Ames City Council prioritizes sustainability with upcoming EcoFair


Photo by Katherine Kealey/Iowa State Daily

City manager Steve Schainker and Ames Mayor Join Haila listening to consultancy from city staff during the April 26 meeting.

The city council shared how Ames residents can learn how to live a greener life at the EcoFair during the last meeting of the month Tuesday.

The EcoFair will take place Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 515 Clark Ave. in Ames and will provide information on sustainability. This includes how to incorporate reducing, reusing and recycling into a daily routine. There will also be a school supplies drive for people to donate to and take from at the event.

The council voted to rename the Ames Municipal Airport to include J.H. Banning — the first Black aviator to be licensed by the United States Department of Commerce by 1927 and a former resident of Ames.

The motion was passed with one nay vote from Ward 2 Rep. Tim Gartin.

The council discussed how bringing attention to Banning would help them emphasize diversity and inclusion as one of their goals. Ward 3 Rep. Anita Rollins said she thinks the process of renaming can be “used to call people into the history of Ames.”

A community conversation was brought to the council’s attention concerning mental health issues, and six city-sponsored events have been planned to help educate on mental health topics.

The first will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m Oct. 4 in the Ames Public Library auditorium. The topic will be suicide and resources/support for those struggling.

The other five events will be held on the following dates and topics:

  • Nov. 3 will focus on resources and support for mental health.
  • Jan. 31 will focus on resilience.
  • March 7 will focus on drug abuse.
  • April 4 will focus on civility.
  • May 2 will focus on navigating mental health and substance abuse.

The council unanimously approved $5,000 to fund these proposed events.

The council then received a report on Ames’s organized solid waste collection. Current waste collection practices were examined and compared to more sustainable models, along with cost differences.

The League of Women Voters also came to speak on the organized solid waste collection report during the public forum.

“We appreciate that the city council has set an aggressive goal for reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses to 83 percent less by 2030,” said Carolyn Klaus, a member of the League.

The council decided to award a contract for a new fire engine to Reliant Fire Apparatus Inc. This new engine will replace a current Ames fire engine. Future fire engine sustainability options were discussed, including hybrid trucks and the use of biodiesel.

A site proposal to add a new building with a restaurant or coffee shop drive-thru in the parking lot at 1200 Duff Ave. was approved unanimously.

There was public concern regarding the accessibility of the drive-thru for those not using a car and about prioritizing the encouragement of using non-emission-producing travel methods and how a drive-thru may negatively impact this.

The council also approved two special studies, one on the South Duff Ave. and US Highway 30 interchange and the other on the 190th Street corridor. These studies will observe the existing conditions of the roads and how they can be improved.

The next Ames City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 11. It is possible to view the meeting in person at the Ames City Hall Chambers or online at the AmesTelevision YouTube Channel.