BONIFAY and WAUSAU – Washington County Board of County Commissioners met earlier today, April 30 at Wausau Town Hall and the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners met later today at their usual location in Bonifay to discussion emergency provisions for residents after the heavy rains that occurred within the last couple of days.
“Washington County met early today for similar reasons earlier today,” said Washington and Holmes County Attorney Jeff Goodman. “They had to address the closure of over 30 county roads due to the recent rains and Emergency Management had to see about acquiring pumps to help pump out water. They came together in a special called meeting to discuss how they were going to handle their situation the best way possible and we’re having to the same thing.”
During the regular scheduled meeting of the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners the night before the Board approved of a resolution declaring Holmes County in a local state of emergency “just in case anything happens because of the weather.”
Holmes County Emergency Operations Center Director Wanda Stafford explained that there was a process of documentation to go along with repairing roads for reimbursement and informed the Board that requests for water pumps to remove excess water to allow access to a resident or more would occur.
“We were well prepared with sandbags filled beforehand and barricades bought earlier, which increased our reaction time by having the supplies already on hand,” said Stafford.
Discussion was also made with Lt. John Tate on behalf of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols to catch residents on four-wheelers, ATVs and large trucks who are out on the muddy roads and “destroying them reckless and thoughtless behavior” by doing what is commonly known as “mudding.”
“This is a really big problem,” said Commissioner Bill Parish. “People don’t realize how much work goes into maintaining these roads and how much of a negative impact they are having on those who use those roads to get to work, get their children to school, to get sickly people to the doctor and emergency vehicles to residents’ homes in times of emergency. These are roads, not playgrounds.”
Tate assured them that efforts will be made to increase patrols and encourages residents to call the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office if they know of or see someone in the action of “mudding,” at 547-3681.
For more on this meeting and the regular meeting of the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners purchase the next edition of the Holmes County Times-Advertiser.