Two City Council members will be passing the torch as they complete their term this December: W. Dale Den Herder and Jamie Van Ravenswaay.
Councilman Den Herder has served in City leadership for 52 years, with 36 years as a council member and 16 years as mayor. He has helped guide many projects and initiatives in Sioux Center, from Te Paske Theatre to recreation trails, from drawing many businesses to Sioux Center to the construction of low-rent housing. He was mayor at the time Centre Mall was completed and says that project represents a major community effort.
“That was a project where we actually used Progress through Cooperation. I mean, we really had to get people to come together - the people voted 90% in favor of a bond to tear down our main street buildings and build the mall,” he said. Today, Centre Mall is the center of the downtown and of ongoing growth in local retail sales.
Den Herder has been in city leadership through the development of Open Space Park, construction of a Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant, building a new Sioux Center Public Library, collaboration for and creation of Sioux County Regional Airport, and adding the All Seasons Center and Siouxnami Waterpark.
“I’ve often said every town has a magnet, which pulls people and competes with stronger magnets. Starting out, Sioux Center wasn’t the county seat and it wasn’t anything spectacular. There were towns like it. We were smaller, the underdog. But Sioux Center was more aggressive,” Den Herder said. “We continued to work on increasing our magnet. Sioux Center is a business town, and we’ve focused on that. Over the years we have added many amenities, and these keep making that magnet stronger. We have choices for food and shopping, and our sales tax is near and sometimes greater than that of Le Mars, which is larger. Our magnet is strong.”
Mayor David Krahling expressed appreciation to Den Herder at the Dec. 15 council meeting.
“Dale, thank you for over five decades of faithful service and your ability to see into the future – not to predict the future, but to look long term. That has been a gift to me and to the entire community, to see far enough out,” Krahling said. “You’ve left a great legacy to follow.”
Councilman Van Ravenswaay has served as a City Council member for 12 years. Among projects he helped lead are construction of the Siouxnami Waterpark and the addition of numerous bike trails with plans for more, as well as the completion of the community’s award-winning wastewater treatment facility.
“I have enjoyed seeing people’s use and enjoyment of the projects that have been approved and completed during my time as a city councilman,” Van Ravenswaay said. “I have also learned that owning our own utilities has been a huge reason for Sioux Center’s success and our ability to offer many of the amenities we have here.”
Van Ravenswaay said his outlook for Sioux Center is very positive with continued growth.
“That growth is great, and as a city we need to be planning for how to handle that growth years before it actually occurs,” he said. “I am confident we have an administration and city council that understands where Sioux Center is at today and what it is going to take to continue to keep this progress going into the future.”
Mayor Krahling recognized Van Ravenswaay’s commitment during his three terms on council.
“Thank you on behalf of the community for your willingness to serve, to listen, and to add to what we’re hoping to do here in Sioux Center,” Krahling said.