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Franke named to head LaGrange County SWCD


Martin Franke was introduced to LaGrange County commissioners Monday morning as the new district manager and department head for the LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). He will replace Dona Hunter, a 26-year employee of the district, who will be retiring March 31 of this year.

    Hunter spoke briefly to commissioners and said that many of the duties of the various SWCD employees will be reassigned and the job descriptions have been rewritten to reflect the changes. “After all is said and done, and I am gone, there will be one less person at Soil and Water, at least for now. There may be a need for another person later,” Hunter said.

    “Dona, you really have done a super job for LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation. I thank you for your service,” Commission President George Bachman noted.

    Richard Yoder, president of the SWCD Board of Supervisors, announced a public open house to honor Hunter for her 26 years of service to the SWCD from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, at the district office located at the Par-Gil Farm on SR 9 north of LaGrange.

    In other business, commissioners approved an out-of-state training trip for officers Davidson and Campos from the sheriff’s department. The two will be traveling to New Orleans, La., for advanced training in tracking violent offenders and assuring the registration of these individuals. Sheriff Terry Martin said that there are currently 70 offenders registered in the county.

    The LaGrange County Parks and Recreation Department received permission to buy signs from Kirby Built in the amount of $3,184. Cost of the signs will be covered by a donation from the South Milford Lions Club. Parks Superintendent Mike Metz announced that the parks department has applied for a grant from the Cole Foundation that will pay for the surfacing of walkways at Delt Church Park.

    Commissioners also approved the parks dept. purchase of two tables and four benches with funds from a Land and Water grant in the amount of $3,801. These tables will come from the same vendor that originally supplied furniture at Pine Knob Park.

    A quote of $4,500 to apply metal to a building at Dallas Lake Park was approved. The quote from Joseph Yoder was the lowest of five quotes with the highest at $10,000. The metal was purchased last year.