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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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August 2, 2012     N. Warren Town and County News
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August 2, 2012
 

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR f&apos;0000,.,ualk flOr NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Warren ,! ;:]1 ,:i -/ i"i t :<'1: I) 3,t)(] ,:,,i)')(].! ',:I{ 1 I I)i-t L,,l,C 9iL,;-4 ?'7,, (, II,l,,I,,I,,hl,l,,l,,I,,I,,I,l,,I,l,ll,,,,ll .... II1,,,I,1,1,1 Town and County ws 50 City of Norwalk Council Agenda p. 2 Norwalk Warriors Vol. 44 No. 11 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981-0406 emaih news@ norwalknewspaper.com Thursday, August 2, 2012 OVIATT ELEMENTARY By Dr. Laura Sivadge, Principal and Rodney Martinez, Dean of Students Welcome back to school! You may be asking your- self, "Where did the summer go?" August is here and the first day of school is Wednesda)9 Aug. 22! We en- courage parents/guardians of Oviatt PK-2 students to review the Elementary Student Handbook or Preschool Handbook as part of your family's preparation for the new school year! These handbooks are posted on the district's website, www.norwalk.k12.ia.us, on the Oviatt or Preschool link. The Oviatt Elementary mission statement cites our desire to "work collaboratively to develop the academic, social, emotional and physical self of the child into a self-directed, lifelong learner. Each student is given the opportunity to achieve at his or her highest potential in a safe and caring learning environment." You have our commitment that we will continually "keep the Oviatt mission statement in mind, With each decision made, Oviatt staff members ask themselves, "Is this decision made in the best interest of the child(ren)?" K-2 Information-Registration: Walk-in registration for K-12 students is scheduled August 6 and 9 from 4-7 p.m. in the Eastview cafeteria. If you are the parent of a kindergarten student, it is appreciated if you register at District Office, 981-0676, prior to August 6, as enroll- ment numbers are more difficult to predict for kinder- garten when compared to the other grade levels. Early notification allows us to be better prepared. Class Rosters-Parent Portal can be accessed Monday, Aug. 13, to find out your child's teacher. If you have not signed up for Parent Portal, you will want to check the website, www.norwalk.k12.ia.us and click on the "Par- ents" link that leads you to the "Request an Account" form. For the safety of each child, we do not post a pa- per copy of class lists. Note that we may need to adjust class lists if a par- ticular class size increases to the point that an additional class section needs formed. If this happens, parents/ guardians are informed by email and phone of the place- ment change. Classroom Supply Lists-Supply lists can be accessed on the district website. Click on the "Parents" link and then the link labeled "Supply Lists." There is also a posted copy of the supply lists for each of the grade levels on Entry Doors 1, 2 and 14. Kindergarten Open House-Parents of incoming kin- dergarten students will receive a postcard inviting fam- ily members to the Monday, Aug. 20, Kindergarten Open House, scheduled from 5-5:45 p.m. The Norwalk PTO and Watch D.O.G.S. members are sponsoring the first annual Kindergarten Kick-Off for the new school year! We ask that all Kindergarten family members join us for this special welcome from your child's kindergarten teacher! School supplies can also be brought to this event. Childcare for siblings is provided. First & Second Grade Open House-We have Open House for children in First and Second grade Tu.esda35 Aug. 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. We hope you are able to join us so you and your child can meet the teacher and see old friends and new classmates! We have staggered the start and end time of the two elementary open houses to better accommodate families who have children at- tending both schools. School supplies can be brought to school during Open House, if you prefer one less thing to remember the fol- lowing morning as you pack for school. If you ordered Concluded on p. 10 Special Election Is Tuesday Registered voters in the City of Norwalk are re- minded to vote in the Spe- cial Election Tuesda Aug. 7, to cast their ballots, ei- ther yes or no, on the fol- lowing public measure: "For the purpose of Pub- lic Safety, including the equipping and staffing of Fire, Police and Emer- gency Services should the City of Norwalk imple- ment a franchise fee of five (5 %) percent on natural gas and electric revenues pursuant to the provisions of Section 364.2 of the Code of Iowa?" Norwalk precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 will all vote at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 720 Orchard Hills Dr. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The polling place is accessible to elderly and handicap voters. Mayor's Ar0000LLIQ[h Moment nor! By Mayor Doug Pierce J Since it has been a subject with a lot of interest to the citizens of Norwalk, I am going to discuss some of the background as to why the Council voted favorably on an ordinance to implement franchise fees through MidAmerican Energy on gas and electric services. As I have stated in previous articles, Norwalk is 18% Commercial and 82% Residential in regard to property owners. The State Legislature determines the percent- age of the assessed valuation that a city can tax and cur- rently, that is 100% for commercial property and ap- proximately 50% (this value changes yearly) on residen- tial properties. In addition, the legislature also deter- mines the maximum tax rate that a city can utilize to "resource" its General Fund. That rate is currently $8.10 per thousand of the assessed value with the aforemen- tioned percentages taxable and has been at that rate for 40 years. Since the rate of $8.10 is capped, then the only way a city can increase revenues to meet the ever-increasing operations costs is through growth. If that grow is primarily residential, which can only be taxed on 50% of its assessed value, then it really impacts the amount of dollars received vs. it being commercial growth (100% taxation rate of assessed value and commercial valua- tions are, generall more than residential). The Council has identified that the revenues received by the franchise fees go to the Public Safety. The Fire Department (FD) does not have 24/7 staffing which means that at night, members respond from home which results in longer response times. With the franchise fee revenues to pay for increased staffing, the response times would be greatly enhanced at night and weekends. The Police Department (PD) has very similar issues in that there are hours each day where there is only one police officer on duty at a time. This limits the PD's ability to respond to multiple calls for service, not to mention, the safety of the officer working as a singleton. Another reason for the fees is in the purchasing of equipment, specifically vehicles. The City does not have the reserves to purchase ambulances, police cars and other vehicles outright, so that leads to "bonding" to pay for them. A lot of times the City is paying for those vehicles after they are no longer in service. This is not being good stewards of tax dollars, but we have no other alternative. I hope this information helps you to make an in- formed decision for the vote on August 7. Water Conservation Plan City of Norwalk requests that ALL residents imple- ment the following Water Conservation Plan effective immediately. This is the first step in a four step plan to reduce water consumption during a time of need. Lawn Watering: All residential areas are being asked to alter their lawn watering practice from every day to alternating days. Example: Even-numbered addresses may water on even-numbered days of the month and odd-numbered addresses may water on odd-numbered days of the month. During weekdays, lawn watering should take place during off-peak hours between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Week- end watering may take place at any time. Conservation Methods: A complete list of sugges- tions to reduce your water consumption mac] also be found on the Des Moines Water Works website. Contact City Hall at 981-0228 if you have any questions. Ag Secretarv P00cociv00z00s Rail Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently recog- nized the efforts of 62 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees who have helped revitalize the ag- ricultural sectors in Afghanistan and Iraq.'Among those honored during a ceremony June 4 was Randy Freseoln of Norwalk, who served as a senior agricultural advisor with both a task force and the Regional Command-East located at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from 2011 to 2012. "I'm honored to recognize these brave and devoted men and women for their tremendous service to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq," said Vilsack. "These USDA employees have played a vital role in furthering political and social stability throughout the world by building a foundation on which the economies of these countries will prosper." USDA agricultural advisors began serving in Af- ghanistan in 2003 and Iraq in 2006. Their goal has been to help Afghanistan and Iraq rebuild their agricultural sectors by planning and implementing reconstruction and agricultural development projects. Activities vary depending on the needs of the area, but can range from mentoring local agricultural officials to improving food and animal production and marketing systems to vet- erinary infrastructure, soil and water conservation and reclamation programs. Advisors working at the national government level help build the capacity of government ministries and collaborate with ministry staff to develop long-term strategies for agricultural development. In Afghanistan, Frescoln helped Afghan business owners obtain credit, enabling them to build and im- prove their agricultural processing facilities. He also developed and implemented a regional strategy to help the U.S. militar U.S. Agency for International Devel- opment and USDA communicate with each other about their agricultural value chain development activities in eastern Afghanistan. His efforts were recognized by U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker who presented him with the US. Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award in January 2012. Frescoln is a Business and Cooperative Program Director with USDA Rural Development in Des Moines. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in farm operations as well asa Master of Science degree in pro- fessional agriculture, both from Iowa State University in Ames. Formerly, Frescoln served as a USDA agricul- tural expert in Afghanistan from 2004-2005 as well as in Iraq from 2006-2007. Since 2003, more than 250 USDA personnel have de- ployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 50 agricul- tural advisors are currently assigned there. To learn more about USDA's efforts in those coun- tries, visit www.fas.usda.gov. I