Thursday, December 19, 2013

Courier News

Courtesy of the 12-18-13 on-line edition of the Ida County Courier (

Odebolt mayor retires after 13 years

Odebolt Mayor Ron Rex is stepping down at the end of the year after 13 consecutive years of service to the Odebolt community. Rex was honored at an open house Friday, December 13th.

Since the 1960s, the 80-year-old has spent 20 years serving as mayor (16) or as a councilman (four).

“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Odebolt all these years,” said Rex. “Taking care of the town is ongoing. During my years, I encouraged and worked with volunteers, as they are truly the backbone of a community. I’ve also had a great staff of city employees over the years and a good council to work with. Harmony has been the key to our success.”

Highlights of his career include completion of the wastewater lagoon project and development of the Odebolt Betterment Committee (OBC).

“The new lagoon project was a very involved process of hiring an engineer and contractor, purchasing the land, the loan process and the construction. It took a considerable effort from the council and a lot of other people.

“Another project that was started during my years of service was the OBC. The OBC evolved from an Iowa Living Roadway Grant and, through them, many great, good things have happened in Odebolt, make the town more presentable: the greenspace, the Triangle Park, the old schoolhouse project, the Peterson Pioneer Home and supporting the Odebolt Museum. I’ve always believed in Odebolt and felt that the first impression makes a lasting one.”

Rex said, “When I came on as mayor, the city was in the middle of developing the Odebolt Memorial Walk, which improved the creek area. The RV Park was developed along the walk and is used every summer.

“We (the council) get many compliments from folks stating, ‘What a nice town we have.’ It’s most enjoyable to be part of that. I think my prime responsibility as mayor was the well-being of our people and children, making sure our town is as safe as it can be.”

He said the most difficult aspect of serving as mayor is: “You try to make 80 percent of the people happy 80 percent of the time. You can’t keep all the people happy all the time.”

Rex and wife, Elaine, have been married nearly 60 years and are the parents of four daughters. They have nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

FFA soup supper

The Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove FFA will host its annual soup supper Friday, Dec. 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p. m. in the O-A/BC-IG cafetorium. The event is held in conjuction with the Falcon/Ridge View Raptor basketball game.

The FFA will be serving chili, chicken noodle and cheesy potato soups and desserts for free-will donations. The proceeds go to the FFA scholarship fund.

Ambulance needs EMTs

The Sac County Ambulance Service—Odebolt unit is in desperate need of EMTs.

A class will be offered in Sac City this winter, starting in mid-January to the end of April. Classes will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 6 -10 p. m. and one Saturday a month (Sac County will pay for the class -$1,800).

The Odebolt unit is down to four EMTs, and Sac and Lake View now cover most calls. The Odebolt unit is a “Provisional-I” service, and the Life-Pak 300 defibrillator is used. Squad members are on call for 12-hour shifts; each shift has three persons on call.

The Odebolt Unit 81-44, Sac County Ambulance was started July 6, 1978. Marvin and Margaret Stock donated the first ambulance to the service in 1981. In 1995, the ambulance was given to the Odebolt Fire Department, and the county purchased a 1994 Ford modular ambulance for Odebolt. The county-owned vehicle is housed in a city-owned building, which was remodeled in 2001, adding much-needed space.

The Odebolt unit also needs drivers. Drivers must have a high school diploma or equivalent, a valid driver’s license, an acceptable driving record and be 18 years of age or older.

Call Vicki Beckman (668-4896) with questions.

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