Board Accepts Grant Funding For Enhancement Of Flood Info
By Ken DeLaat
At the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners Nathan Jeruzal, Storm Ready Coordinator of the National Weather Service praised the initiatives and efforts of the Newaygo County Emergency Services Department and its Director Abby Watkins while officially recognizing Newaygo County as a Storm Ready Community.
To be designated as Storm Ready a community must fulfill several criteria including developing a formal hazardous weather plan including the training of spotters, holding emergency exercises, creating a system to monitor local conditions, and having access to more than one method of communicating alerts to the public.
Later in the meeting...
...Director Watkins and the Emergency Services Department took center stage again as the Board approved $239,316 in grant funding yesterday from a number of sources for the Flood Inundation Mapper project.
This substantial and innovative undertaking will help lessen the impact of flooding for residents. River gauges that will allow for advanced flood warning will be placed in Newaygo and Bridgeton. Information from these devices would be accessible to the general public.
“This is about increasing awareness,” said Commissioner Chris Ortwein who also spoke to the lengthy process that has accompanied this project and praised the efforts of Director Watkins.
Commissioners Larry Lethorn and Phil Deur also lauded her initiative in pursuing these opportunities.
Commissioner Deur cited Director Watkins as being “Terminally persistent”.
In other business Commissioners approved a grant to help with tire removal and heard from candidates for the contested seats on the Road Commission and Parks Commission. The Board will be appointing members to several committees at their next regular meeting on December 28th at 9:30am in the meeting room of the County Administration Building in White Cloud.