|Wildfire action plan developed|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Phillips County has been working on a wildfire plan as required by the state, reported county commissioners at their May 31 meeting.
In addition to the three specific areas noted in the 2011 action plan, goals for a five-year plan are beginning to come together.
In 2011, the county will focus on fire education. This includes setting up fire-wise education booths both at the Haxtun Fire Hall during the breakfast at the annual Corn Festival, implemented by the Haxtun and Wages fire departments; and at the Phillips County Fair, implemented by the Holyoke, Amherst and Sandhills fire departments.
A public meeting will also be held to inform the public on how to make farmsteads safer from wildfires.
The second area of focus is water sources in which each fire district will identify and document water resources in the rural portions of the county.
GPS is the final step in the 2011 action plan. The county will evaluate if there is a need to acquire GPS units for each response unit and research grant opportunities to fund such acquisitions.
Harvest Park nearly completed
Commissioners reported Phillips County Fairgrounds’ Harvest Park is well on its way to having 64 functional trailer hookups.
Sewer and water areas are complete, and the county is in the process of putting out gravel. Electrical work will be done by Fetzer Electric.
Red Dale Wagon Train Travel Club will be using the facility June 20-25.
Grasshoppers are an area of concern this summer, and commissioners said Fred Raish of the Yuma County Weed District has been working with the state on grasshopper control.
A fairly strong hatch is predicted within the next month or so. Right now around $100,000 is available for several counties in the region to share to prevent large amounts of damage from the grasshoppers.
Commissioners gave an update Tuesday on the progress of the Phillips County website. Department heads have been surveyed to see what information they need on their individual pages. County employee Laura Schroetlin will help maintain the website once it is up and running.
Phillips County Fair Board has been busy getting ready for the July 26-31 Fair. Commissioners noted their plan to issue armbands for both individual events and a combination of all events at the Fair. They have also approved a beer garden as requested by the Fair Board.
The county weed district recently purchased a 2001 3/4 ton Chevy pickup for $11,900 to use in spraying.
Phillips County’s 1994 3/4 ton Ford pickup is currently advertised for bids. They also recently sold a 1972 Ford pickup for $800 from the road district.
In other business in May, commissioners:
—issued a conditional use permit for Holyoke First Baptist Church.
—noted Phillips County Landfill sold $15,000 worth of steel and cardboard.
—began looking for a part-time weed district worker to help spray this summer.
—issued six new gas permits in the Amherst area.
—noted a new Baby Bear Hugs board member will need to replace Susan Roll Walters.
—approved Aaron Sprague as Kim Killin’s replacement on the Republican River Water Conservation Board.
—noted the sheriff purchased an intoxilyzer for Phillips County.
—noted cancellation of the June 4-5 CJRA rodeo in Holyoke due to Equine Herpesvirus.
Holyoke Enterprise June 9, 2011