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Supervisors mull authority to order drought-fueled fire evacuations

September 2, 2012
By Joyce Wiese - News Correspondent , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tama County Supervisors discussed a delegation of authority for fire chiefs of Tama County in the event of the need for evacuations in rural areas under the board's jurisdiction.The consideration came again on Monday, Aug. 27, during the board's regular weekly meeting.

The issue is centered upon large scale fires and comes from concerns of fall harvests and if the weather conditions continue to be dry. Understanding is sought concerning the power of fire chiefs and Ryan Currens, the Emergency Management director, to order mandatory evacuations in areas in immediate threat from large scale fires.

Supervisors had a number of questions including how many other counties are doing this and what happens to prevent looting" These are just a few of the concerns.

Article Photos

Ryan Currens
Tama County Emergency Management • E911 Director

Supervisors said they felt it might be pretty difficult to evacuate a home if the residents are unwilling to do so and what are the legal aspects? Currens will do some research and the project was tabled until the Sept. 10 regular meeting of the board and a decision may be made at that time.

In County Engineer's Lyle Brehm's weekly report, supervisors learned:

the road department has been using the entire crew for shouldering some of the paved roads. Material has been added to the shoulders along E64, E66,E49 and parts of V18 and T47.

Brehm is in the process of soliciting quotes for various aspects of the Garwin Shed replacement. The Garwin Shed was demolished during the July, 2011 derecho windstorm. Brehm had asked for bids on the building, but none were received and it is now planned for a county crew to do the work. As soon as they have decided what the building material will be they will be contacting concrete people for prices.

The final lift of asphalt has been placed on V37 north of Dysart. The road is now closed for a new bridge approach.

In other business:

Three utility permits were issued: Poweshiek Water for work in Otter Creek Township, Section 14; and wo permits were issued to Alliant Energy, one for underground gas line at Highway 229 and 96, in Carlton Township, Section 13 and in Spring Creek Township, Section 19

met with Skip Lowe, president and Jane Underwood, senior account executive of Bernie Lowe Insurance Company, Ankeny. with an update of the County Self-Insured plan. This was a summary for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

approved claims totaling $295,030.



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