4th Quarter Meeting Highlights

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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Here are highlights from the BNA's 4th Quarter membership meeting, held December 5th, 2023 at the Northwest Community Center.

BNA President Marcus Coenen

BNA President Marcus Coenen said it's been a successful year with good events that were well-attended. He said the association is in good standing financially and the board is "fleshing out" some new projects to tackle in 2024.

Officer Trudy Paulson

Des Moines police officer Trudy Paulson gave a report on crimes in Beaverdale since the first of October. She said there has been one burglary, 12 motor vehicle thefts, five thefts from vehicles and seven assaults.

Nancy Dunbar, who heads the Beautification Committee, said this year's Garden Walk was successful and money raised will help fund the renovation of Beaverdale Park. The Garden Walk is held in odd numbered years, so no Garden Walk in 2024. But Nancy said the committee is considering a scavenger hunt for carved tree trunks. She said there are ten such trunks in Beaverdale that she knows of. The committee is considering giving clues next summer so residents could search out the carved trees.

Don Piper, who leads the Public Affairs Committee, said they're considering a 2024 repeat of the successful contractors' fair held earlier this year.

Diana Sickels

Des Moines resident Diana Sickels talked about the health hazards of lead water pipes which lead from the main into the house. Beaverdale has many homes built before 1940, after which lead pipes were outlawed. But she said some copper pipes have lead soldering, which is also dangerous.

"It's a complicated issue,"Sickels said. "It's very expensive. It takes a lot of cooperation because it's on your private property."

Des Moines Water Works has a pilot project in the River Bend neighborhood to replace lead service pipes in 100 homes, Sickels said.

Click here for the Des Moines Water Works lead pipe lookup tool to see if your house has a lead service line.

City Councilman Chris Coleman

Des Moines' newest member of the city council, Chris Coleman, talked about issues he's been working on since winning a special election in November to fill the vacated Ward 1 council seat. He voted yes Monday night on the city's climate action plan, which sets carbon reduction targets for 2035 and 2050.

Coleman said he's also been in meetings on empty parcels of land around Ward 1. He wants to make sure that when they are developed, they are projects good for the neighborhood and not just good for the developers. He mentioned the former site of Plaza Lanes, 48th and Franklin where the hospital has been torn down, Merle Hay Mall, and the vacant land owned by Hy-Vee at Beaver and Douglas. Regarding the Hy-Vee site, which has been undeveloped for many years now, Coleman said, "Whatever happens there, we have to get this right."

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald finished up the meeting by reporting that turnout was strong in Beaverdale for the recent city and school board election in November, Citywide turnout was 24% but in the Beaverdale precincts, turnout was 36%.

Fitzgerald said the new laws covering voting are difficult to manage and some voters have had problems adapting to the new absentee ballot laws. He said 400 ballots countywide were sent in too late to be counted.

The next quarterly BNA meeting will be held in February 2024.

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