The Drain Commissioner’s Annual Report for 2010 was in the spotlight during the March 15th meeting of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners.
Drain Commissioner Jeff Wenzel offered some highlights from the 14-page report, a document that drew praise from Board Chairman Rick Shaffer who said, “Nice job with the handout this evening.”
Wenzel acknowledged the compliment and, in turn, gave credit to Deputy Drain Commissioner Bev Thelen for her work in assembling the report.
Wenzel thanked commissioners for their support of his office and said, “I’m trying to turn the office around. I’ve got a lot of people that are very happy with the office. I’m being very diligent about watching money. I’m trying to do maintenance work, maintenance projects. I’m trying to keep from getting any petitions coming in. If I continue to do the maintenance work, we can divert the problem of having petitions. When a petition comes in, it’s very costly.”
In the course of what he called “a quick, brief rundown for this year,” Wenzel noted two winter draw-downs – one involving Palmer and Long lakes in Colon Township, the other encompassing Lake Templene and Sand Lake. He also touched on three maintenance projects during the year – the Park Drain in Park Township, the Wood and Watson Drain in Burr Oak Township, and ‘Nottawa # 1’ which he said “continues to be a concern. We continue to work on that.”
Wenzel noted his success in securing a lease with the Lake Templene property owners for the Lake Templene dam and said, “We paid one dollar for that lease.”
Wenzel was complimented by several commissioners for his work and accomplishments in 2010, in particular for the Lake Templene dam lease and the resolution of issues involving the Park Drain. Regarding the Park Drain, Wenzel said, “I’m pretty proud of that one” to which Shaffer said, “And you should be.” (Jeff_Wenzel_audio clip – :40)
To hear Jeff Wenzel’s report to county commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting, click here (4:58 – 4.55 MB).
In other business, the board:
- Approved renewal of a lease agreement with the St. Joseph County Economic Development Corporation for office space in Annex II at 612 East Main Street in Centreville
- Approved a request to fill a pending vacant senior probation officer position, changing to a grade 7 probation/magistrate position
- Approved a revision in the grant policy adopted in 1995 to say that “Information on the grant must be submitted for review to the County Administrator/Controller prior to submitting an application for all grants”
- Approved termination of the agreement with Colon Township for the management of the Palmer Beach Park in keeping with a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Commission because of the need to focus its limited resources (staff and financial) on the parks owned by the county.
The board also nominated and appointed:
- Donald Eaton, Carroll Parmeter and John Wagner to the Agricultural Preservation Board
- Barbara Parker and David Pueschel to the Community Mental Health Board.
- Allen Balog, Gary Wheeler, Monte Bordner, Gary Hansen, Aaron Cullifer and Joseph Haas to the Transportation Authority Board.