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JEWELL COUNTY NEWS

Dec. 8, 2016 issue

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Ionia weather observer honored by National Weather Service

Hansen Foundation grants awarded to Jewell Co. entities

3 Angel Trees in the county this year

Commissioners appoint interim appraiser

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 8 December 2016

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Ionia weather observer honored by National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has presented Kirk Wilson with a 20 year Length of Service award in recognition of his providing daily precipitation and snowfall reports for Ionia since November 1996, in addition to sending in data from an automated weighing rain gauge each month. Kirk took over the cooperative weather observer duties from his father, Waldo Wilson, who had served as an observer from 1970 until 1996. Volunteer weather observations for the Ionia area date back to September 1956.
As an official National Weather Service cooperative observer, Kirk makes the trek out to the rain gauge every morning and measures any rain or snow that has fallen in the previous 24 hours. This amount is then relayed to the National Weather Service where it is used in support of forecast and severe weather operations.
Since November 1996, Kirk has taken nearly 7,300 daily observations, totaling more than 520 inches of liquid precipitation. The greatest amount he recorded in one month was 10.49 inches in August of this year. The year with the most precipitation was 2011 with 35.45 inches. The driest year was 2000 when he measured 16.15 inches. Average annual precipitation for the area is 26.19 inches. Ten of the past 20 years have seen average or above average precipitation.
Kirk has measured 324.6 inches of snow. The most snowfall he has measured in one season is 31.0 inches which fell in 2000-2001. The season with the least amount of snowfall was 1998-1999 when only 4.5 inches were measured. In December 2009 Kirk measured 11.6 inches of snow, the highest amount in a single month since he started measuring.
The year with the most precipitation since 1956 was 1993, when 46.07 inches were recorded. The driest year was 1956 with only 10.70 inches. As far as seasonal snowfall, the highest amount recorded was 52.7 inches in 1959-1960, with the least amount of snow in a season being 4.5 in 1998-1999. March of 1960 has the record highest monthly amount of 20 inches.
At the end of each month, his weather observations are quality controlled by the staff at the National Weather Service office in Hastings. From there it is distributed to the state climatologist office in Manhattan, and to the National Center for Environmental Information in Asheville, N.C., where it eventually becomes available for public use and scientific research.
Kirk is among an elite group of more than 10,000 volunteers across the nation who record temperatures or precipitation every day. Climate data are used in every aspect of our national economy. Just a few of the many users are transportation companies, the insurance industry, agriculture, water resource and manufacturing.

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Hansen Foundation grants awarded to Jewell Co. entities
Another round of Dane G. Hansen Foundation grants were awarded to Jewell County organizations and entities in November. The following is a list of the grants awarded:
The City of Esbon was awarded $2,580 to purchase three automatic external defibrillators and train volunteers to use them.
The City of Mankato was awarded $5,000 for the Volunteer Fire Department lights, sirens, communication equipment and slide out train for newly purchased fire truck.
Jewell County Fire District No. 6 was awarded $4,161 for a Hale HPX200-B18 fire pump to satisfy insurance standards.
The City of Esbon was awarded a grant to replace lights in Christmas decorations with energy efficient LED lights.
Burr Oak Community Library was awarded $2,638 for a security enclosure around its air conditioning unit.
Jewell County Fire District No. 5 was awarded $4,161 for a Hale HPX200-B18 fire pump to satisfy insurance standards.
The City of Jewell was awarded $10,000 for a downtown improvement project to get rid of three unsafe buildings for public safety.
The City of Burr Oak was awarded $2,444 to transform a dangerous, unsightly lot into a playground and picnic area.
Jewell County Memorial VFW Auxiliary Post 7830 was awarded $1,544 for banquet tables and an electric oven.
The City of Burr Oak was awarded $8,500 for air conditioning system at the community center.
The Rock Hills High School agricultural education department was awarded $2,500 for a new welder.
Rock Hills Elementary School was awarded $1,500 to provide flexible seating in the third grade classroom.
K-State Research and Extension was awarded $475 and $1,900 to provide soil sampling tools to be kept in the Jewell County Post Rock Extension office and available to Jewell County farmers, and purchase a set of weights to be used for the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy Program for seniors.
The Caldwell Cemetery Board was awarded $1,100 toward helping to erect a white fence around the property. They are looking for people who have a loved ones buried at the cemetery south of Formoso or have a special connection to the property to help finish the project with donations. Anyone interested in helping should contact the Jewell County Community Development office at jccda@nckcn.com.
The First Baptist Church in Mankato was awarded $1,400 to purchase lightweight tables and chairs for the community-use fellowship hall.
Jewell County Hospital was awarded $6,500 to remodel the admissions area of the hospital to accommodate handicapped patients and employees.
According to representatives from the Hansen Foundation, there may be another round of grants in the spring.

3 Angel Trees in county this year

Once again this year, Jewell County has three Angel Christmas trees in place with Angels that are waiting to be taken. Trees are located in the Mankato Library (for the areas of Webber, Lovewell, Formoso and Mankato), Guaranty State Bank in Jewell (for the areas of Randall, Jewell and Ionia) and Guaranty State Bank in Burr Oak (for the areas of Esbon, Northbranch and Burr Oak). All Angels' identities and gift giver identities are kept in the strictest confidence.
An Angel is a child, age 18 and younger, who would very much appreciate a Christmas present this year.
In Mankato, parents may sign up their Angels at the United Methodist Parrish Office with Lisa. In Jewell, parents may sign up their Angels at Guaranty State Bank. In Burr Oak Brenda Eakins takes care of the Angels.
Sign-up consists of child's age, gender, favorite color, clothing sizes, suggested wish list items. Once this process has been completed the Angels are given a number and placed on the Angel tree where individuals may take an Angel's number and purchase the gifts.
The tree at the Burr Oak Guaranty State Bank started out with seven Angels on it and as of Tuesday afternoon there were two Angels remaining on that tree.
"Our cutoff date for placing Angels on the tree has passed. We are asking that all packages be returned to the Burr Oak Bank by Dec. 16," said Brenda Eakins.
The tree at the Mankato Library started out with 33 Angels on it.
"If when you check and there are not Angels on the tree at the Library, keep checking back or call Lisa to see if there are more Angels. Our cutoff date is Dec. 16 with all presents to be brought back to the parrish office either unwrapped or wrapped," said Lisa Goodheart.
The tree at the Jewell Guaranty State Bank started out with 13 Angels on it and there are four left.
"We will continue to take more Angels but our cutoff date is Dec. 21 with all packages to come back to this bank.
Anyone who would like to take an Angel and fill their Christmas wishes are welcome and encouraged to do so.
"Everyone who takes an Angel from the trees is helping make the Christmas season a bright and special time for some child in Jewell County," said Lisa.

Commissioners appoint interim appraiser

The Jewell County Board met Monday with commissioners Steve Greene, Dwight S. Frost and Mark Fleming present. Carla J. Waugh, county clerk, and Keith Roe, commissioner-elect, were present for the meeting.
Minutes of the Nov. 28 county commissioners meeting were approved.
Travis Garst, solid waste director, reviewed the monthly activity report and provided update on the new C&D pit. Travis Garst said the flatbed pickup has been serviced and is now operational. Carla Waugh discussed the 2017 holiday schedule.
Commissioners approved the revised 2017 holiday schedule.
Joel Elkins, general superintendent, reported on road and bridge maintenance. He discussed snow removal. The commissioners reported road and bridge concerns.
Gail Bartley, noxious weed director, had the following sealed bids to sell the 2001 Dodge Ram spray truck: Don's Auto Body LLC, $4,656.98; Great Bend Feeding Inc., $6,085; Marc Caldwell, $2181.89. Commissioners approved the bid of $6,085 from Great Bend Feeding Inc. for the truck.
Gail Bartley reminded the commissioners that the LEPC committee meeting is Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.
Commissioners held an executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel with Carla Waugh present. No action was taken.
Commissioners held an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel with Anna Porter and Carla Waugh present. Regular session resumed with Mark Fleming moving to appoint Anna Porter as interim appraiser through June 30, 2017 when the appointment term expires for county appraisers. Steve Greene seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Keith Roe returned to the meeting.
Commissioners reviewed and approved abatement Nos. 2257 through 2260.
Commissioners Steve Greene and Dwight S. Frost, and deputy county clerk Shena Mizner left at 11 a.m. to attend the multi-county meeting hosted by Smith County at the Smith County Courthouse. Sherry Koster, sanitarian, provided an update on operations. The group discussed the following topics: health insurance premiums, sharing I.T. position; election equipment; solid waste fees and an E-waste meeting. The next multi-county meeting will be in March and hosted by Jewell County. The meeting was adjourned at 2 p.m.
The Jewell County Board met last Monday with commissioners Steve Greene, Dwight Frost and Mark Fleming present. Shena Mizner, deputy county clerk, was also present.
The following were present for office head meeting: Travis Garst, solid waste director; Anna Standley, register of deeds; Joel Elkins, general superintendent; Marilou Becker, deputy county appraiser; Don Jacobs, sheriff; Shannon Meier, ambulance director; Gail Bartley, noxious weed director, emergency preparedness director and 911 coordinator; Chris Petet, custodian; Jenae Ryan, district extension agent; and Brenda Eakins, treasurer. Angela Murray, health nurse, was absent.
Gail Bartley reported on meetings he attended during November. He said he is busy winterizing equipment.
Joel Elkins said they are working on patching rock and getting roads rocked before winter. He said they are also replacing some box bridges.
Brenda Eakins said her office has been busy with tax collecting and tax statement questions.
Anna Standley reported on normal office business. She said they will be busy recording before the end of the year as recording fees will go up Jan. 1.
Marilou Becker said Lora Ost is printing personal property sheets to mail. They have been busy answering questions on tax statements.
Shannon Meier said two employees will be attending an advanced EMT class in Belleville.
Travis Garst reported that VoTech is still digging at the pit, and he has been working on updating the new facility operating plan.
Janae Ryan reported on 4-H enrollment of 35 members and upcoming classes and seminars.
Don Jacobs reported that a deputy hit a coyote last week with the Ford Explorer. There was $58 damage. Don will be attending the new sheriff's school for two weeks.
Shena Mizner said Carla Waugh has been working on submitting the election abstract to the secretary of state. She said the clerk's office is preparing for the end of the year.
Steve Greene said he attended the economic development meeting, the hospital meeting and the detention center meeting.
Dwight Frost said he attended the North Central Regional Planning meeting and the KAC meeting.
Mark Fleming attended the 4-H awards banquet, Dane Hansen board meeting and fence viewing.
Travis Garst, solid waste director, and Marilou Becker, deputy county appraiser, discussed solid waste fees. They discussed vacant buildings and solid waste fee charges. The commissioners advised that if a building or a home is livable or useable, it should be charged a solid waste fee.
Commissioners discussed the 2017 holiday schedule with Travis Garst. Travis requested to have solid waste recognize the holiday on Saturday prior to any holiday falling on a Monday in 2017 because the commercial trash haulers dump on Tuesdays.
The commissioners telephoned Anna Porter, then went into executive session to discuss non-elected personnel for a period of 10 minutes with Anna Porter present via the phone and Shena Mizner. No action was taken.
Clark Howland discussed a bridge on O Road.
Joel Elkins, general superintendent, reported on road and bridge maintenance. The commissioners informed Joel of Clark Howland's concerns. The commissioners reported road and bridge concerns and discussed utility line permits with Elkins and Darrell Miller, county attorney.
Darrell Miller discussed the fence viewing.
Chad Wood discussed taxes with the commissioners.
Paul Wilson discussed road concerns. The commissioners will discuss with Joel.
Brenda Eakins, county treasurer, requested to close the courthouse Friday, Dec. 30, at noon to close year end books. The board approved her request.

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