SIBLEY—Plans to improve the town’s aesthetics and amenities took up most of Sibley Town Council’s meeting on Monday May 23.

Sibley resident Darcee Schneiderman presented a preliminary plan for a project she has started organizing downtown.

“I’m not here to ask permission, just your cooperation,” Schneiderman said. “I’ve always wanted to have a mural in town. I only formed a small committee. In fact, we have the building across the street, NW Iowa Publishers, got their permission and we can do it on the west side of the building.

She plans to apply for painting grants, as well as enter the Iowans Unite community contest for a chance to win a unique mural created and installed by Iowa-based artist Ben Schuh.

“I don’t think anything will happen again this year,” Schneiderman said. “I’ve always wanted to start sprucing up Sibley, and hopefully that will continue as a group and next year we can do something else. I hope other people will join in as well.

Ideas have already been generated through the “You Know You’re From Sibley, Iowa, If” page on Facebook. No specific theme has been set other than the use of imagery relating to what Sibley means to its residents.

Development

Osceola County Director of Economic Development Stephanie Neppl provided an update on her office’s activities.

“It’s been a busy few months, which has been a good thing,” Neppl said.






Osceola County Director of Economic Development Stephanie Neppl shares updates on housing, child care and dentist recruitment with Sibley Town Council on May 23.



The rural accommodation assessment process continues for Sibley, Ashton and Ocheyedan, and Neppl thanked those who have helped so far. She mentioned that resources are available, especially if the communities work together.

“Careers Day was great,” Neppl said of the April 21 event. “We’ve heard outstanding feedback from everyone.”

Increasing child care spaces continues to be a goal for the Steering Committee after strategic planning began last August. The Davis family’s plan to open a site was good news. The feasibility of on-site daycare at local businesses will be explored.

“There’s a new grant that came out last week,” Neppl said. “The governor announced $20 million for certain business partnerships.”

Another financing option addresses the lack of dentists in the county.

“There’s $200,000 on the table under the Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists program that goes toward loan forgiveness as long as you can find a dentist who’s close to becoming a clinic owner,” said said Neppl. “We met a prospect. We would love to find a dentist in this community.

Upcoming events and projects include a customer service workshop on June 30, a pancake dinner at Hawkeye Point on June 18, a tourist brochure update and another visit from JayJay Goodvin, also known as name of Iowa Gallivant, as he hikes the T-Bone Trail again and returns to the county on June 3.

Dogs

Verle Vander Ploeg presented his concerns about enjoying his property during public comment time.

“I’m here because I’m tired of barking and running around dogs,” Vander Ploeg said.

In addition to the nuisance of barking, the dogs in their neighborhood run free and dig up objects in their vegetable and flower gardens. He contacted neighbors about it, as well as the sheriff’s office. He noted that the dogs are friendly, but disobedient, and the problem has gotten worse with more dogs now around.

“We’ve been trying to quiet the barking dogs in town for years, and we’ve gotten nowhere,” Vander Ploeg said. “There is a municipal ordinance on the books. Why is it not applied? I’m not here to get rid of the dogs. I love dogs but keep them under control. If you have one, take responsibility for it.

He described the steps he has taken so far, including taking videos. He has not yet filed a written report.

City staff confirmed that this is an area with previous complaints. City Clerk Susan Sembach will contact the Sheriff’s Office to determine the next step.

OTHER BUSINESS:

At the May 23 meeting, Sibley Town Council also:

  • Filed a decision on the installation of heaters in airport hangars until the June 27 meeting. Council members said it would buy time to find out more about current rental rates. City clerk Susan Sembach contacted insurance agent Bill Pearson and received a notice that the heaters would not affect premiums. Pearson also advised against charging tenants for heaters. The space available for LPG tanks must meet the installation requirements.
  • Heard a report from Water Superintendent Cory Dykstra that on Friday June 3 the pool is opening later than previous years due to the timing of lifeguard training.
  • Received an update from Sembach that the city will have liability coverage for helicopter rides taking place at the fairgrounds this summer.