From The Office Of The Mayor
To the citizens of Blue Grass, I would like to first thank you for electing me as your new Mayor. I look forward in serving this community and being a voice of the people. It is a privilege and an honor to be your Mayor. I will be a strong voice of the people knowing during this time, I will not make everyone happy, but what I will do is listen to your ideas and concerns and share with you the thinking behind the decisions made by the City Council in hopes for a better understanding that things being done are for all of Blue Grass to continue to make Blue Grass a better place to live.
I look forward to working with the City Council, to assist the City to move forward. There will challenges ahead for all of us to work through and that is why I use the acronym "TEAM" - Together Everyone Achieves More! Playing many years of sports, being a Police Officer for 25 years and being a School Board President as well as a Father and a Husband, I have learned working together does not have an "I" in TEAM. Working together as a TEAM, we can assist in brain storming, bouncing ideas off one another and most of all, work together for the good of all of Blue Grass.
There are several major projects in the works with the City, the biggest is the North Mississippi Rehabilitation Project, that project along with other City needs will be worked through and dealt with in the best interest for all of the citizens. My goals are to create Economic Development as this is an assured way to create stable tax growth and move forward to meet the City's needs. Taking the City of Blue Grass to a more stable financial future also means we need to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan that can assist in Economic Development and business growth. As your Mayor, re-establishing the cities "Chamber of Commerce" to assist current businesses and create future businesses to come to our community as this will create both jobs and create a better relationship with the City, plus create City growth.
In looking at the goals and needs for the City, we need to develop and establish both short and long term goals (1 year, 5 year and 10 year) so we stay on top of the City's needs.
My biggest ambition is to take a serious look at developing a "West Scott County School System" that would join Blue Grass, Buffalo and Walcott and the surrounding subdivisions into developing its own School District. This would allow the children and families to create their own identity that takes them from Kindergarten through their High School years. This can only happen with a joint effort with the involved communities and citizens.
I look forward in working with the members of the City Staff, the City Council and members of this community - we must take steps to move forward TOGETHER.
Sincerely, Mayor Tim Brandenburg
UPDATE: I hope this finds everyone having some time for family fun over the summer months. The summer has been interesting to say the least with the unusual weather patterns that have come through the area giving many challenges to some of the Blue Grass citizens as well as many all over the Midwest.
It’s also hard to believe the kids will be going back to school in less than a month.
Its’s been four and a half months since taking office and I would say the issue of storms has been the biggest challenge to deal with as mother nature is so unpredictable. We have had a couple of close calls with tornadic activity besides some of the heaviest rainfalls on record.
In seeing these close calls with a tornado being seen just outside Blue Grass, that later created devastation in Fairdale, Illinois and most recently a tornado just on the Illinois side of the river later hitting Camden, Illinois. Fortunately, these tornados had just gone around us. Having seeing this destruction and the City not having a Disaster Plan in place, the City has since then begun preparations to address this making strides to having a Disaster Plan in place. More importantly, I would also like to information residents that the State of Iowa now has an “Alert Iowa” system which is a mass notification and emergency messaging system allowing both State and local authorities to quickly disseminate emergency information to residents either by landline or wireless phone, text messaging, email, fax, TDD/TYY and social media. I encourage citizens in Blue Grass to register to receive these alerts as it is free of charge, you may access the links on both our webpage: www.bluegrassia.org and/or the City’s Facebook page: “City of Blue Grass, Iowa” or visit: www.scottcountyiowa.com.
In working closely with City staff, there have been many areas of concern identified with training, certifications but most importantly planning. In this world of reality the City functions on tax revenues and other subsidies through the State along with grants. So we do not have to raise taxes and fee’s, the City has to encourage development in the Scott County West Business District consisting of 55 acres located on South Oak Lane and West Mayne Street, that needs to be utilized to its fullest. This along with becoming a friendlier community, we need to be welcoming and work with those willing to develop within our City limits. I have reached out to several business leaders to assist in developing this area and there is currently plans being worked on to develop a “Blue Grass Business Partnership Group” as I believe this can be a way of helping create some business growth and continuity within the community.
As far as planning, it is no secret the City has been looking to re-construct the North Mississippi Street corridor for several years. The efforts have been looked at and a grant has been awarded for a chunk of that project. What has not been done is no plan for paying for is the City’s “matching” portion of the grant. This should have been put into action right away instead of getting a loan and making payments. So as for plans, the City has to do work to work on its infrastructure, besides the planning for construction an equal effort needs to be put into place for raising the funds to complete the project.
The City of Blue Grass is not dim but if we do not plan for the future and create goals or in other words, be pro-active and not re-active, things could become a challenge. The biggest challenge currently is paying for the Public Safety Building General Obligation Noteso we may need to tighten up our belts and work together at accomplishing other needs of this community.
Now that we are into the new fiscal year, we are addressing needs and prioritizing what needs to be done in the coming year and setting goals implementing both a five year plan and a ten year plan on the future needs of the City.
As we move forward you will be seeing a number of streets being seal coated, if you live on these streets and have a gravel driveway we encourage you can to take advantage and have your driveway done at a savings. The contact information is on our website! The City has also begun the bid letting to upgrade the City’s North Lift Station before winter and when this is complete, the City’s sewer system should be much more efficient and assist further when we have normal rains. I would like to see plans for lining
of the remaining older sewer system as well.
As I had promised the Citizens when you elected me to work hard for you and to keep you informed and I will continue to do so. Lastly, keeping you informed on the progress of a West Scott County’s School System, I, along with a number of other citizens from the area are continuing the research of the possibility of developing a “West Scott High School” as you know, this will take time and I am hoping to have an information meeting later this Fall.
As you can see, thereis a great deal going on in the City and I look forward to serving the community!
Mayor Tim Brandenburg