Nichols addresses brush pile, progresses on ATV ordinance

NICHOLS, Iowa–With the onset of fall and local residents cleaning up their yards ahead of winter, the Nichols brush pile has seen quite a lot of activity in the last few weeks. In addition to the usual branches and grass clippings people typically drop off, the pile has seen an increasing number of large logs. This presents a problem, as the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department cannot dispose of these logs by burning them the way they do with the rest of the yard waste. At the request of the people who own the land the brush pile occupies, the Nichols City Council will put up a regulatory sign reminding people to keep their brush sections small, not to drop off logs, and always push their yard waste back so that others can easily pull up and make a drop off. Council members seemed open to this suggestion and will begin looking into places where they can order a sign. The Nichols Volunteer Fire Department planned to burn the current brush pile Sept. 9 and encourages people to act considerately when starting the new brush pile.

At their September meeting, the Nichols City Council also continued work on their new ATV and UTV ordinance. Following last month’s discussion, they solidified several points they had discussed. Anyone with an ATV or golf cart may choose whether to use a visibility flag or a slow moving vehicle sign, though Police Chief Jeff Jirak encouraged residents to use both as an additional layer of safety. Those registering golf carts with the city, because the Iowa Department of Natural Resources does not issue registration for them, will need to purchase a city sticker at a cost of $25. All golf cart and ATV owners must keep their insurance and registration paperwork in their vehicle (people with golf carts may need to make a copy of their homeowners or renters insurance, as insurance companies do not usually make special insurance cards for them). The Nichols City Council plans to vote on all parts of their new ATV and UTV ordinance in October. If passed, the new law will go into effect in January of 2022.

To help cover ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs to their vehicles and equipment, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department will hold a raffle for a new smoker this fall. Tickets cost $10 a piece and the department will only sell 250 tickets total, so they encourage anyone interested in entering to visit the fire house and purchase their tickets soon.

At the suggestion of Council Member Cindy Massey, the department may also hold a free after trick or treat party on Halloween for local children, since the holiday will fall on a Sunday. The Council envisioned having special treats or glow sticks available for kids who attend as well as classic games to play as well. The Council will officially set trick or treating hours at their Oct. 13 meeting.