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Storm damage assessment presented to county board

The Hubbard County Commissioners accepted the resignation of Assistant Veteran Services Officer, Greg Remus, effective July 7. Chairman Vern Massie (left) presented Remus with an award in recognition of his years of service to the veterans of Hubbard County. (Nicole Vik/Enterprise)

At Tuesday's regular board meeting, Deputy Brian Halbasch of Hubbard County Emergency Management informed Hubbard County Commissioners that on June 10 broad-scale downburst winds were generated across Lakeport Township, south of Laporte.

After reviewing Halbasch's damage assessment, the National Weather Service ruled it an EF1 tornado.

The tornado, which touched down briefly at 2:10 a.m., left a path half a mile long and nearly 150 yards wide, the tornado was tracked through a private farmstead.

"It was only on the ground for about a minute from 2:10 to 2:11 in the morning with peak wind speeds at about 105 (mph,)" Halbasch said.

He added, trees were uprooted and snapped, the roof of an open frame pole shed was torn off and flung downwind to the northeast, most of the debris accumulated along a fence line nearly 400 yards away.

"A lot of interesting things were found. There were some 2x4s and 2x6s from a pole shed that actually separated from the tin and impaled themselves about a foot to a foot and a half into the ground," Halbasch said. "No injuries were reported, thankfully."

A small sign near the front of the house was pulled from the ground and thrown nearly 20 feet, walls of the structure were pushed in slightly and pieces of rafter and roofing were torn from a corner of the roof.

Halbasch added that the storm caused widespread tree damage along Highway 64 near Forest Edge Winery and the Kabekona Lake access.

In other business the commissioners did the following:

• Scheduled a public hearing on July 18 at 10 a.m. for public review of the proposed amendment to the sign ordinance.

• Adopted a resolution affirming Hubbard County's jurisdiction to carry out the compliance provisions of the water quality buffer initiative as per Minnesota Statutes.

• Approved the conditional use application of a resident in Nevis Township to operate a home improvement building contractor professional services business to include conditions adopted by the Planning Commission.

• Approved the conditional use application from Hubbard County Parks and Recreation for a proposed county park in Hart Lake Township.

• Approved a preliminary plat application for parcels in Helga Township to plat 27.2 acres into 10 residential lots.

• Approved the low quote of $30,717 from Park Rapids Ford for a 2017 Ford F150 pickup as recommended by the Environmental Services Officer, Eric Buitenwerf.

• Adopted a resolution in support of the Transit Program at the recommendation of Social Services Director, Deb Vizecky.

• Approved the timber sales appraisals for the July 10 timber auction.

• Approved the low bid of $49,500 from Vogt's Dirt Service out of Walker, Minn. for graveling work to be done on Schoolcraft Trail.

• Approved the low quote of $2,970 from Lee Davis Electric, Inc. of Park Rapids for electrical work to be done at the Hubbard County Recycling Center in order to hook up a new compactor.

• Approved the proposed membership agreement and bylaws of the Prime Health Joint Self-Insurance pool and appointed Commissioner Christenson as trustee to the Prime Health Board, with Commissioner Stacey as an alternate.

• Authorized Veteran Services Office hire a temp service employee for 14 hours per week effective July 1 through Dec. 31, with staffing needs of the extension office to be readdressed during the 2018 budget process.

• Approved payment of the unbudgeted repair to the museum's water main. After the water lines corroded and snapped, the City of Park Rapids was contacted, the payment is to be made from the building fund.

• Approved a new section to the personnel policy regarding employee identification badges as recommended by the Security Committee.

The next board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5 at the Hubbard County Government Center.