September 30, 2015 - 2:51 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — One of the tools in the economic developer’s toolbox is a complicated one called “Tax Increment Financing,” or TIF. And the proposed use of some TIF funds is proving controversial in Osceola County.
Wind Turbines SVA
According to Robert E. Josten of the firm Dorsey & Whitney in Des Moines, Tax Increment Financing or TIF is a method of reallocating property tax revenues that are produced as a result of an increase in taxable valuation above a “base valuation” figure within a tax increment area. In other words, when a piece of property is improved and the valuation goes up, the tax revenue that is generated from that increase is redirected to somewhere other than where that money would normally go. Sometimes it is used for infrastructure that would benefit the new business, sometimes it is used to stimulate other economic development, and so forth.

They say that until the TIF period is expired, tax revenues produced by property taxes on that increase — that would normally have gone to a city, county, school district, area school or any other taxing jurisdiction — are instead allocated back to the city or county that created the TIF for economic development projects in that area.

A possible TIF district and Urban Renewal Area is being discussed right now in Osceola County.

The county has used Tax Increment Financing on some wind turbines in the county in the past. In the case of the turbines being discussed right now, the developers applied for and received a tax incentive in which their taxes on the new valuation would be raised in five increments.

According to Osceola County Board of Supervisors Chairman Merlin Sandersfeld, the time period to ramp up to full taxation on the increase in value was five years, or five increments. Four increments have passed through toward normal funding streams. But recently, a plan was brought forth to help the City of Harris with a waste water project and lagoon that needed funding. The City of Harris can set up an Urban Renewal Area in a two-mile radius of Harris, which includes 22 turbines. But Sandersfeld says that since Harris could only count on the revenue from the increased valuation of 22 of the turbines, they didn’t feel that that would be enough revenue for their project.
So, the proposal was made that the tax revenue from the increase in valuation for 53 of the wind turbines in the area for the final increment go toward the Harris project for the duration of the plan instead of only the 22 turbines around Harris. The Urban Renewal Plan that is proposed redirects this final increment to Harris for the next 13 years.

Some people are upset that this would mean that Osceola County and the Harris-Lake Park School district would miss out on those revenues from the increase in valuation, says Sandersfeld. But he emphasizes that this is only on the increase in valuation — in other words it’s not taking away any old money from the school district — it’s only keeping from them for thirteen years, a revenue source that they haven’t had yet in the first place. Plus, says Sandersfeld, the state does back fill some of the money to school districts as well. He says they back fill all but about 18 percent of the revenues lost to a TIF. (So the school district would still receive about 85 percent of the new money.)

Sandersfeld tells us that there is a meeting of the taxing bodies, called a consultation meeting coming up this Friday, October 2nd. The taxing bodies, including the City of Harris, Harris-Lake Park schools, and Osceola County will be there, and the plan will be explained. He says after that, a public hearing is scheduled for October 20th, at which time any objections can be made. Sandersfeld says the issue would then move on to a vote to proceed or not.

September 30, 2015 - 9:38 am - Posted in Sports

volleyballNorthwest Iowa — Volleyball and cross country were on the Tuesday sports schedule. Sheldon played host to West Lyon in a Siouxland Conference volleyball match up.

West Lyon 25-23-25-25, Sheldon 22-25-10-14
Akron-Westfield 25-25-25, South O’Brien 21-20-15
Harris-Lake Park 21-21-25-25-16, St. Mary’s, Remsen 25-25-11-13-14
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 21-26-27-25, South O’Brien 25-24-25-17
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 25-25-19-25, Akron-Westfield 23-21-25-17
LeMars Gehlen Catholic 25-25-24-27-15, Trinity Christian, Hull 21-10-26-29-13
LeMars Gehlen Catholic 25-25-25, West Sioux, Hawarden 15-12-11
Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 28-27-7-20-15, Harris-Lake Park 26-25-25-25-7
Okoboji 16-14-25-25-15, MOC-Floyd Valley 25-25-17-23-8
Sioux Center 25-25-25, Rock Valley 12-14-10
Trinity Christian, Hull 25-25-25, West Sioux, Hawarden 9-19-19
Unity Christian 25-25-25, Hinton 17-16-19
Western Christian 25-25-25-25, LeMars 16-21-27-15


Cross Country
Boyden-Hull, Gehlen Catholic, George-Little Rock, LeMars, MOC-Floyd Valley, Odebolt Arthur – BCIG, Sioux Center, Trinity Christian, Unity Christian, West Lyon, and Sergeant Bluff-Luton at the Western Christian invite being run at Rolling Hills Country Club

September 29, 2015 - 11:02 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fish kill running about 20 miles along Stoney Creek northwest of Spencer.

The fish kill was reported north of Everly Monday morning, but residents in the area said they’d been seeing dead fish over the weekend.

Two crews from the DNR’s Spencer field office found heavy concentrations of dead fish west of Fostoria, then traced dead fish northwest to the Osceola-Dickinson county line, about 11 miles west of Milford.

So far, the DNR says they have not identified the pollutant source, but believe it is from fertilizer or animal manure because of elevated ammonia levels found just west of Spencer.

DNR Spencer Field Office Supervisor Ken Hessenius says his office has had a number of calls into the field office, mostly from people concerned about watering their cattle from the creek.  He says they may or may not be able to track down the source of this fish kill, because it likely occurred several days ago. He says that if people would remember to call the field offices or the 24-hour spill line as soon as they see something that would increase their chance of finding the pollutant source.”  The DNR spill number is 515-725-8694.

Hessenius say the dead fish are mainly minnows and chubs, but include some larger fish. He says the pollutant slug has likely moved into the Ocheyedan River, become diluted and passed through Spencer by now.

He says the DNR will continue to look for the source of the pollutant.

In another investigation, the Spencer field office looked for the source of a second, but smaller, fish kill near Meridan in Cherokee County. A fisherman reported hundreds of dead chubs and minnows Saturday morning.

September 29, 2015 - 8:47 am - Posted in Community Calendar

sibley pool

Sibley Aquatic Center will sponsor a fundraiser on Monday Oct 12th at Pizza Ranch. They will serve from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. with a percentage of sales going towards the Pool. Pool kids will be bus boys/girls. Please come to make Financial waves for the new pool.

September 28, 2015 - 8:10 am - Posted in Obituaries

Klassina Jansma, age 93, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Country View Manor in Sibley.

Funeral Services will be Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 10:30 A.M. at the First Reformed Church in Sibley, Iowa. Rev. Luke Schouten officiating.

Burial to follow at Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Wednesday, September 30, from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 5:00 to 7:30 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley in charge of arrangements for Klassina Jansma.

September 27, 2015 - 9:41 am - Posted in Sports

volleyballNorthwest Iowa — Volleyball tournaments and college football highlighted the schedule for Saturday. The Orab volleyball team was at the Sioux City East Tournament.


Bishop Heelan, Sioux City 21-21, Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln 11-12
Bishop Heelan, Sioux City 21-21, Hinton 16-11
Bishop Heelan, Sioux City 21-21, Sioux City, North 17-12

Sioux City, East 21-19-15, Bishop Heelan, Sioux City 17-21-9
Sioux City, East 21-21, Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln 13-6
Sioux City, East 21-21, Hinton 16-18
Sioux City, East 21-21, Sheldon 13-6

Heelan. 21-21, Sheldon 11,15
Hinton, 21-23-15, Sheldon 18-21-5
Sioux City North, 21-21, Sheldon 17-14
Lewis Central, 21-21, Sheldon 17-15
Abraham Lincoln,21-15, Sheldon 15-13

Alta/Aurelia 21-21, Clay Central-Everly 5-7
Alta/Aurelia 21-21, Storm Lake 14-10
Alta/Aurelia 21-21-15, St. Mary’s, Remsen 8-23-11

Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 21-21, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire 5-13

Trinity Christian, Hull 21-21, South O’Brien 10-14
Trinity Christian, Hull 24-22, Rock Valley 22-20

Unity Christian 21-21, LeMars 18-17
Unity Christian 21-21, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 12-15
Unity Christian 21-21, Sioux Center 14-10
Unity Christian 21-21, Southwest Christian, MN 12-12
Unity Christian 21-22, Sioux Falls Christian, SD 13-20

Western Christian 25-25, Central Lyon, Rock Rapids 21-17
Western Christian 25-25, Hanson, SD 14-10
Western Christian 25-25, Madison, SD 10-18
Western Christian 25-25, Warner, SD 17-15
Western Christian 25-27-25, Chester, SD 21-29-16

Newell-Fonda 21-21, Rock Valley 12-19
Newell-Fonda 21-21, South O’Brien 9-19
Newell-Fonda 21-21, Trinity Christian, Hull 12-9

Okoboji 15-21-15, Sioux City, West 21-14-6
Okoboji 19-22-16, LeMars Gehlen Catholic 21-20-14
Okoboji 21-21, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 13-12
Okoboji 21-22, Trinity Christian, Hull 17-20

Cherokee, Washington 21-21, Alta/Aurelia 15-11
Cherokee, Washington 21-21, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire 6-13
Cherokee, Washington 21-21, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 7-7

LeMars Gehlen Catholic 21-21, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 14-15
LeMars Gehlen Catholic 21-21, Newell-Fonda 19-18
LeMars Gehlen Catholic 21-21, Sioux City, West 8-18
LeMars Gehlen Catholic 22-21, Okoboji 20-19

Sioux Center 15-21-15, LeMars 21-16-9
Sioux Center 21-21, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 17-13
Sioux Center 21-21, Sioux Falls Christian 13-19
Sioux Center 21-21, Southwest Christian 16-13

Central Lyon, Rock Rapids 25-25, Canby, MN 17-21
Central Lyon, Rock Rapids 25-25, Parker, SD 20-20
Central Lyon, Rock Rapids 25-25, ViBorg Hurley, SD 5-14

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 19-21-16, Sioux City, West 21-12-14
Hinton 11-21-15, Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln 21-12-9

College Football


Doane 28, Northswestern 21

Briar Cliff 38, Dordt 28


Iowa 62, North Texas 16

Both UNI and ISU have the week off

September 26, 2015 - 5:43 am - Posted in Sports

footballNorthwest Iowa — Week five of the high school football season saw some of the district races beginning to take shape. Our broadcast games this week included Sioux Center at Sheldon on KIWA AM 1550. On KIWA FM 105.3 it was Central Lyon George Little Rock at Boyden Hull Rock Valley in a non district game.

CLASS 2A District 1
Sioux Center 40, Sheldon 21
Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 21, Central Lyon/ George-Little Rock 7 ( (ND))
Okoboji, Milford 49, MOC-Floyd Valley 14
Spirit Lake 48, Cherokee 20

CLASS 3A District 1
LeMars 15, Denison-Schleswig 7
Sergeant Bluff-Luton 28, Heelan Catholic 21
Spencer 34, Storm Lake 30

CLASS 1A District 2
Hinton 55, Sibley-Ocheyedan 6
Ridge View 42, OA-BCIG 10 ( (ND))
Unity Christian 21, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 14
West Lyon 29, Western Christian, Hull 27

CLASS A District 2
Lawton-Bronson 27, Alta/Aurelia 20
Sioux Central, Sioux Rapids 34, South O’Brien 13
West Sioux 42, Akron-Westfield 14
Woodbury Central 26, Gehlen Catholic 7

8 PLAYER District 2
Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire 38, Coon Rapids-Bayard 6 ( (ND))
Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 54, Remsen-Union 7
Remsen St. Mary’s 66, Clay Central-Everly 12
West Bend-Mallard 21, Harris-Lake Park 14

Northwest Iowa — You may have noticed crews working on the Union Pacific tracks, ties and crossings in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota over the past few weeks.

Union Pacific’s Calli Hite says the project is part of UP’s annual capital investment plan.

Click here for audio

She says the project involving tracks in our area is part of a stretch that extends from Minnesota to Sioux City.

Click here for audio

Hite says that, while they won’t be replacing the entire section of rail and ties, they will be replacing a substantial portion.

Click here for audio

She says that, while they would normally shut the track down for only a few hours each day for the construction work to continue, in this case they’re doing what they call a blitz.

Click here for audio

The project in our area is scheduled to be completed in late October or early November.

September 25, 2015 - 10:45 am - Posted in News

money cash bills dollarsNorthwest Iowa — Owners of real estate in Iowa, residential, agricultural and business, have less than a week to pay their fall property taxes without penalty.

Real estate taxes were actually due September 1st, but the State of Iowa allows until the end of September for taxes to be paid without penalty.  Taxes may be paid in one of three ways:  You can take your payment to your County Treasurer’s Office, mail it to the Treasurer’s Office, or you can pay them online at  If you mail or take your payment to the Treasurer’s Office, please remember to include the proper payment stub.  County Treasurer’s Offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Remember, if you mail your tax payment it MUST be postmarked on or before September 30th to avoid late payment tax penalties.

September 24, 2015 - 4:07 pm - Posted in Sports

ighsauIn the latest Iowa High School Volleyball Rankings, 5 teams represent Northwest Iowa in Class 1A. Central Lyon is at the 2 spot, Le Mars Gehlen slips a spot to # 10, while George-Little Rock, Harris-Lake-Park, and Trinity Christian all edge up one position to 12, 13, and 14 respectively. In Class 2A Western holds the top spot, while Unity is in 2nd. Sioux Center is the top Northwest Iowa team at #4 in Class 3A.

Class 1A

School Record LW
1 Janesville 12-6 1
2 Central Lyon 14-2 2
3 Tripoli 18-8 3
4 Holy Trinity Catholic 15-0 4
5 Sidney 11-1 5
6 Springville 14-6 8
7 Iowa Valley 15-6 10
8 Grand View Christian 11-8 7
9 Marquette Catholic 14-4 11
10 Le Mars Gehlen Catholic 14-9 9
11 New London 13-5 6
12 George-Little Rock 12-5 13
13 Harris-Lake Park 12-5 14
14 Trinity Christian 15-5 15
15 Don Bosco 12-6 12

Dropped Out: None

Class 2A

School Record LW
1 Western Christian 12-3 1
2 Unity Christian 15-2 2
3 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 23-1 4
4 West Branch 16-1 5
5 Wapsie Valley 14-3 10
6 Dike-New Hartford 19-6 6
7 Sumner-Fredericksburg 23-1 4
8 Grundy Center 12-5 11
9 Lake Mills 21-1 8
10 Lawton-Bronson 16-1 12
11 North Cedar 17-4 9
12 Tri-Center 16-2 7
13 Starmont 15-3 13
14 Denver 18-6 14
15 Council Bluffs St. Albert 12-3 15

Dropped Out: None

Class 3A

School Record LW
1 West Liberty 14-0 2
2 Kuemper Catholic 16-1 3
3 Nevada 13-5 1
4 Sioux Center 16-2 4
5 Mount Vernon 12-4 5
6 Forest City 15-1 6
7 Waterloo Columbus Catholic 8-6 7
8 Union 15-7 8
9 Center Point-Urbana 16-5 9
10 Davenport Assumption 9-5 10
11 Humboldt 17-2 12
12 Sergeant Bluff-Luton 14-3 NR
13 East Sac County 18-7 NR
14 Algona 13-9 13
15 Spirit Lake 24-5 11

 Dropped Out: Osage (14), Pocahontas Area (15)

Class 4A

School Record LW
1 West Delaware 25-0 1
2 Marion 15-3 2
3 Harlan 13-3 3
4 Lewis Central 14-3 5
5 Sioux City Bishop Heelan 11-6 4
6 Clinton 18-5 6
7 Charles City 9-5 8
8 Waverly-Shell Rock 15-8 11
9 Dubuque Wahlert 11-4 7
10 Carroll 14-5 10
11 Fairfield 16-2 12
12 Independence 14-4 14
13 Pella 13-7 13
14 Norwalk 16-6 9
15 Bondurant-Farrar 7-4 NR

 Dropped Out: Clear Creek-Amana (15)

Class 5A

School Record LW
1 Bettendorf 12-1 1
2 Dowling Catholic 20-1 2
3 Cedar Rapids Prairie 12-1 3
4 Cedar Falls 18-1 4
5 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 13-5 5
6 Ankeny Centennial 19-2 11
7 Linn-Mar 13-4 9
8 Iowa City West 13-5 5
9 Johnston 11-3 7
10 Southeast Polk 18-4 10
11 Ankeny 12-6 14
12 West Des Moines Valley 21-6 12
13 Marshalltown 12-4 13
14 Iowa City High 6-7 7
15 Dubuque Hempstead 11-5 15


Dropped Out: None