• Hamilton County Conservation Board look at a solar array system for Little Wall Lake Park.
A proposed solar array system for Little Wall Lake Park south of Jewell was discussed at Tuesday's meeting of the Hamilton County Conservation Board. Scott Griffin of G6 Power Solutions of Jewell presented information on a 187 kilowatt solar array system at the park that would be used in cooperation with Allliant Energy to produce Little Wall Lake's own electrical system. Griffin said the system would go on the electric grid owned by Alliant and draw electricity. The system would be good for a 20 year purchase agreement. It would save Hamilton County $307,000 or 50 percent of the electrical costs at the park. Hamilton County Conservation Director Brian Lammers plans to bring this proposal to the Board of Supervisors for review. Lammers said that there is another company that is drafting another proposal for a similar solar array system to be presented to the conservation board at a future meeting.
In another matter, the Hamilton County Conservation Board Tuesday is preparing to submit its budget for the 2016 fiscal year. The tax allocation for the budget is expected to be the same as last year. The total cost of the budget is at $1.2 million including revenue and expenditures. There has also been an increase in insurance, water,electricity and the cost of living for the department's employees. The conservation board decided to take no action on the budget due to the absence of a board member at the meeting and to take a determination on the percentage of the cost of living. A special meeting on the budget issue will be set in the next few weeks.
• Gilbert and O'Hearn selected WCHS Winterfest Queen and King.
Molly Gilbert and Connor O'Hearn are this year's Webster City High School Winterfest Queen and King. They were crowned during ceremonies Monday afternoon at Prem Sahai Auditorium. The other queen candidates were Madalyn Anderson, Mikaleh McCoy, Olinca Padierna,Ryann Powell and Shannon Swon. The king contestants were John Ferrell, Joel Hanus, Dominic Khaleet and Demetry Thongsouk. Gilbert and O'Hearn will reign over the week's festivites including the Winterfest dance set for this Saturday night from 8:00 until 11:00 at Webster City High School.
• Local businessman donates $3 million dollars to Van Diest Medical Center Clinic
A Webster City business entrepreneur and civic leader, impassioned to give back to the community which has given support to his family and business enterprises over the years, has donated three million dollars to Van Diest Medical Center.The gift from Bob Van Diest and his wife, Mary, will go toward the construction of a new doctor’s building/clinic to be located on the medical campus currently being developed on the hospital’s property. The Board of Directors at Van Diest Medical Center recently approved the hiring of Shive Hattery as architect and Graham Construction as Construction Manager for the clinic project at their January meeting, held last week on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. CEO Lori Rathbun expressed deep appreciation for the extraordinary generosity of Bob and Mary Van Diest. “There are no words to express how grateful we are. This gift reflects both our strength as a hospital and a true optimism for the future delivery of health care services in our community. The Van Diests are helping to ensure quality health care remains local and available, which supports the direction of our hospital and speaks to the health priorities expressed by community members. Additionally, they recognize our hospital is currently one of a very few hospitals in the State of Iowa that does not have a clinic adjacent to the facility.”The new facility will benefit citizens needing medical services as well as to provide a medical home to physicians and support staff who provide these services to the community. Rathbun said the gift will have an impact far beyond health care. “Not only does health care generate countless opportunities for people with college degrees and advanced technical training, it is one of Iowa’s main industries that attracts and retains young workers and their families. These are the volunteers, the community leaders of the future; they have a significant role in sustaining communities economically, especially in our rural areas,” shared Rathbun. Board Chairman Carroll Ose offered a similar statement adding, “This hospital, this community and county, have benefitted from the Van Diests’ outstanding philanthropy. Speaking as a proud resident of Hamilton County, their legacy has far-reaching impact for generations to come.”Ose noted the extreme generosity and past support of the Van Diests – a $10 million gift made in 2008 – enabled the Board to build a new hospital which bears their name, Hamilton County Public Hospital d/b/a Van Diest Medical Center.
• Hamilton County Supervisors to meet Tuesday morning
• RAGBRAI to come back to north central Iowa.