About one dozen citizens joined Belmond’s city manager, mayor and mayor pro-tem for a public meeting that ranged over a wide number of topics June 1.

  One of the hottest topics was the general look of the town. One person mentioned that outsiders have told her that Belmond looks “shabby.”

  It was suggested that the city consider an ordinance to stop people from parking on their lawns. It was mentioned that Clarion does not allow the practice.

  There were also complaints about people leaving vehicles, trailers, RVs and boats on the streets. City law does allow parking for up to 48 hours on the street; after that time a vehicle must be moved. However, “moving” can constitute simply pushing the vehicle an inch or two. Mayor Frank Beminio said he knows that tires are chalked by the police in an effort to monitor movement.

  One resident complained about people who have not mowed. City Manager Darrel Steven Carlyle said the entire yard must be mowed, not just the yard bordered by the sidewalk. He said some people have refused to mow between the sidewalk and street, claiming that area is owned by the city. Carlyle said the parking is controlled by the city, however mowing is the responsibility of the property owner.

  “We have cracked down on nuisances, but we have to follow up in a more timely manner,” he said.

  Carlyle said the city will be holding a clean-up day in the fall. He said he hopes to have curbside pick-up of unwanted items rather than a central drop-off point, although not all of the details have been worked out.

  Another resident said the city needs to take down dead or dying trees. She said driving down Third Street NE “is like driving down a tunnel,” and wondered if the number of trees is causing that street to deteriorate.

  Carlyle said the city is only responsible for removing trees in the parking. Homeowners must decide when to remove trees on their property. “We do have a list, it’s just a matter of funding,” Carlyle said. He added that the city does have a budget for tree removal, but that money is earmarked for removing trees killed or damaged by the emerald ash borer.

  The state of the site of the old Parker Middle School was also brought up. Carlyle said the process to condemn a building is lengthy. Mayor Beminio added, “That building is a big concern for the city.”

  The widely-circulated rumor that the school bond issue which financed building a new elementary school included funding for tearing down Parker is false. There had been money included in previous bond issues, but the bond that was ultimately passed did not include any funding. Both Parker and Ramsay buildings were sold shortly after being vacated.

  Among the ideas that were talked about:  read the complete story in the Belmond Independent.