Monday evening’s Nevada City Council meeting saw the swearing-in of two young lifelong Nevada residents, Jay Calentine and Carter Melton.
Introduced by Fire Chief Ray Reynolds, Calentine is a 2019 graduate of Nevada High School who was heavily involved in FFA and who plans on attending Marshalltown Community College for a skilled trade. He hopes to settle down in the Nevada area.
Melton, Reynolds reminded, was first introduced to the fire department when he got his mower stuck on the train tracks in Nevada and they came to his aid. “Now he wants to pay that back,” Reynolds said, noting that Melton is a Nevada High School student who received the proficiency award in FFA and is licensed in pesticides. “Since he was old enough to drive, he’s run his own lawn care business.”
Reynolds said the addition of these two probationary firefighters brings the department’s membership number to 45. He said there are four other applications the department is going through now, which will bring them right up near the 50 cap that they strive for.
In the public forum, an Ankeny resident, Todd Jones, who has family living in Nevada and whose family has strong roots in Nevada, spoke to the council about his concerns with safety on Highway 30, especially the intersection of S-14.
He wanted to know why, two years after the agreement with the DOT was not carried through for the area, that the city has still not done something about the S-14 intersection, which he said “is still dangerous.”
Comparing Nevada’s possibilities to those of Ankeny’s, which has expanded along the four-lane Interstate 35, Jones said he thinks Nevada could draw many more businesses if it improved the Highway 30 corridor with exits and overpasses. He also said that work is needed because of the predictions of traffic increasing in the future along that corridor.
City Administrator Matt Mardesen provided an update that the city is in negotiations with the DOT at this time about a flyover at S-14. A flyover bridge, Mardesen said, is in the plans so that the at-grade intersection at S-14 will no longer exist.
Mardesen said this flyover was discussed during the city’s recent strategic planning session, and the council still must make a few decisions about the project and how it will be laid out. “The DOT has listened to us and that (improving safety along the Highway 30 corridor) will be something that will come forth… It’s a very slow process,” Mardesen said, but noted that the draft the DOT has released for plans along Highway 30 does include a flyover at Nevada.
Nevada resident Cathy Grause also stepped forward during the public forum to update the council on fundraising for next year’s fireworks. Grause handed over $1,875 that had been raised during a “Fill the Boot” fundraising effort before this year’s fireworks show. She said the public has also suggested several other types of fundraisers that could be held, like having a place in one of the city’s park to drop off cans or a pool party with all admission going toward the fireworks. She presented the funds raised so far to City Clerk Kerin Wright.
Council member Jason Sampson reported that the Lincoln Highway Days committee is providing shuttles to the fairgrounds from several locations in town this year, to help people have rides to the fairground to enjoy the celebration.