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Weather is key to aquatic center progress

By JIM MAGDEFRAU

BELLE PLAINE – Work is on schedule at the Belle Plaine Aquatic Center, according to Belle Plaine City Administrator Bill Daily, though he warned the weather could move the plans back.

Daily gave an update at the Belle Plaine City Council meeting Monday night at the city hall.

“It’s at a point right now where any weather problems, we won’t be looking at May 29 for an opening,” Daily cautioned the council.

It’s to be painted this week. If there is any rain, it will move work back, since it takes five to seven days to cure.

“Overall it’s on schedule and hopefully we’ll be ready to go on May 29,” Daily said.

Also in his report to the council Daily said a public information meeting is planned next Wednesday, May 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on downtown revitalization. It will be held at the community center. He said this is just to get people up to speed on the project. They have not met since October as the city has been busy pursuing grants.

The city will go to businesses that signed a letter with the Community Development Block Grant application to consider temporary easement. “We are putting final plans together on what we will present to each individual,” said Daily.

Several officials are now meeting about the master plan’s impact on historical evaluation, seeing if what the city is proposing for the buildings is historically appropriate. This has now involved the State Historic Preservation Office.

Daily planned to meet Wednesday with several officials on the matter.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through,” he said of the project.

He’s heard nothing new from Vision Iowa about Belle Plaine’s application for a Community Attraction and Tourism grant. Their next meeting is May 12. “In the next 10 days we’ll be hearing whether they want us to come back or we’re out of the mix.”

He also said work is progressing on the 13th Avenue and Ninth Avenue storm sewer projects. He again said he hopes the weather holds up.

In other business at the council meeting Monday night:

- The council approved transferring funds from the debt fund to the aquatic facility fund, the LOSST fund to the debt fund to pay debt on the fire truck debt, and the storm sewer fund to the debt fund to pay debt on the storm sewer project.

- A public hearing was held on an amendment to the budget. The amendment was needed for the public safety, health and social service, community and economic, public works and recreation culture.

- A hearing was held on delinquent dog and cat licensing. The council advised the city to follow the code and enforce the fees, issuing citations as needed. Daily said the 12 owners on the delinquent list have been reminded.

- The council approved plans and specifications for airport snow removal equipment. The council approved purchase of the equipment from O’Halloran International for $102,351, contingent upon a grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Agency.

- Benton Development Group (BDG) director Ranae Becker explained services provided by BDG. She urged the council to look at the BDG web site at bentoncountyiowa.com, particularly the community, business and event pages. She also updated the council on the Highway 30 Coalition and Benton County Community Foundation.

- Jennifer Ryan and Mary Rump of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments explained services offered by their group.

- Pledge revenue notes were approved for the aquatic center project with MidWestOne Bank and Chelsea Savings Bank.

- A beer permit and Sunday Sales permit were approved for Pizza Hut.

- A request was made to amend parking on the east side of Third Avenue, from 10th to 11th Streets, for Veit Auto Repairs, to allow better access. Action was tabled.

- Fees and charges were approved for next fiscal year.

- The council contributed $216 to the purchase of a Plainsmen banner, as requested by the high school student council. It is a fund-raiser for the student council. The banners will be hung from poles at the high school, according to Tony Jones of the student council. He also updated the council on service learning and commencement plans, where Sen. Charles Grassley is guest speaker.

- Payments were approved Ricchio Inc. and Mechanical Inc. for the aquatic center project.

UPDATED May 6, 2010 11:31 AM

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