Home News KLEM News For Wednesday, July 3

KLEM News For Wednesday, July 3


The Le Mars city council heard a report on flood impacts at their meeting Tuesday. Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper said the main concern was keeping the city waste treatment plant in operation during the flood. He said the employees there were isolated at the facility for a while, but kept operations going, and the flood did not overwhelm the city’s waste treatment system. If it had, sewage backup would have affected many homes in the city. The flood did damage the small screen in the waste treatment plant, and it will be an expensive repair – some 250-thousand dollars.
The Willow Creek Golf Course and the city campground were swamped, but flood waters have for the most part been removed. As of Tuesday, 18 holes were open for golf. All 27 holes should be open soon. The pond at the campground is being pumped out. There’s some concern about the bridge
The Le Mars airport had flooding as well, but the fire department cleaned the runway, and they were back in operation within days. Thre were a few runway lights that were damaged by the flood.
The police department was sandbagged, and that kept water back at that location.
Parts of the city’s trail system was also badly damaged by flood waters. partlicularly near the city waste treatment plant and Iowa Highway 3.
Schipper says they await a FEMA Public Assistance Mitigation team to arrive, so they can inventory these damages to the agency. All in all, there were perhaps a dozen homes that were affected by water within and without the city limits. There were no injuries, and two people had to be rescued when water quickly covered Highway 3 on the west side of town. Schipper said city employees knew their jobs and performed them well during the flood. The council echoed that assessment in remarks during the council meeting. They were also greateful for the work of residents in helping each other through the flood.



Two vacant posts on the Le Mars Planning and Zoning Commission were filled yesterday by action of the city council. Doug Heidebrink was reppointed to the commission. Matt Susemihl was appointed to replace Dennis Bollin on the Commission. Bollin served on the Commission for 28 years. Both appointees will serve 5-year terms.



A contract for software and cloud-based services was approved bythe LeMars city council Tuesday. City Finance Director Joe Mohning says the current provider, G-Works, is shifting to a cloud-based system for the city’s accounting needs, and their fee will be increasing. There are few other firms which offer such software, and Mohning investigated Tyler Technologies. He says most of Le Mars’ accounting activity involves utility billing. After investigating Tyler, Mohning recommended them to handle the city’s accounting. data.
Tyler Technologies has a three year agreement with the city for these services.
In the 2024-25 fiscal year, Tyler will implement the new service, at an estimated cost of 131-thousand dollars. An annual software service fee of 62-thousand will be charged in each of the three years of the agreement. The total cost of the service is 319-thousand dollars. The current contract wiht G-Works expires in December. The new agreement wtih Tyler takes effect in August.



State officials estimate 26-hundred homes were damaged or destroyed during recent flooding in northwest Iowa.
After previous flooding in Cherokee, FEMA bought out 40 properties. Another 70 homes in Cherokee were destroyed in this year’s flooding. Cherokee Mayor Craig Schmidt doesn’t know where people will go.
During a news conference in northwest Iowa last week, Governor Reynolds said the state needs to figure out how to combine state and local resources and get new homes built as quickly as possible. The governor says she and her staff are trying to come up with some type of transitional housing as well as incentives for developers that build homes and apartments.



FEMA opens a disaster recovery center today in Rock Valley. The Rock Valley center opens at the city park shelter house today at 1 p.m. They will provide one-on-one assistance for people affected by the recent flooding and storms.  Recovery specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide information on available services, explain disaster assistance programs and help people complete or check the status of applications for federal assistance. Hours Wednesday are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m, then 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, until further notice. The recovery center will be open on the 4th of July holiday.  To save time, please apply with FEMA online or by phone before visiting a disaster recovery center. Go to disasterassistance.gov, or call FEMA directly at 800-621-fema (3362) or download and use the fema app.



Members of Sioux City’s 185th Air National Guard refueling wing have been in Sioux Rapids cleaning up debris caused by recent flooding.
The 185th and Des Moines’ 132nd wing sent 30 airmen to Sioux Rapids.
Major Daniel Ress of the 185th says National Guard airmen are working in conjunction with local civil authorities to ensure the safety of the public by cordoning off streets as the airmen operate their vehicles and equipment:

185th airmen such as Staff Sergeant Seth Stamm are loading debris brought by residents aboard dump trucks so residents can attempt to return to living in their homes:

One of those affected residents is Eric Boge, a local high school teacher:

Iowa National Guard airmen are also working in affected areas of Woodbury, Cherokee, Ida, and Buena Vista counties.
Airmen taking part in this mission primarily come from their unit’s civil engineering squadrons.
The volunteer guard team is expected to be on duty through the independence holiday week and even the holiday if necessary to assist with recovery efforts.



Iowa dairy producers who’ve been impacted by bird flu can now apply for federal emergency funding. The U-S-D-A expanded its Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish Program to help cover lost profits from the virus. Dairy farmers are required to discard milk from sick cows to prevent the spread of pathogens. Matt Russell, executive director of U-S-D-A-Iowa Farm Service Agency, says expanding the program supports dairy farmers and creates an incentive to get tested. To be eligible, Russell says producers need a positive test result from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories.



Governor Kim Reynolds has filled dozens of positions on state boards and commissions, including the board that helps set policy for the state agency that handles unemployment benefits. There are 33 members on the State Workforce Development Board and Reynolds has filled 16 open positions. The governor has appointed Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell, Iowa Federation of Labor president Charlie Wishman and Iowa Restaurant Association president and C-E-O Jessica Dunker to the board. An O’Brien County supervisor and an executive at a marketing company in Forest City are also among the Workforce board’s members.