(left to right) Mayor John Haila and Chris Nelson, representative of the 4th Ward, listen to staff presentations at the Ames City Council meeting. Ames City Council held a meeting Jan. 15 in City Hall to discuss the 2019-2024 Capital Improvements Plan. Staff members gave a presentation on their recommendations for the next five years.

The Ames City Council was presented with petitions concerning bettering the environment in Ames and the lack of parking along Welch Avenue at their Tuesday night meeting.

Gabrielle Heidrich, an environmental activist and senior in animal ecology, presented a petition to create a cleaner campus and city by 2030. The petition includes suggestions to reduce greenhouse gasses causing pollution in Ames and proposes goals for the city of Ames, including Iowa State’s campus be 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2030.

“ISU buys 10 percent of its energy, and only 1 percent of that is renewable,” Heidrich said. “The petition is us pushing them to purchase renewable resources.”

Heidrich motivates students to attend Student Government meetings and join clubs focused on environmental concerns to assist in her and her supporters’ efforts.

A petition was introduced against the removal of parking on Welch, specifically the absence of handicap parking. The petition has been signed by more than 700 people. Julie Peterson, a store owner on Welch Avenue, said she has been affected by this.

“We have had several customers that need the handicap spot,” Peterson said. “It’s the only handicap spot on that block. We have several [customers] that are physically not able to walk further than where that spot is.“

Mayor John Haila said the outcome of the parking petition is a collective decision of the council. The council currently is not reconsidering their choice of reducing the parking on Welch.

“Council, after significant discussion, decided to have a little wider sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides,” Haila said. “Having bike lanes and parking really has potential for a safety issue, and we want to discourage biking on the sidewalks.”

Mayor John Haila proclaimed the week of April 7 as “National Volunteer Week”. The dedication of the week is to serve as a time to recognize the culture of volunteer work and the impact that it has had on the Ames community.

The Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market is to take place every Saturday from May 4 to Oct. 12, 2019. Request of free meter parking in the closed area of the farmers’ market between the hours of 5 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. was declined, so there will be no free parking for the farmers’ market.

Briefly mentioned by the council in Tuesday’s meeting, the rental cap discussion is still being postponed. This is due to a wait on certain information necessary to create final decisions.

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