Hancock County Commissioners received a letter from Ergon Vice President of Refining Doug Burdick expressing appreciation and praise for responders who “raced to the scene to help” when a fire erupted at Ergon in Newell on May 29. Forty fire Departments along with the Office of Emergency Services, 911 Center, local law enforcement, ambulance services and the Salvation Army were among those who responded to emergency or were on standby While no employees were injured, evacuation of the surrounding Newel area took place.
“All of us at Ergon are thankful to be part of this community and we appreciate thee outpouring of support,” said Burdick. The unifier was identified as the source of the fire.
Betty Whelan, of the Hancock County Senior Wellness Center, announced that the Center would re-open at 8 a.m., June 14. The Center closed in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic although transportation and well-checks continued. Whelan noted the Center has been thoroughly cleaned and new safety precautions have been instituted with social distancing guidelines to be followed. She thanked the community for its support.
Roy Palmanteer, secretary of the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, told Commissioners that ham radio operators will conduct informational sessions at Clark Field in Newell on Saturday and Sunday. The operators provide free emergency services throughout the nation and number 100,000.
In other business, the Commissioners:
**Accepted the resignation of Jo Ellen Kessel from the County Clerk’s Office. Kessel is retiring after serving 43 years in the Clerk’s Office. She began work at the Courthouse on April 2, 1979. Commissioners expressed their appreciation to Kessel for her years of service and dedication to the County;
**Approved the payment to Kessel of accrued vacation time;
**Approved the hiring of Phillip Poling in the Clerk’s office;
**Approved the hiring of Adam Willey for a summer maintenance position for the Hancock County Parks & Recreation;
**Approved the hiring of Emily Ault as a part-time employee at the Hancock County Animal Shelter
**Made a request to fund window repair at the Hancock County Museum to match a $25,000.00 grant received from the Pugiliese Foundation was made a matter of record;