By EVAN REID
CRYSTAL FALLS - In a special meeting on Tuesday, the Iron County Board of Commissioners decided not to declare a local state of emergency regarding frozen water lines and other issues caused by harsh winter conditions.
Lt. Vernon Jones of the Iron County Sheriff's Department advised the board that there was nothing to be gained from declaring a state of emergency at this point.
A state of emergency declaration for Marquette County was denied by the State Emergency Operations Center, and a similar declaration from Iron County would also likely be denied, Jones said.
Problems with water lines will persist as the frost moves out of the ground, he added, and in the future there may be an opportunity to collaborate with other counties in seeking assistance from the state.
Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano agreed with Jones, encouraging the board to put the declaration on hold while continuing to track damage and expenses.
"This is more of a marathon than a sprint," he said.
Commissioner Carl Lind expressed concern over the financial strain resulting from continued efforts to resolve winter issues.
Lt. Jones advised that the state only provides funds for immediate concerns, not to safeguard against potential emergencies.
The vote to table the motion to declare a local state of emergency was unanimous.
Evan Reid's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.