Conservation board finally finalizes FEMA projects
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
“We have finally finalized our FEMA projects. Our final worksheets were done and we had an exit briefing with them today,” John Pullis, executive director of the Henry County Conservation Department, told the board during its board meeting Tuesday night.
“Now that FEMA is done, we will be working with state individuals from the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. They come in to make sure we are doing projects as outlined and they look at costs and what not,” Pullis continued.
Pullis, after sharing the above information, ran through each of the categories and explained what they were, along with what FEMA covered for each category.
“Category A is the emergency protective measures which would be for barricades or debris removal after a flood, our cost for that category was about $20,000. Category G was for permanent repairs, which would include new gravel for the roads after flooding and signs, things of that nature and the cost for that was about $80,000. Our other category was category C; this was the Oakland Mills footbridge. The only part that FEMA would cover on that were the limestone piers and that came in at about $145,000, and we are responsible for $15,000 of that,” Pullis said.
Now that everything is finalized, Pullis said they would wait until spring to do any work. “It would be kind of ridiculous to do it now and then come spring it floods again,” he said. “It’s best to wait until then and fix it after all that.”
There was also more talk on the hydroelectric project that has been ongoing for a few years now. “Zip Mettenburg will be in next week to talk with us about the project and to inform us on the progress,” Pullis said.
Cari Nicely, naturalist, gave her report to the board during the meeting. “She talked with about 1,500 people last month,” Pullis reported.
“Our bobcat passed away on Oct. 22,” Nicely informed the board. The bobcat was donated by a southeastern Iowa woman and he had been sponsored by Allie’s on Jackson Street, Sharon Barton, Sam Beatty, Jan Feltes, Bruce and Bertha King, QP&P, Eugene and June Schutte, Deborah Fisher Vroom and Drs. Steve and Mary Wettach.
“The ACORN annual potluck will be held on Dec. 13, starting at 10 a.m. There will be food in the basement meeting room and a movie about Aldo Leopold’s life, entitled ‘Green Fire’ will be played. The movie will be played first, and then we will eat. Everyone is to bring a covered dish to share. There is no fee to attend this event, but please preregister by Dec. 11 and this will be open to adults only,” Nicely told the board.
Nicely finished with a discussion about a program named “Christmas Night Lights,” and this will take place at the park. It is a full moon hike and a concurrent constellation program. It will be held on Dec. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The hike will begin at the Top of the Hill shelter and trail head. All ages are welcome to the event but an adult must accompany children. In the event of bad weather, the astronomy program will be held in the EE classroom. This is free to the public but preregistration is appreciated by Dec. 13.”
The Henry County Conservation board will meet again on Monday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. at the conservation office.