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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Top Stories
RESTRICTIONS POSTED FOR 8 MORE BRIDGES
County supervisors approved revised weight restrictions on eight more Madison County rural bridges Tuesday, following a round of routine bridge inspections this past summer and fall.
Additionally, two bridges, one in Crawford Twp. (Sec. 4) on Upland Trail and one in Webster Twp. (Sec. 14), will be closed permanently, or until repairs can be made.
2014: THE YEAR OF UNFINISHED CITY PROJECTS
Project-wise, 2014 has not been kind to the city of Winterset.
Not a good year at all.
Virtually every project the city has embarked upon – and we are considering the city utility board as part of the city here – remains unfinished, and over budget.
Every project.

Lake dredging project
Let’s start with the city lake dredging project. The $5.1 million Cedar Lake project actually began last fall with the prep work. Crews had to build a basin in which all of the dredged material – water, silt and sediment – could be stored after it was dredged from the lake.
A new access drive to Cedar Lake had to be built to bring in the dredge, in sections.
UTILITIES PROPOSE NEARLY 15 PERCENT BUDGET INCREASE
Winterset Utility Board is proposing a combined nearly 15 percent increase to run both the water department and the electric department in the budget year.
The proposed combined increase for the two departments comes in at an estimated $903,400, according to documents circulated at Monday’s November utility board meeting.
The city utilities run on a calendar-year budget, unlike the regular city budget which runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.
The proposed 2015 combined budget for the two departments is nearly $6.964 million, up 14.9 percent from $6.06 million for 2014.
The water department budget will increase from nearly $1.251 million to $1.349 million while the electric department budget will increase from nearly $4.81 million to nearly $5.32 million.
MID-TERM WRITE-INS AT A GLANCE
It is always entertaining to look at who got write-in votes at the elections.
It seems there are always the standard characters like Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck that get votes. Buck Rogers even got a couple of votes this time around.
The 2014 mid-term election was no different.
Here’s the list of names which received write-in votes in Madison County for the various offices.
CITY AGREES TO HIRE CONSULTANT TO EXAMINE RE-ZONING ISSUE
The Winterset City Council voted Monday to hire an outside consultant, or an independent third party, to examine what has become a controversial re-zoning proposal for the north end of town.
A local developer has asked that a parcel of land on North Fourth Avenue south of Hwy. 92-Hwy. 169 bypass be rezoned from R-2 to R-3 for a pair of multi-family five-plexes.
Rezoning is contingent upon the developer purchasing the land.
The proposal has been through the city planning and zoning commission with a recommendation to re-zone the land. The item came up at a council meeting early in November, but area residents complained about the proposal at a public hearing.
CITY DISSOLVES AIRPORT BOARD; VOTES TO RE-FORM PANEL UNDER A NEW NAME
The Winterset City Council conducted several rounds of parliamentary procedure Monday to dissolve the old Winterset Airport Board, and then voted to re-form it under another name.
What the council did not do is re-appoint the members of the board. Officials said they thought that could wait until next month.
The board – formerly known as the Winterset-Madison County Airport Authority – was dissolved, even though Madison County pulled out of the joint endeavor many years ago. The airport authority continued to exist, capturing tax dollars to help it continue to operate.
OFFICIALS APPROVE PLAN FOR ROSE ACRE FARMS TO BUILD MANURE STORAGE FACILITY
County supervisors Tuesday gave officials with Rose Acre Farm permission to expand their manure handling operation, saying the company scored high enough on its application for a permit for the plan to proceed.
A state permit will be needed, but local approval is part of the permit process.
Rose Acre Farms wants to build an 80-foot x 200-foot building, with concrete walls and a fabric roof, to store chicken droppings.
EFFORT FAILS TO RECRUIT PLASTICS PLANT
Saying it would be cost prohibitive to remodel the old Woodmarc, Farner-Bocken building on the east side of Winterset in the city’s industrial park, the effort to recruit a new plastics plant to town apparently has fallen through.
Officials say although they were pleased with the purchase price, they were concerned about the age and condition of the roof, space under the roof, water supply into the plant and the existing sprinkler system.
WATER TOWER NEEDS REPAIR
A leak has been found in the 8-inch pipe that feeds the water tower that towers above the Winterset Public Library.
The tower has been drained and is not being used.
“It hasn’t been used for a couple of weeks,” water superintendent Steve Benshoof said.
The leak is in the internal riser pipe, which sits inside the external 3-foot vertical pipe which rises from ground to tower.
A recent inspection revealed the internal pipe needs to be replaced.
HOW ... CONVENIENT?
Heard the funniest thing to start the week.
Okay, not funny, but perhaps ... ironic?
The police scanner is always on at the house.
The call came across early Monday about a motorist that had run out of gas near Git n’ Go, and the owner was going to try to get gas at Git n’ Go by pushing the vehicle there or some such.
You know they always do the time check at the end of a dispatch message.
No kidding: it was seven-eleven.
Guess you had to be there, or be listening ...
2014 CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR FEATURES NEW AND OLD
The holiday season is a good time to take a look at how blessed Winterset is as a small Iowa town. Everything we need is available just outside our front door.
More and more people have been taking notice, moving to Winterset in search of the family-oriented, slower-paced lifestyle that it offers. Pleasantly, new residents looking for homes find a wealth of beautiful and interesting housing from which to choose.
As with any community, the real estate in Winterset is quite varied given the season. At any time, one can find a wide variety of housing styles from old to new, from small to large, from fixer-upper to fresh, new construction – and any combination of those elements in between. Some of the homes in town have a particularly special appeal for one reason or another, and from year to year several are featured in the Christmas Tour of Homes.
HOP TO IT!
It’s time to work on the Christmas shopping this weekend – hop around town to the number of special holiday bazaars this weekend.
The Holiday Hop, organized by five local churches, has over the years become a town-wide, multi-church bazaar for the whole family. Occurring the weekend before Thanksgiving, its an annual tradition in the community and is beginning to draw members from surrounding towns in the county and beyond.
A fun day of Christmas spirit starts at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 1:30 p.m. Shoppers can expect to find a wide variety of inexpensive to more up-scale goods, handmade crafts, goodies, gently-used accessories and clothing, gift baskets, ornaments, Christmas home decor, woodworking gifts, antiques and other unique items. All churches offer breakfast or lunch for shoppers to rest and refresh before hopping on.
WHS GRAD RECEIVES NATIONAL FFA AWARD
On Saturday, Nov. 1, Sarah Al-Mazroa received the American FFA Degree at the 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
This degree is the highest that FFA members can receive in the association. Receiving the American Degree, however, means that members have already met a number of earlier requirements.

Path to the American Degree
The Discovery Degree is the first course of action for most FFA members. These are given out at the chapter level, after members are introduced to the association and have earned a few simple requirements.
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Not long now. Workers quickly erected the sign for the new Winterset Pizza Ranch last Wednesday. The job went quickly, as the cement for the billboard underneath was drilled and poured in just one morning. By late Wednesday afternoon, the sign was put into use, proclaiming “now hiring”.