosevelt Avenue, north of County road C60 in Garfield Township, northeast of Kingsley. In each case, bridges will be removed from the sites, and replaced with box culverts. Contracts for these projects will be let on March 26. Construction will take place this fiscal year.


The Iowa House late last week passed an AEA reform bill.
State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says this bill is very different from the bill that the Senate is proposing.
Rep Jeneary says the House bill is focused on improving special education outcomes.
He says the bill does not disrupt special education services, or terminate any AEA employees. It also does not prohibit the AEA’s ability to perform the services they do now.
The House bill, in the first year, will give the State Department of Education oversight of AEA budgets and accreditation, aligns AEA chief salaries to those of school superintendents, and creates a task force to review AEA systems and make recommendations.
In the second and third years, the bill would make AEA boards advisory, AEA chiefs would be required to have special education endorsements, and the Department of Education would take over professional development. School districts would continue to control their spending on media services and education services. Special education dollars would stay at the school district, but they would be required to use AEAs for special education services.
The Senate AEA bill is more closely aligned with the reforms proposed by Governor Kim Reynolds.


It’s election day in the Hinton Community School district.  The special election ballot will ask two questions:

Should the district establish a special debt service levy.  Under this levy, funds would be used to pay off bonds issued by the Hinton District for school improvements.  The levy would be set between 2.70 and 4.05 per thousand property value.  A second question asks to establish a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, or PPEL, in the district.  The maximum levy set under the PPEL is a dollar, 34 cents per thousand.  These funds could be used for purchasing or maintaining equipment used in the district, and for purchase of property or other improvements.

The Hinton Community Center is the lone polling place.  It’s open from 7 am to 8 pm.

Voters must show a valid picture identification in order to be eligible to vote.



Iowa’s average life expectancy is now in the 80s, according to a University of Iowa study. The report also finds Iowa has the nation’s highest percentage of residents over age 80, and predicts by 2030, those Iowans 65 and older could outnumber people 18 and younger. Brian Kaskie, a U-I professor of health policy, tells K-C-R-G T-V the trend could lead to problems down the line, because as more Iowans retire, there are fewer people to fill their jobs. It could lead to some people having to keep working out of necessity, Kaskie says, as a longer life expectancy can mean people needing to save more for a longer retirement.



The updates to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA process delayed the normal opening of applications and is now holding up the aid awards U-N-I financial aid director, Tim Bakula, says they hope to begin awarding financial aid in April after all three state universities had their financial aid awards out to students last year by mid-February. University of Iowa financial aid director, Brenda Buzynski, says the colleges and universities have been the guinea pigs for the upgraded system. Buzynski says they have learned to plan and program for the unknown. Buzynski and Bakula made their comments in a report during last week’s Board of Regents meeting.



Triple-A Iowa spokesman Brian Ortner says national research is once again showing drivers shouldn’t count on technology to do everything for them. Ortner says research found that technology designed to keep drivers from hitting things when they back has some issues.


He says the system called reverse automatic emergency braking system does provide some help to drivers.


. Ortner says technology should be used as another tool for a driver, not a replacement for being engaged.

Ortner says that advice holds true for any technology you use in your car or truck.