County seeks disaster declaration

Allen County commissioners signed a disaster declaration in response to flooding over the weekend. The county was able to get $300,000 in 2019 for road repair after flooding.


Local News

May 1, 2024 - 2:49 PM

A water rescue team helps a family leave their home for higher ground during this past weekend’s flood. Register file photo

Allen County Commissioners signed a disaster declaration Tuesday morning in response to the flooding over the weekend. 

Emergency Management Director Jason Trego said the declaration is for one week, beginning April 26. “Hopefully, if this goes to the federal level, we’ll be able to recoup some of our expenses,” he said.

Trego noted that with the last major flood in 2019, the county was able to get approximately $300,000 in disaster funds for road repair. 

“It will also help offset any overtime that the county may have spent on personnel.” Trego said cities will be able to apply for relief funds individually.

Interim Road and Bridge Director Jeremy Hopkins said a lot of blacktops were washed out from the flood. He noted the water had receded west of Humboldt, but there are a lot of corn stalks to clean up. “We’ll be peeling up asphalt on damaged roads and doing chip and seal,” he said.

Trego added rain is forecast for the remainder of the week. “I don’t think it will be quite the monsoon that we’ve had, but with as saturated as everything is, it could still cause some problems.”

Emergency Management Director Jason Trego talks to commissioners about disaster declaration procedures following last weekend’s flood. Photo by Sarah Haney / Iola Register

Public Works Director Mitch Garner updated the commission on progress being made at the airport. He noted that the runway lights have been installed, but are not on yet. 

“Work is being done on the electrical now,” he said. “It’s pretty much done alongside the runway.” He added that planes still can’t land at night until the electrical is finished and the lights are on.

Garner also presented the commission with bids for a new hangar. The four bids were for a 50 foot by 50 foot hangar that includes slab, foundations, frame, wall, doors, insulation, and rough-in plumbing. They do not include the site work for drainage or pavement to connect the hangar to the existing taxilane.

The first two bids are for wood frame and metal siding structures. Precision Enterprises proposed $115,128 for the project while Yutzy Custom Structures’ bid was $117,128. The final two bids are for a pre-engineered metal building frame with metal siding. Precision Enterprises’ bid came in at $128,730 and Koehn Construction Services’ bid was $273,260. 

Garner added the new hangar would likely be able to hold two planes, depending on the size of the planes. The commissioners said they’d look the bids over before making a decision.

Commissioners approved a recommendation by the planning commission for a permit to erect a 445 foot tall communication tower about a mile north of LaHarpe. “It will be Verizon,” said Planning and Zoning Administrator Terry Call. “They’ve already been in talks with T-Mobile, AT&T, and US Cellular to go on the tower, as well.”

Call noted the area is currently zoned for agriculture.

“Nobody called in and said they were for it or against it prior to the planning board meeting,” Call added. “The planning board sends their recommendation to approve it.” The commission unanimously approved the permit. 

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