New Hampton mayor provides updates on issues
One quick reminder as I am seeing all this beautiful green grass growing: We have an ordinance as to not blowing your grass clippings into the street. It is a $25 ticket for each time if you choose to do so. We are not talking about the little amount that might come into the street from mowing the edge by the curb, but the obvious grass blown into the street.Let’s not plug up our storm sewer intakes. Also any grass that is over eight inches in height not cut, the city will send you a letter giving you five days, and then the city will cut if still not taken care of.Trees are to be trimmed so that all branches will be at least 12 feet above the surface of the street and 8 feet above the sidewalks and do not interfere with or obscure utility wires or streetlights. Maintenance is the duty of the owner and occupant of the property to remove all dead, damaged and broken limbs and all limbs, which may become dangerous to travel upon the public street.If either is not taken care of, the city will do so with a minimum fee of $100 an hour.The nuisance ordinances are also being enforced. These are as the city defines: overly offensive smells, filth or noisome substance, blocking public and private ways, abandoned appliances, storing of flammable junk, weeds, grass, uncultivated vegetation, abandoned and junk vehicles and unsightly materials. I have checked into the expense of a “clean up” day for New Hampton and in comparison, Jendro’s quoted me that Charles City’s cost was in excess of $16,000 and did not include cost of the street department staff to assist, to do their cleanup day.They do not except the brush or leaves, appliances, hazardous waste, tires, limits to bulky items, large amounts of construction debris, and such, so it is decided that we will continue cleaned up on our own. Our compost site is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.The fees are a $2 minimum and $5 for a dump truck load.•••••Summer is here and time to watch for everyone out for exercise and recreation. The police department asks that we pay special attention to our surroundings.Be careful on bikes, mopeds, walking and running on streets and sidewalks, and if you see anything peculiar or out of the ordinary, contact them.Also if you are being pulled over, they ask for their safety and yours that you remain in your vehicle until the officer has come to your vehicle and addressed you. You may think that officers know you and it is all right to get out of your car to address them, but that is not always the case and it can escalade a simple traffic stop.When you are being pulled over and have the lights on behind you, please pull over, even if you are close to home. Do not drive to your house and make them follow you. Again, your response can make a difference as to how the officer views the traffic stop he is making.They would also like you to know with summer coming, there is a state law about how dark your tint can be on your car windows, so if your windows are tinted and you don’t want to risk being pulled over, you are welcome to stop at the police station and they can test the level of tint so you know if you are compliant with the law.I’d also like to acknowledge Officer Chad McGee and his “sweet” sting this spring. What a positive encounter with law enforcement it truly was.•••••We are excited to have RAGBRAI coming through New Hampton Thursday July 27, and the planning is already well underway.Julie Havel and Phil Zwanziger are our Chairs for the event. You may get ahold of them or me if you have questions. We also have a Facebook page with information as we have it available to you and that can be found at RAGBRAI 2017 New Hampton.If you wish to have a vendor booth, please contact the Chamber of Commerce for an application soon. We are selling t-shirts and the order form is on the face book RAGBRAI page, or you can stop by city hall to order and pay for a shirt.We are looking for volunteers for the day, so you call also call the Chamber office if you would like to help out (394-2021). Our colors are red, white and blue so you can decorate your yard and or leave up your 4th of July decorations if you’d like.The route for the bike riders is coming in on the county road from Ionia and entering New Hampton by the high school, continuing down main street, and out east main on Highway 24 past Mikkelson Park. The support vehicles will be coming in on Highway 18 and exiting on Highway 63 north.We’re expecting in excess of 20,000 people, so if you are concerned about getting around town, we certainly understand.RAGBRAI has asked us to urge RABRAI participants to leave by 2 p.m., so traffic should be better after 3. The vendor set up will be on Main Street from Linn to Water, and one block north and south of Main Street on Walnut, Chestnut, and Locust.Let’s treat this like a snowstorm coming and get your groceries and run your errands the day before to alleviate possible frustration. Then sit out or come downtown to help or just enjoy the event. It’s a great way to fundraise, as many riders like to support local needs.Let’s show these riders what a great place New Hampton is. They remember the towns that make them feel welcome and show them hospitality.We are collecting any old bikes that anyone wants to get rid of for some decorative displays, and as we have gotten some really nice bikes donated, we decided to have a bike exchange Saturday, June 10, during Heartland Days where you can bring an old bike and exchange it for a similar but nicer bike for $10.•••••You will notice the town is doing its part to fix sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and streets this summer. Isn’t it looking great?We ask that if your sidewalk was marked last year that you have it taken care of this spring. We will be checking them again to make sure it is or has been done.