Wednesday News, January 8
City Council Accepts Bid For Floyd River Stablization
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council took time to discuss the stabilization of the Floyd River embankments during Tuesday's council meeting. The city had received ten bids from contractors interested in working on the project. The lowest bid was submitted by Nelson and Rock Contracting Incorporated of Onawa, Iowa with a bid of $82,075. New council member Clark Goodchild inquired if the city was obligated to accept the lowest bidder. Goodchild expressed an interest in awarding the contract to the second lowest bidder, L.A. Carlson of Merrill, Iowa.
L.A. Carlson of Merrill had submitted a bid that was $375 more than the lowest bid. A representative of the Bolton and Menk survey company indicated the council is under obligation to follow the state code which would mean accepting the lowest bid. Council members John Rexwinkel and Ken Nelson said the city could find itself in a difficult position if the city did not accept the lowest bid.
The council accepted the bid submitted Nelson and Rock of Onawa.
Water Department Submits Quarterly Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Water Department submitted its quarterly report to the city council on Tuesday. Superintendent of the water department, Gayle Sitzmann informed the city council the city pumped nearly 940 million gallons of water from six wells during 2013. Sitzmann says the city's average daily use of water was 2,504,800 gallons which is down approximately 300,000 gallons from 2012. Sitzmann explained to the city council one reason for the decrease can be contributed to Wells' Enterprises switching to a new and more efficient cooling system that requires less water. The month of July saw the highest usage of water, when the city pumped 111,864,000 gallons of water. The lowest was February when the city pumped 56,572,000 gallons of water.
Fewer Traffic Deaths Reported In 2013
(Le Mars) -- The number of traffic deaths dropped this past year compared to the reported traffic fatalities in 2012. Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says there were 47 fewer fatalities in 2013.
Kurtz says there are many reasons that factor into the lowered deaths, including safer roads, better response time by emergency personnel, plus the fact more Iowans are buckling up.
Bretey Selected For Northwest Iowa Honor Band
(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic junior, Michaela Bretey, is one of approximately 160 high school musicians from 40 area high schools who will combine their talents for the 60th annual Northwest Iowa Honor Band Festival, Saturday, January 11th, at 7:00 p.m. in the newly remodeled Eppley Auditorium at the Morningside College Campus in Sioux City. Bretey was chosen through auditions held November 2 in Storm Lake from among 350 entries.
Regents Searching For Superintendent For Blind And Deaf Schools
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Board of Regents will hold two forums where people can outline the qualities they're looking for in the next superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.
The first forum will be at 5 p.m. Monday in the Lied Multipurpose Center on the Iowa School for the Deaf campus in Council Bluffs.
The next gathering will be Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. in the Main Building Auditorium on the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School campus in Vinton.
Both forums will end at 6:30 p.m.
People also can contribute through the Iowa Communications Network at a dozen other sites throughout the state.
Supreme Court Considering To Give Law Students More Flexibility
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether to give law students and recent graduates more authority to provide legal services.
Several rules changes are being sought by Iowa Legal Aid and the Office of Professional Regulation as a way to serve more low-income clients.
They would expand circumstances under which students and graduates who are waiting to take the bar exam or receive results could engage in limited legal practice.
One change would allow graduates to temporarily practice on behalf of certain organizations and government agencies under supervision.
Another would make clear that students who've completed three semesters or more can represent clients in an administrative contested case proceeding without a supervising attorney present.
The court says it will gather input through March 10 before taking any action on them.
14 Communities To Receive Main Street Development Grants
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Business districts in 14 Iowa cities will get state money to make improvements through the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program.
Economic development officials say they have approved $951,000 in grants for building facade improvements, restoration projects, and stabilization of deteriorating buildings.
Projects in Burlington, Cedar Falls, Des Moines, Dunlap, Elkader, Marion, State Center and Woodbine will each receive $75,000.
Multiple properties in Charles City get $66,000.
Dubuque and Osceola have projects which have received $65,000 and a building in Belle Plaine gets $60,000.
The Bride's Corner in Waterloo gets $50,000 through the program and a building in Manning will be renovated with $45,000.
The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.
Each project must provide matching funds and most also include private investment.In past years, Le Mars has benefitted from these renovation grants.
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