The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 3, 2013

HART: A wet start to summer

CLINTON — The month of June was certainly a wet one in Clinton County. I did not like to see the businesses and homes that suffered flood damage.

It has not been convenient to have the road closed between my house in Wheatland and US 30.

As always, people pitched right in to get things back in working order, and county officials are doing what they can to get the road open. Todd Kinney, county engineer, informed the Board of Supervisors that emergency repairs will begin soon to make the road passable. He will be working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to chart out a permanent road fix.  In the meantime, I’ll be taking the long way to get around in the county.

Folks who’ve suffered flood damage may be eligible for help.

Gov. Branstad has issued a disaster proclamation, which activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program in Clinton County. This Program provides up to $5,000 in reimbursements to low-income families who had disaster-related damage to their property. Qualifying families are those at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Under this program, which is administered by the Iowa Department of Human Services, applicants have 45 days from the date of the disaster proclamation to submit a claim. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available at the “Disaster Assistance” link on the Iowa Department of Human Services website: www.dhs.iowa.gov. For more information, call 1-866-434-4692.

Please let me know if you have questions or problems accessing help.

Clysar LLC celebrated its 50th anniversary in Clinton on June 22, and I was happy to take a tour of the plant, which employs more than 300 people. Clysar manufactures high-performance shrink films for packaging. I spent time talking to many employees and former employees and was impressed to discover so many whose extended family members had been employed by Clysar over the years. I even met one man who has worked at Clysar for the entire 50 years of its existence. Clysar and its employees can be very proud of their partnership in Clinton.

Clysar was recently bought by Cove Point Holdings. Executive Vice President and General Manager Bill Hare talked to me about the excitement of adding new jobs and renovating the Clinton plant into a new headquarters. The beginning stages of planned renovation have already begun, and the future looks bright.

K-9 Search and Rescue dogs are provided by Clysar employee Bill Hall and his wife, Lois. Both Clysar and Ralston-Purina, another business in Clinton, help to support the work of these Search and Rescue and Therapy dogs, which are called in to locate missing people.

Hawk is the second K-9 to serve on the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve. Deker has certified in Air Scent/Area Search, Article Search, Building Search, Disaster First Response and Human Remains Detection.

Vader and his handler, Connie Heath, are members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Therapy Dog Outreach Program. This is a crisis response therapy dog unit through Clinton County Emergency Management. The Halls and Connie are obviously very dedicated people who provide a wonderful service to the state and to the rest of the nation. They have traveled to other states — Illinois, Idaho, Minnesota — to help locate missing people. We are lucky to have them and their wonderful dogs in Clinton.

Senator Rita Hart represents Clinton County and northern Scott County in the Iowa Senate.

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