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JEWELL COUNTY NEWS

Jan. 19, 2017 issue

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Winter storm causes power outages across region

Mankato Council approves funds for JCCDA

Mankato Chamber holds annual meeting

Sheriff handles Jewell dog problem

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 19 January 2017

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Winter storm causes power outages across region

Weather forecasters began talking about Storm Jupiter arriving in northcentral Kansas more than two weeks ago. Usually if a storm is reported to hit this area that far in advance, by the date of the predicted storm arrival predictions have been changed several times and lots of times the storm does not even reach here. Forecasters were saying early on that the actual arrival of this storm was "iffy" and it was difficult to predict what would hit here and when. The only things that changed from the original prediction was the exact time frame of the storm.
Friday morning forecasters were saying Storm Jupiter was in the southern states and should arrive here late Saturday night into Sunday morning with temperatures in the freezing range. Western Kansas was to receive ice and snow. A half inch of ice was to arrive in southern Kansas and by morning hours of Sunday be as far north as Salina. Saturday and Sunday in northcentral Kansas we were to receive snow and maybe some icing with temperatures of 32 to 34 degrees for the high.
Friday noon all of Kansas had been put in a winter storm watch with the storm arriving from the south, southwest. The southwest was to receive the blunt of the worst part of this storm with freezing rain, Northcentral Kansas was to have limited sleet and snow and a possible quarter inch to three-quarters inch of ice possible. Possible two inches of snow accompanied by winds of 10 to 15 mph.
Forecasters were saying Saturday morning that northcentral Kansas was in an ice storm warning as well as a winter storm watch area running from 6 a.m. Saturday until noon Monday with temperatures in the low 30s and a chance of precipitation 10 percent. A light freezing rain with 2 mph winds and temperatures around 23 degrees with percentages of freezing rain rising to 23 percent late Saturday night. Sunday we were to have 29 degree temperatures with a 70 percent chance of precipitation. Monday we were to see 32 degrees for the high with 90 percent chance of icing, 20 mph winds arriving Monday night with ice damaging lines and trees.
Storm Jupiter did definitely hit northcentral Kansas as was predicted with pretty much just exactly what the forecasters were calling for.
Rolling Hills reports 2,000 outages on Monday alone. They lost their feed of electricity from three suppliers to the sub stations which caused no service to Wilson, BelAire and Esbon. The storm hit Ellsworth around 1 a.m. Monday with crews sent out at that time. Very few poles were lost. Most of the outages were from ice with some lines going down. Now as the temperatures are raising the crews are battling mud and are faced with more damages from the ice dropping off the lines causing the lines to snap. Some areas may be off until later Tuesday night.
In the Ionia area it was reported that service had gone off around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon and still wasn't back on as of Tuesday mid morning.
Rolling Hills crews are all working in this service area and are not receiving mutual aid.
Don Jacobs, Jewell County Sheriff, reported one accident during this storm period but there were no injuries.

 

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Mankato Council approves funds for JCCDA
A special meeting of the Mankato City Council was held Jan. 3. Council members present were Lyle Dauner, Marvin Loomis and Jim Ross. Council members Chris Klos and John Tyler, as well as Darrell Miller, city attorney, were absent.
Council approved the cereal malt beverage license for Mankato Express.
Last Tuesday, the regular Mankato City Council meeting was held with Council members Lyle Dauner, Chris Klos, Marvin Loomis and Jim Ross present. Council member John Tyler was absent. Darrell Miller, city attorney, was present.
Minutes of the Dec. 6 meeting and Jan. 3 special meeting were approved.
Jenny Russell, representing Jewell County Community Development Association, was present to discuss activities including the crosswalk at Hwy 36 and the walking trails. Russell asked that $3,140 be paid into the operating budget of JCCDA as well as the proceeds from the city hay lease. Council approved both requests.
Tammy Finnell was present to discuss the stage for the park. A Dane G. Hansen grant has been awarded for the project. Discussion was held regarding necessary tree removal, concrete to set stage footing poles and capacity to excavate holes for footings. Council approved for the city to remove the trees, provide necessary concrete for stage footings and assist with excavation of footings as necessary.
Sam Becker was present to discuss status of the fire trucks purchased and requested that remaining approved funds be used to purchase a pump truck. Council approved to amend original motion for Mankato Volunteer Fire Dept. to include a pump truck.
Discussion was held and approved pending zoning board review regarding a building permit for Stuart Vance at 507 S. Lincoln St.
Leland Orr was present to present the audit and verification of budget.
Discussion was held and approved for the purchase of tools and safety equipment for the Mankato City Electric Dept.
Discussion was held regarding conditions surrounding an electrical lineman apprenticeship for Steven Porter. Council asked for more information before approval with no action taken at this time.
A cereal malt beverage license was approved for Joshua Lippold and Mac's Kwik Shop.
An executive session was held to discuss non-elected personnel. Emerging from that session, the council approved to pay Kristi Westgate an additional $3,500 for additional duties during the absence of a city administrator.
Council discussed the condition and then approved repair cost of a plow and dump truck in the amount of $3,000.
Ordinance No. 711 regarding sewer rates was approved.
Repair cost of a sewer pump was discussed and the council approved $1,700.43 to repair the pump.
Discussion was held regarding the height of the smoke stack on the home located at 322 S. Center. No action was taken as it was determined the city has neither ordinance nor jurisdiction pertaining to a smoke stack height.
Council determined further information was needed following the discussion regarding the condition and replacement cost of a backhoe.
Discussion was held regarding salary raises for non-elected personnel. The council determined more information was needed. A survey of regionally comparable total compensation packages is to be provided at the February council meeting.
The last item conducted for the Mankato City Council at this month's regular meeting was approval of the bills.

Mankato Chamber holds annual meeting

The annual meeting of the Mankato Chamber of Commerce was held Tuesday at the Buffalo Roam with 14 members present.
Jason Ortman, president, called the meeting to order. Ortman gave the highlights of the year as follows: the development of a new website, the success of the community garden, being awarded a Dane Hanson Grant, Mother's Day Luncheon, Bike Across Kansas, Trick or Treat the Businesses and Santa's Workshop. There were 59 members in 2016.
Board members with terms ending in 2016 were Lori Zadina and Trevor Elkins.  Both will continue for another three years.
Emma Menhusen sent a 2016 social media report to be read. The chamber Facebook page received a total of 3,200 likes in 2016. The new website was launched June 6 with daily posts. Members discussed things they would like to see both on the website and Facebook.
Sara Reiter reported on Santa's Workshop. There were 157 children who purchased gifts for family members at a cost of 25 cents each. Approximately 1,200 gifts were purchased. More than 70 volunteers helped with the evening activities. Others made cookies and donated items. Reiter said overall this was a successful event not only for Mankato but all of Jewell County. Dec. 13 has been picked for the 2017 Santa's Workshop event.
Because of inclement weather the plan to have the Chamber Bucks drawing take place at the Ute Theater was cancelled. The drawing was held during Santa's Workshop with winners of the Chamber Bucks being: Irene Ortman, Carol Cosand, Meili Ost and Gene Thomas.
A meeting to finalize the new budget for 2017 will be scheduled soon. Emails will be sent out for the membership drive. Letters will be sent out following that.
Brian Shulda talked to the group about Jewell County Community Development. March is the "Match Month." They are trying to raise $12,500 during the month of March and the funds will be matched.
Officers have been retained for another year. Jason Ortman is president, Brian Shulda, vice president, Paul Wilson, treasurer and Monica Walker, secretary
John Bingham and Paul Wilson won the free meals donated by the State Exchange Bank. The next meeting will be Feb. 8 at Bob's Inn.

Sheriff handles Jewell dog problem

Members of the Jewell City Council met Jan. 3 at City Hall. Those attending were council members Darrell Bohnert, Max Burks, Josh Burks and Wade Wilson along with Amy Arasmith and Amber Loomis, city clerks. Bruce Barrett, mayor, presided.
Don Jacobs, Jewell County sheriff, was present to address any concerns or questions. Council was able to follow up on dog issues the sheriff's department was assisting the city with. It was noted the current dog issues have been taken care of and the situation is now much better. Traffic on Delaware and Highway 14 was discussed. The officers will continue to watch for those breaking the speed limit. Jacobs also provided a current email address and encouraged council members to contact the department when needed.
The city received a complaint about manure being dumped within city limits, which action is a violation of a city ordinance.
As Judge Bonnie Wilson has moved she will be contacted about continuing to serve.
Council members reviewed the monthly maintenance report with David Knappert and discussed present and future projects. Wilson complemented those responsible for the work done on Tchoupitoulas Street.
The best placement for the recycling trailer and dumpster at the old high school parking lot is still being discussed, however, it was agreed to move to the south part of the lot. An improved placement will be determined soon.
Some of the fire station lights had been replaced with more efficient ones.
Knappert said sewer pond repairs will be needed and suggested the start planning and budgeting for the work.
Billing Ordinance 1051 was reviewed and approved for payment. The ordinance included a payment to the League of Kansas Municipalities for dues and a payment to the Jewell Library to fulfill its 2016 budget appropriation. Council members also approved to send a loan payment to the Kansas Department of Transportation before the due date of Feb. 1, and to pay the bill to Victor Phillips if it is due before the February meeting.
It was reported interest had been expressed in buying nine city owned lots in Block 23. Council decided to table the proposal.
There were several suggestions mentioned to fill the current vacancy on the council. No decisions were made.
It was decided the Community Center Kitchen could be rented separately.
The insurance adjustor was scheduled to examine city properties for hail damage.
Jewell Apartment Board directors met following the council meeting with the same in attendance and the addition of Cindy Barrett.
Cindy reported on current projects to satisfy areas of improvement listed from the current REAC Inspection. It was also brought up that the north metal door should be replaced.

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