Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, April 24

KLEM News for Wednesday, April 24

U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull visited Le Mars today, to discuss the area’s power needs, and how Congress can address them.
Feenstra toured the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative, and later held a question-and-answer with NIPCO employees.
Rep. Feenstra says power needs in the region are adversely affected by federal regulation.


NIPCO can benefit from an increase in generation, but EPA regulation doesn’t help expand power resources..


Representative Feenstra says regulations must be rolled back. He says congress must take charge of regulation, taking it away from the EPA.


The State Auditor today announced an agreed-upon procedures report on the city of Remsen. Rob Sand reported four findings for the city and one finding for the city utilities related to receipt and disbursement of taxpayers funds. The findings address issues such as a lack of segregation of duties and disbursements exceeding budgeted amounts. The State Auditor provided the city and utility with recommendations to address each of the findings. The procedures report covers fiscal year 2022-23.


A Remsen man was arrested following a vehicle pursuit in Sioux County. The Sheriff’s Office early Saturday,
arrested, Angel Manuel, age 24. The pursuit began around 4 am Saturday, when a deputy attempted to stop a vehicle that was speeding on K64, north of Orange City. The vehicle attempted to elude the deputy, using various streets through Orange City. Eventually, the vehicle received disabling damage while turning at the corner of 14th Street and Frankfurt Place, SE. Manuel was transported to the Sioux County Jail, where he was charged with several violations, including Eluding – (speed 25mph over the speed limit), OWI, Open Container, operating without a valid drivers license, along with three counts of speeding, five stop sign violations and failure to yield right of way. Orange City Police Department assisted.


Things could be changing in the labor force as we head through spring into summer. Iowa Workforce Development executive director, Beth Townsend, says there’ll be some impact as college students graduate.


The pork plant in Perry will be closing as summer starts.


Townsend says they hope many of the employees find work they can transition to after the plant closes.


Townsend says they will continue to be focused on helping the Perry workers through the plant shutdown.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will consider action on behalf of an expansion project at Happy Siesta in Remsen.  Administrator Jennifer Kuiken appeared before the board to describe the project, and later described it to KLEM News


This is the first major expansion at Happy Siesta in over 25 years.


The project will expand the building’s footprint.


Happy Siesta, through a bond attorney, asked the County Board of Supervisors help in authorizing the sale of bonds to raise construction funds. This action would not affect county taxpayers.



Contracts for several culverts and a road resurfacing project were approved by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning.   The four culvert projects involve replacing old bridges with box culverts.  These are located east of Remsen, west of Le Mars, and northeast of Kingsley. The road resurfacing project was held over from last year’s projects. This will take place on C44, between K18 and the city of Merrill, a distance of 10.8 miles. Henningson Construction of Atlantic, Iowa, was the low bidder among two companies competing for the project.  The low bid was 2.8 million dollars.  The Iowa Department of Transportation bid the project in their Ames headquarters.  The Supervisors approved the contract this morning.  This project will be paid for through the DOT’s Farm to Market road fund.  Construction on these projects will take place this spring and summer.



The Le Mars city council adopted their next city budget, for fiscal 2024-25.  A public hearing solely for budget adoption was held at noon Tuesday.  It was passed on a unanimous roll-call vote.  The budget includes 6.3 million dollars in property taxes.  The new property tax levy in fiscal 24-25 will be 12.78 per thousand.



Teens as young as 14 and a half could get a permit to drive to and from work if a bill headed to the governor becomes law. It would be similar to school permits that let 14 and 15 year olds legally drive to and from school as well as to school activities.

Representative Elinor Levin, a Democrat from Iowa City, says letting 14 and 15 year old drive to and from work as well as school will increase the number of very inexperienced drivers on the road.


Representative Brent Siegrist, a Republican from Council Bluffs, says the proposed 25 mile radius for each trip made by young drivers going to work or school makes sense.


Any teen under the age of 16 with a permit for work, school or farm work who’s caught driving elsewhere would lose their driving privileges for three months — and when they turn 16 they won’t be able to get an intermediate permit for three months. A 14 or 15 year old with one of these “special minors restricted licenses” would only be able to drive an hour before work or a school event and they must get home within an hour of their work shift or the end of the school activity.



Iowa State Fair C-E-O, Jeremy Parsons, is preparing for his second event after taking over the top job last year. He says a lot of the details were in place when he took over, but this year he’s been handling it all. Parsons says the goal this year is to improve the experience for those who attend the Fair. The improvements include a new shower house at the campgrounds and more seating with picnic tables and benches in shaded areas. Parsons was previously the CEO of the Clay County Fair in Spencer.  This year’s Iowa State Fair runs from August 8th through the 18th.



Libraries in Kossuth County are facing nearly 200-thousand dollars in budget cuts. Kossuth County Library Association president Lany (LANE-ee) Mitchell says that cut in county funding is literally a death knell for at least four of the 12 libraries in the county. Each library is slated to get about seven-thousand dollars in county funding in the next fiscal year that begins July 1st. County officials made the decision to make the cut at a budget workshop two months ago, but local library officials learned about the cut last week. County supervisors say they will consider making cuts in other areas of the budget to find money for the libraries, but that decision won’t be made until after July 1st. Kossuth County librarians say that puts their facilities in limbo, since they don’t know what the decision will be.



Nominations are now being taken to recognize Iowa farmers who go above and beyond to conserve resources and the environment. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is in its 73rd year of awarding the Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year, which honors Iowa farmers committed to environmental stewardship and conservation. Farm Bureau president Brent Johnson says while Iowa is well known for its production capabilities, the award is a chance to highlight the conservation work. One nominee is selected from all 99 counties and will be considered for nine regional awards. Those nine individuals would then vie for “Conservation Farmer of the Year.” The winner will be announced at the Iowa State Fair in August.