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by Patty Cheffey
Structure, crop and road damage was discussed during Monday’s County Commission meeting, following a severe storm that struck the county last Friday evening.
Straight line winds and down bursts are being blamed for the damage. A possible tornado is being considered for damage in the town of Perry, however.
The winds, which were accompanied by driving rain and lightening as well a some hail, did “quite a bit of damage,” according to Western District Commissioner Steve Begley.
“I didn’t have any structure damage myself, but I had several trees blown over and actually had to cut up and remove trees before I could get out of my drive,” he said.
“I also saw some corn that was blown over and some that looked like it was broken off,” he added. “That corn, quite possibly, won’t make it.”
It appears the majority of the damage was in the West Ely area, although reports of some tree and structure damage was reported basically all over the county.
In West Ely, damage included grain bins destroyed on the Ronnie and Shelly Lehenbauer farm, the loss of an old concrete silo, which toppled over and took out a part of a barn on the Kay Frankenbach farm and structure and tree damage at Chace Poppe’s place off of Route F on County Road 255.
In addition, the West Ely Immanuel Lutheran Church had some structure damage, and an uprooted tree damaged adjoining property to the church.
According to Mike Schaefer, highway supervisor, almost every road in the county experienced some kind of damage because of rain, flooding or downed trees.
“Most of the damage because of water and trees was in the Woodland and West Ely area,” he said. “On County Road 230, a culvert was washed out, but we’ll be able to replace that with a pipe.
“We’re getting it cleaned up, but it’s going to take some time,” he said, noting his crew has been working diligently since the storm.
Power was also out around the county, and Begley credited the Rural Electric Cooperative with getting it back on as quickly as they did.
“Those guys were excellent,” he said.
Presiding Commissioner David Lomax told Schaefer to keep track of costs associated with clean-up as there is a chance the storm could get a disaster declaration.
In other business during Monday’s meeting, the commissioners reviewed the fund balances which are “looking really good right now,” according to County Clerk Valerie Dornberger.
The combined Road and Bridge and General Revenue funds is sitting at $2,351,860.19 to date, with $1,314,206.70 coming in for June 2021.
That amount is higher than the $1,067,612.27 in June 2020.
Dornberger also noted the General Revenue Emergency Fund is sitting at $1,288,789.51 currently.
General Revue sales tax collection was also up for July 2021 at $228,581.20, compared to $215,151.90 in 2020
The quarter cent road fund was also up at $114,272.23, compared to $107,564.31 in 2020.
In addition, Capital Improvement tax collection was at $171,436.42 for July 2021, compared to $161,364.18 in July 2020.
Local Use Tax was down slightly at $53,153.89 for July, compared to $66,558.23 in July 2020.
Teya Stice also reported she had gotten signed the last right-of-way easement for the County Road 402 bridge project.
Begley also reminded the public the county is accepting entries for a county logo. Logo designs should be submitted to Stice’s office prior to the Marion County Fair as entries will be judged during the fair by the public.