Solar Eclipse Successes and Proclamation to Honor Public Safety Staff

In their regular meeting on Tuesday morning, the Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety assembled with the events of the previous day’s solar eclipse fresh on everyone’s minds. Mayor Dean Vonderheide began by saying that the eclipse events went well, and were a good representation of the city to visitors. He commended all of the departments who worked so hard to prepare for event, saying that it was a great thing for this community and the county.  

Continuing his praise for Jasper’s hard-working city staff, Vonderheide made a proclamation in honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Telecommunications, particularly dispatch, is often the first and most significant point of contact between emergency services and the public. First responders depend upon the accuracy of the information provided to them, and the work of telecommunications employees substantially contributes to the apprehension of criminals, extinguishing of fires, and performance of life-saving measures.  

The Main Street Phase Two bid opening received one bid, and the board agreed to consider the contract. This phase of the project will involve the areas of 3 rd through 5 th Street and 7 th through 9 th . The board noted that details for the construction timeline will need careful consideration, since work will need to be paused from the end of July through Strassenfest.  

Kate Schwenk from Heart of Jasper received approval to close the Square for the upcoming Family Fun Fest. This free event will be held on Saturday, June 22 nd from 10 am to 2 pm. There will be a number of food trucks and events for the whole family, which will be announced once all participants have been confirmed. Merchants on the square are involved in the event’s planning, and Puzzles and Padlocks will be creating a Scavenger Hunt through the stores.  

Police Chief Nathan Schmitt echoed the mayor’s praise for Jasper’s dispatch workers, thanking them for all they do to make first responders’ jobs “easier and safer.” In his monthly report, Chief Schmitt mentioned that drug arrests had a significant uptick, and said this is something to be aware of moving forward. He noted that eclipse events went well, and there was not much unusual traffic since everyone heeded the city’s requests to stay off the road unless necessary. He also noted his thanks for all of the emergency services preparation, especially for first responders who were all on call to be available for an unknown volume of service requests during the event. Chief Schmitt closed, saying that we are “fortunate to have such a good group across the county.” 

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 - By Drew Hasselbring