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March 2021

Indianola Residents - Understand your Utility Bill

Indianola Municipal Utilities (IMU) will hold an information session entitled “Understanding Your Utility Bill” on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Indianola City Hall, located at 110 N. First Street.  

I strongly urge everyone to participate in this forum. Many of us have seen terribly high bills for only our heat and air conditioning.

City representatives will also be available to answer questions regarding City services (recycling, stormwater and sewer) that are included on the IMU utility bill. 

You should attend in person or online. Know what you're paying for.

Meeting agendas can be viewed at http://www.indianolaiowa.gov/AgendaCenter.  Agendas for regularly scheduled meetings are posted on the Thursday prior to the meeting. The agendas for each City Council meeting have a letter that includes a link to view the meeting live via Zoom or YouTube. 

The Zoom link changes every meeting (the letter includes the passwords, ID and phone numbers). The YouTube link is the same for each meeting and is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCwqdy2irWQILB_1QzcVrdw.

Videos of the meeting are uploaded to the website within 24 hours of the meeting and can be viewed at https://cityofindianola.viebit.com/index.php?folder=ALL.

If you want to stay informed, please request to be included in Ryan Waller's Friday emails. Request to be added by going to rwaller@indianolaiowa.gov and you will receive these updates every Friday.


Restoring History at Modern Justice Center

The Warren County Historical Society is accepting donations to help restore the lights that were around the Warren County Courthouse. If you'd like to donate toward this, please send your check to The Warren County Historical Society, PO Box 256, Indianola, Iowa 50125. For your donation to apply to this project, you must designate that the money should be used for restoring the lights. If you don't designate this, the money will be gratefully accepted, but used toward another project.


Forum with Rep Brooke Boden and Sen Julian Garrett

Carlisle Chamber Event
Iowa's Representative Brooke Boden and Senator Julian Garrett will be at the Carlisle Library on Saturday March 27 holding a public forum. If you have any questions or would like to talk to either of them, please feel free to stop by. The forum will begin at 10:00 am. I plan to attend. That's how we become informed and have a chance to give input to those who represent us.

Speaking at City Council Meetings During Public Forum

Keep in mind that if you have a topic to take before the City Council, at a scheduled meeting, you need to fill out a Public Comment Form. This should be a topic not already on the agenda and you must not expect any action to be taken on your subject at that meeting. The form must be filled out prior to the meeting and submitted to Jackie Raffety, Deputy City Clerk. The public will only be given 20 minutes of Council time for this. And the topic will not be allowed to brought up again during the meeting.


City of Indianola Updates that You Should Know

The following information is from City Manager Ryan Waller's Friday email. Please take note.

Statewide Tornado Drill

The Iowa Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24.  

Roadway & Alley Repair Work

This week, Streets Division staff continued repair work on potholes by using 44 hours of labor and 1.2 tons of cold mix asphalt. Additionally, crews began grading unpaved gravel roadways and alleys to remove potholes and ruts from these driving surfaces. The reporting of potholes from the community is always welcomed and greatly appreciated. To do so, please call (515) 961-9415 or send an email to PublicWorksRequests@indianolaiowa.gov. Residents may also submit the information via the link below.  Crews will evaluate the area of damaged pavement and determine how to best address it.

Submit a Request (LINK)

March Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting

The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet on Tuesday, March 9 for its regular meeting.  The agenda and meeting materials are available on the City’s website (linked below).

Agenda Center (Link)

Joint City Council/IMU Board of Trustees Meeting

The City Council and IMU Board of Trustees will have a joint meeting on Wednesday, March 10.   This meeting will be to discuss the upcoming renewal for the City’s and IMU’s health insurance program renewal.  The City and IMU partner on this program to keep associated costs lower than if coordinated separately.  The agenda is available on the City’s website (linked below).  The meeting will be aired live via the City’s YouTube Channel and a Zoom Webinar (link and login information may be found in the meeting packet).

Agenda Center (LINK)

Fiscal Year 22 City Budget 

The final public hearing for the City’s Fiscal Year 22 budget is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on March 15, 2021 at the Indianola Municipal Building (110 N 1st Street).  Linked below is a budget presentation provided during a previous City Council meeting.  As noted during the presentation, the property tax levy will remain flat for the upcoming fiscal year (at $13.63/$1,000 of valuation) even with adding three new Firefighters/Paramedics to help with increased calls and the creation of a rental inspection program mandated by the State of Iowa.  Also noted in this and prior presentations, Indianola continues to achieve one of the lowest property tax rates in the Metro, which is largely due to the economic growth of our community (~$200 Million over the last 5 years).

Budget Presentation (LINK)

Streetscape Project Meeting

An invitation to an informational meeting on Thursday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m. regarding the Streetscape Project was previously mailed to all property owners on the City Square, as well as along Howard Street and Buxton Street.  During the meeting, staff will update attendees on the Streetscape project, including the associated one-way to two-way conversion on the Square and along Buxton and Howard Streets.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will take place virtually.  This information is linked below.

 Meeting Invite (PDF)

Community Development Reports

Attached are the following reports provided by the Community Development Department:

Current Projects Update (PDF)

Of the 14 projects listed, two are awaiting a submittal from the developer, three are in review and nine have been approved and are in construction.

2021 Building Permits (PDF)

This week, three building permits were submitted, including one for a 50-unit, $5.5 million senior living apartment complex (Williams Terrace). There are currently three building permit applications in review and 11 building permits have been issued year to date.

Code Enforcement (PDF)

There are currently 20 open code enforcement cases (11 code enforcement cases have been opened for the year).

City Council Anticipated Agendas

Below please find links to the documents containing anticipated agenda items for upcoming City Council meetings.  These are working drafts.  Agendas are published on the City’s website the Thursday prior to a scheduled City Council meeting.

Anticipated Draft Agenda – March 23, 2021 (PDF)

Anticipated Draft Agenda – April 5, 2021 (PDF)


"A Distant 3rd"

The special election is over and it was a ton of fun, even though it ended like it did for me. It really doesn't matter. I'll be involved with things that are going on in the City.  I'll speak up.  I'll post things here that I think people should know. I'll help make Indianola a kind of College Town that Simpson students will feel comfortable making their own.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you to the reporters and students who showed great interest. Thank you mostly to everyone who prayed. When you pray for God's will in the plans, then you can't be disappointed with an outcome. Most of you know that Jeremiah 29:11-13 is one of my favorite scriptures. I have JER 29 on my license plates. He knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me and not harm me. His plans give hope and a future.

So, we move on. We let the City Council and the Mayor move on. We move on but still pay attention. Move on with me in that way. And thank you again for your involvement in this election.


One Snowflake Can Become a Blizzard

Today is the day. Election Day. It's easy to think, "What good will my one vote do?" Like the title says, though, one snowflake can become a blizzard. We know that well in Iowa.

I appreciate every vote, so please take a few minutes to exercise this right you have. I thank you in advance.

Then head up to the north side of The Square to Crimson Anchor. I'm going to hang out there for awhile and would love to have any of you pop in to say hi, have a cup of their amazing coffee and let me have a chance to thank you. I plan to be there from 10:30-maybe noon.

I'll use other restaurants and coffee shops in the future. Hope to see you soon.

 


Channel 8 (KCCI) Mayor Candidate Story

Here's the picture of the three of us running for Indianola Mayor. Channel 8's Cynthia Fodor did a zoom interview, but their zoom would not download or process for some reason. She had to simply use photos of us and merely state that we are running in a special election. I told her that I broke her camera.

The vote is tomorrow, March 2, 2021. Please head to American Legion, any time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. You'll need your driver's license. Someone will probably take your temperature, and I doubt if the whole process takes more than 10 minutes.

MayorCandidatesChannel8