Kosciusko County Commissioners heard Tuesday the county qualified as a one-day snowfall event and broke a record for the amount of snowfall, meaning the county will more than likely qualify for a federal disaster declaration.
A reported 14.3 inches of snow fell in the county during “the arctic blast” of Jan. 5. The previous record was 13.5 inches of snow.
“We have met our threshold,” said Ed Rock, the county’s emergency management director. “We broke a record.”
Kosciusko County, which has a population of 77,358, has spent $374,905.18, so far, due to the weather. It must meet the threshold of $270,753, which is $3.50 per person.
The state, however, must meet its threshold, too. More than $9 million has to be met in the state and, so far, 32 counties have qualified.
“If each of the counties makes reports and comes close to Kosciusko County, we (Indiana) should be declared a presidential declaration,” Rock said.
Such a declaration means the Federal Emergency Management Agency would give funding assistance to Kosciusko County. The money is used to cover the cost of debris removal, such as ice and snow, during the record-breaking snowfall.
There are still more reports to come in, said Rock. He is urging any agencies, towns or schools to contact him with ice or snow damage by this Thursday (Jan. 16). Rock’s number is 574-371-2602.
Commissioner Ron Truex commended the sheriff and highway departments for keeping the public safe during the cold weather and snow.
In other business, Tom Jackson of Syracuse was named January’s Veteran of the Month. He served in the Navy for four years, starting in January 1956. After boot camp, he was sent to machinery repair school in San Diego, Calif. His permanent duty station was aboard the USS Johnson DD-821. Much of Jackson’s time was spent in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea during the Suez Crisis. Following his last Mediterranean cruise, he was honorably discharged in April 1960. Jackson was nominated by his son, Brad Jackson.
Officers for the county commissioners for 2014 were elected. Brad Jackson will serve as president, while Bob Conley will serve as vice president. Ron Truex is the third commissioner.
The next meeting is at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the county courthouse, Warsaw.