Wednesday News, December 3
City Council Awards Bid For Downtown Historical Rennovation
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council accepted the bid of $759,256 from Renaissance Restoration, Incorporated of Galena, Illinois, to conduct the downtown facade historical rennovation project as part of the Community Development Block Grant. The council awarded the bid during its regular council meeting held Tuesday. Three different contractors submitted bids for the project that ranged from the low bid of $759,256 to a high bid of $940,921.
Construction is expected to begin on the 29 participating business buildings within the next few weeks. Peter Franks of Franks Design Group served as the architect for the project. He is familiar with the contractor's work on a similar project at Manning, Iowa.
Franks says Renaissance Restoration comes highly recommended for working on historical restoration projects.
Franks says he was pleased with the bidding process, and believes Le Mars had a good showing of contractor bidders for the downtown historical restoration project.
City Acquires Ownership Of Movie Theater
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City council also agreed to purchase the Royal 3 cinema theater from Northwest Bank for a price of $350,000, on condition the bank makes a $100,000 Community Betterment Program contribution at the time of closing. City Administrator Scott Langel says the city thought it would be best to purchase the theater as a way to preserve the quality of life in Le Mars. Langel says more than a year ago, the city comprised a list of Community Betterment Program projects which included the movie theater. He says the city was always hopeful an entity would step up to own the complex.
However, Langel says there weren't any investment firms interested at the time in owning the movie theater, and Northwest Bank took possession of the property.
The city official says Mainstreet Theater Company who owns or manages more than 70 cinema screens, including those at Sioux Center and Orange City will continue to manage the local theater.
City Chooses Burlington Shortline Railroad To Operate City Owned Rail Track
(Le Mars) -- During Tuesday's meeting, the city council devoted a considerable amount of time discussing their shortline railroad located in the Le Mars Industrial Park Area. The city has been actively negotiating with Candadian National Railroad regarding the future operations on the city owned railroad tracks. The original agreement with Canadian National has expired, and city officials were trying to locate a suitable replacement. City officials have selected the Burlington Shortline Railroad as the preferred shortline to oversee the operations of the city owned rail track. City Administrator Scott Langel explains the city's current situation.
Branstad Orders Flags To Be At Half-staff
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, to honor State Representative Dwayne Alons, a retired brigadier general with the Iowa Air National Guard. Representative Alons passed away on Saturday, November 29, 2014.
The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state.
Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 3 at First Reformed Church in Hull.
The U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol on the day of the funeral will be presented to Rep. Alons’ family.
Military Personnel Warned About Use Of Social Media
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve troops are being warned to remove personal and military data from their social media accounts, lest the information help terrorists launch attacks inside the United States.
Officials with the Iowa National Guard and the Army Reserve's 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Des Moines, which oversees 5,000 troops in four states, told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1yhhq9i ) that troops won't be barred from using social media accounts.
The National Guard spokesman, Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr., says the troops shouldn't list anything about their employment or travel plans.
Hapgood says Iowa National Guard units' Facebook accounts now just mention events that already have occurred, rather than upcoming events.
Regents To Decide Whether To Continue Tuition Freeze
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - How far should a tuition freeze go? That's one key question that will face members of the Iowa Board of Regents when they meet by phone Wednesday afternoon.
The board is widely expected to adopt a third straight tuition freeze for undergraduate students from Iowa at the state's three public universities. That would affect roughly 40,000 students.
But it's unclear whether the board will want to go farther and freeze rates for students from other states as well as graduate and professional students. The board's staff is recommending a 1.75 percent tuition increase for those students, who number about 38,000.
Board members have been studying the issue since October. University presidents are generally against an expansion of the freeze, which would deprive their schools of millions in revenue.