Water Meeting Draws Concern From Residents
(LeMars) -- Nearly thirty people attended last night's meeting hosted by the city water committee to discuss the city's proposal to upgrade and change water meters. City administrator Scott Langel and Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann briefed the gathering of the city's plan to do away with private water meters. The city offered a proposal for residents that use an irrigation system that if they would want a second water meter that the resident would make a monthly payment of $11.20 per meter. The city residents showed concern for the proposed plan and many indicated they would rather pay for the cost of the water meter up front instead of being charged a fee on a monthly basis. Roberta Kass seemed to speak the opinion of many residents who thought the proposal was unfair to those with an irrigation system.
Others, like Bob Schroeder wondered if this was the right time to exchange all the meters in the city, noting the down economy. Schroeder also believes the meeting was simply a formality. His impression is the city council has already made up its mind and the public meeting won't accomplish anyting.
City Councilman Ken Nelson attended the meeting. He also sits on the city water committee. Nelson says the water committee has spent perhaps more than 30 hours studying the various scenerios and proposals. As for the question about is this the appropriate time to make such an investment, Nelson says the topic was discussed ten years ago, but it was tabled.
December 6th is the day the city council will hear the second reading for the proposal, and December 20 will be the third and final reading.
(LeMars) -- The LeMars Fire Department responded to an alarm at the EconoLodge Motel last night at about 8:30 p.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke in the lower level hallway. The fire alarm for the building was sounding and each of the rooms had been evacuated. Firefighters located the smoke coming from a dryer in the guest laundry room. The dryer vent was plugged causing the dryer to overheat and the smoke spread from the room into the corridor setting off the building's fire alarm system. Firefighters were able to vent the smoke from the hallway, reset the fire alarm and allowed the guest back into the motel. The dryer was unplugged and rendered safe by firefighters. The LeMars Fire Rescue Department was assisted at the scene by the LeMars Police Department and the LeMars Ambulance crew. There were no injuries and damage was minimal only affecting the dryer. Firefighters were on the scene for only a half an hour.
(LeMars) -- LeMars Mayor Dick Kirchoff was the guest speaker at the LeMars Optimist club meeting. Kirchoff attended the meeting to accept the last payment the Optimist Club had committed for the Community Betterment project. The Optimist had made a financial pledge of $25,000 to be paid over the course of ten years. Kirchoff told the civic organization how the community was able to raise more than three million dollars, then the city was able to qualify for matching grants which led to a community investment of nearly eight million dollars. The community betterment project helped finance several facilities. Kirchoff says through the funding, LeMars is able to offer a better quality of life.
Kirchoff displayed a plaque recognizing LeMars' efforts as an all-star community. He says he is extremely proud of LeMars for taking the vision of tomorrow and making it happen today. He says of all the pledges, the city has been able to collect on nearly 98 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The threat of a costly national railroad strike during the busy holiday season has been averted after the freight rail industry settled labor disputes with two of its unions and agreed to extend talks with a third. Without the agreements, the railway unions could have begun striking as early as Tuesday, when a federal "cooling off" period was set to expire. Retailers warned that a rail strike would cost businesses and consumers $2 billion a day and prove especially damaging during the most important shipping season of the year. Railroad representatives said its negotiators would try to reach an agreement with the final union before Feb. 8.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Labor Department is proposing new rules for child farm workers that would keep many from driving tractors, using big equipment and working with livestock. Labor officials say the rules are needed because farming is one of the nation's most dangerous occupations. The National Safety Council says nearly 29 out of every 100,000 farm workers die on the job.
But farmers say the proposed rules could keep kids from learning about the hard work and responsibility necessary to work on a farm. And, they say, if young people can't get jobs on farms, fewer will develop an interest in agriculture careers. Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling says he knows there are dangers in agriculture, but there are also many important lessons young people can learn.