Newscast 09.13.22: Woodbury County has patch of "exceptional" drought; SC delays decision to raise parking fees
A small sliver of Woodbury County recently regressed into “exceptional” drought status, the worst classification of dryness identified by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that the area along the state’s border with Nebraska also missed the heavier rainfall that soaked much of the state this past weekend, according to a state climatologist weather report. It’s the first time that any part of Iowa has had exceptional drought since 2013, according to Drought Monitor data.
In Nebraska, where the arid conditions are far worse, exceptional drought developed at the beginning of August and now covers about 10% of the state. Iowa’s exceptional drought affects about .02% of the state.
Crop conditions in Iowa slid again this past week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Monday. About 63% of the state’s corn and soybeans were rated good or excellent, down from 66% the week before.
The Sioux City Council deferred action Monday to increase rates for municipal parking ramps and meters, and increasing overtime parking and other related fines. This was the second time the matter has been delayed, following last month's decision not to act immediately on parking rates.
City staff say rate increases are needed to provide revenue to service the debt for repairs to the parking ramps as well as to buy new parking ramps.
Public works director David Carney said the last rate increase for street meter fees occurred in 2007, while ramp fees and parking fines were raised in 2019.
At Monday's meeting, Mayor Bob Scott asked Carney for additional information, breaking down parking fines by category to see how many violators paid after 30 days and after 90 days.
A Pennsylvania service provider has sued the trust that owns a now-closed Sioux City nursing home for thousands of dollars in unpaid bills and wants the trustees and beneficiaries held personally responsible for repayment.
Healthcare Services Group, or HCSG, says Indian Hills of Sioux City, which operated as Touchstone Healthcare Communities, continued to contract services from vendors while having no intention or ability to pay for the goods and services.
HCSG has sued the Fred Davenport Jr. Revocable Trust, its successor trustee Larry Book and unknown trust beneficiaries for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, saying Indian Hills failed to pay 75 outstanding invoices totaling more than $344,000 for housekeeping and dining services provided at the 125-bed facility from February 2019 through Aug. 4, 2021.