Wednesday News, April 13
Floyd Valley Board Of Trustees Approve Construction Project For Emergency Department
(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Healthcare Board of Trustees approved action last evening to accept contractor bids for the renovation of the Emergency Department. Preliminary costs estimates are projected to be at about $500,000 for the remodeling and expansion of the emergency department. It is hoped that bids for the project will be opened during the next trustee board meeting. Healthcare officials will begin to advertise the project, calling for interested contractors to submit construction bids. Following last evening's meeting, the Floyd Valley Healthcare Board of Trustees were given a tour of the new north addition project. Administrator Mike Donlin showed the trustees where the new clinic is to be located, as well as the new surgical unit. Contractors still need to complete the upstairs portion, however, the ground level is nearly ready for the Family Clinic to move in. Donlin says he hopes the Family Clinic will be ready for patients starting May 2nd. Floyd Valley Healthcare is planning to offer the public an open house and tours of the new facilities on May 18th, which is recognized as National Hospital Week.
County Supervisors Accept Contractor Bids For Culvert And Bridge Repairs
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors accepted the bids for five construction projects that will begin this summer. Richards Construction of Sac City was successful in submitting the lowest bid on four of the five projects. Richards Construction offered a bid of $49,924 for the installation of a concrete box culvert located near Hedge Avenue and 270th Street. The county's estimate for the project as prepared by county engineer Tom Rohe was $48,684. A second concrete box culvert project located west of Le Mars near the intersection of Iris Avenue and 190th Street was also given to Richards Construction of Sac City as they submitted the low bid of $55,064.50 and the county estimate was at $59,323. Richards Construction placed a low bid of $105,169 for a precast concrete culvert installation located in the northeast portion of the county near County Road L-22 and 150th Street. The estimate cost for installation was at $108,975. Another large culvert installation project located near Kingsley at Tamarack Avenue and 280th Street was successfully bid by Richards Construction of Sac City with a bid of $144,213. The county estimate for the construction project was listed at $146,707. The final project is a steel bridge located east of Le Mars near County Road C-30 and Otter Avenue. The bridge project was approved on a low bid of $147,010 submitted by Dixon Construction of Correctionville, Iowa. The estimate on the project was listed at $135,455.
Goodchild Submits Quarterly Report To County Board Of Supervisors
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Recorder, JoLynn Goodchild submitted her quarterly report to the county board of supervisors on Tuesday. Goodchild reported the county collected $168,356.41 between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016. Goodchild says a large portion of the fees collected during the quarter are from mortgages.
Three Vehicles Collided Near Dairy Queen Intersection
(Le Mars) -- Three vehicles collided Tuesday afternoon at about 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of Business Highway 75, 6th Avenue, and 6th Street SW, near the Dairy Queen restaurant. Two of the vehicles were a Dodge pick up truck and a Chevy pickup truck. Both vehicles had sustained major front end damage. The third vehicle was a Kia Sorento, but it sustained only minimum damage. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries as a result of the accident. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded as did the Le Mars Ambulance Service. Fire fighters assisted with the clean up of debris and fluids from the collision. The accident remains under investigation by the Le Mars Police Department.
House Passes Water Quality Bill
(Des Moines) -- By a margin of nearly two-thirds to one-third, the Iowa House passed a water quality inititiatve bill late last evening. Le Mars Republican state representative Chuck Holz says the measure will get funding from three different sources to help finance the bill.
Holz says the second means of financing the bill will be to collect money from water usage. He says previously it has been in the form of a sales tax, but now will be changed to an excise tax on water usage.
The Le Mars state representative says that tax is generally collected from residents living in municipalities, so the money will be used primarily for towns and cities. Holz explains where the last piece of funding will come from.
Holz says the measure is scheduled to sunset in the year 2029. The state representative says initially, the water quality bill was to address the concerns of high nitrate levels found in some of Iowa's water ways. However, since the episode in Flint, Michigan, involving a high level of lead detected in their drinking water made news headlines, he says the project has now expanded to also address deteriorating water lines and pipes found in towns and cities.
Des Moines Schools Concerned About Lead In Drinking Water
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Public Schools officials say the district is testing school drinking water for lead.
Officials announced Tuesday that they are testing the water in all of the district's school buildings, citing recent national attention to elevated lead levels in water. Test results are expected later in April and will be available on the school district's website.
If increased lead levels are found, officials say they will take the necessary steps to reduce the contamination.
Legislature Wants More Restoration To Be Done On Old Battle Flags
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A legislative budget group is considering a bill that would require Iowa's cultural affairs agency to keep working on the preservation of old battle flags.
The joint subcommittee that approves economic development funding reviewed a budget bill Tuesday that would require the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to spend $90,000 on its battle flag project in the next fiscal year.
The bill includes a contingency that DCA could lose other funding if it doesn't comply with the requirement.
The department announced recently that its longtime work on the flags was complete. Former staff, historians and a lawmaker challenged that assessment, arguing the project was supposed to be more expansive.
A department spokesman says the proposed budget bill may restrict funding to other parts of DCA's artifacts collection.
Legislature To Delay Start Of Funding Reading Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers in a legislative budget group plan to propose delaying a state-mandated summer reading program for struggling third-graders because there's no money to pay for it.
The joint Education Appropriations Subcommittee said Tuesday the roughly $14 million needed to support the program is not available. They want to add language to a budget bill that would delay implementation from 2017 to 2018.
Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, an Arlington Democrat and subcommittee co-chairman, says there's bipartisan support to delay the program. At least one education group applauded the move.
Gov. Terry Branstad didn't include money in his budget recommendations for the program, which could hold back some third-graders who don't complete it. A spokesman for Branstad says the governor will reserve judgment until he sees the legislation in its final form.
Plymouth County Pork Producer Participates On Far-East Trade Mission
(Le Mars) -- A Plymouth County pork producer recently returned home after participating on a trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia. Joe Rotta is a former director with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and in late march he traveled to the far eastern nations to help promote red-meats. Rotta says representatives of the Iowa Cattlemen Association were also on the trade mission. He says two-thirds of the Malaysian nation are Muslim, which creates a problem for U-S pork exports.
The rural Merrill pork producer says the beef consumed in Malaysia must be inspected separately, and be given a special blessing, before it can be consumed.
Rotta says a beef packing plant located in Sigourney, Iowa is adapting its facilities to serve the Malaysian market. Rotta says Singapore is a different story, and the far-eastern nation offers U-S pork producers great potential for pork exports.
Rotta says Singapore is a growing nation in terms of both its population and with its economy. He says the people of Singapore appreciate the quality of U-S pork and U-S beef.
Both the U-S Meat Export Federation and the U-S Grains Council helped organize the trade mission. Rotta says it is good to have those associations with staff in place to help with the export of U-S red meat products.