By Mari Radtke
The O’Brien County Conservation Board is down a person again after accepting the resignation of Sherri Bootsma. The vacation adds some difficulty to the board as Jack Wallinga is on leave for health reasons. The O’Brien County Supervisors will select a replacement for Bootsma on Tuesday August 24 at their regular meeting.
The quorum on Thursday August 19 was 3 board members. Tom Konz served as Chair pro tem until the vote electing him to fill the chair of the board. Kathy Ludeke, who has been a member of the board for many years accepted the vice chair position.
Internet bills at Prairie Heritage Center came under scrutiny. Conservation pays $1143 each month for internet services to PHC and for cameras there and at Mill Creek Park and Douma Park. It was unclear why the cameras’ internet affected the cost.
Discussion of keeping the current hours of Prairie Heritage Center, Wednesday – Saturday 8-4 the same past its expiration date of August 31 brought short and longer term goals. Director Travis Scott explained that he wants the center to be open at least 5 days each week as long as possible after August 31. He is spending some time working front desk hours and there is also consideration for bringing the new technicians in for some hours at the center as well. As soon as the pieces can be put into place Scott said he wants the center open 6 days per week ear round. The organization is still looking for volunteers.
An employee testing positive for Covid-19 caused the center to be shut down for 7 days. That expired Monday August 23.
A grant application for up to $2000 for a 175th Iowa Statehood historical marker was discussed. The Waterman family cemetery on the grounds of PHC is targeted for an application by OCCB. Grants submitted to Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will consider grant applications until funding runs out. Funding for up to 15 markers across Iowa is all that is available.
By Mari Radtke