Moss and leaves cover the stagnant surface of the Muscatatuck River and banks normally covered in water are bare in the North Vernon area.—Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer
Although heavy rains fell in the Jennings County area Monday with more precipitation forecast for Tuesday, mandatory water conservation remains in effect in the City of North Vernon.
First announced on Aug. 20, the mandatory steps were enacted because of prolonged drought conditions and the unexpected partial draining of Brush Creek Reservoir that month. The Butlerville lake is the city's backup source of water.
Last week, the city issued a reminder to water customers served by North Vernon to continue to adhere to the conservation requirements.
"Water levels in the Muscatatuck River are still awfully low and Brush Creek Reservoir is at the same level it was in August," said Will Spencer, North Vernon water superintendent. "Nothing has changed since we first enacted the mandatory water conservation requirements."
There have been spotty rains in recent weeks, including more early this week, but not enough to make much of a difference in water levels of the river and reservoir. Drought conditions persist, not just in Jennings County but throughout the southern Indiana region.
"What we really need is rain north of us, in the Greensburg area, because that is what drains into the river and brings up our water levels," Spencer said.
North Vernon is also unable to utilize the new water reservoir at the former Hanson Aggregates quarry off Fifth Street. A slurry dam is being constructed to reduce the amount of hard water that leaches into the reservoir. That has yet to be completed and the water tested to ensure its hardness level is low enough to not affect city and residential water pipes.
"That is still a work in progress," Spencer noted.
Items gleaned from newspapers on file on microfilm at the Jennings County Public Library
Campbell Township Volunteer Fire Department showed off its new fire station with a special open house last Saturday.
It has been one heck of a season for the Jennings County High School boys cross country squad, ranked 25th in the state in the latest Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches poll.
The enthusiasm was palpable in the Willow Lake Event Center's The Barn in North Vernon recently as Jennings County Republicans used their Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner to rally the troops heading into North Vernon's municipal election, and what a raucous rally it was.
It's not often when an athlete who sets a school record gets to celebrate with the previous record holder. Nathan Lewis, from left, whose Jennings County High School record has stood since 1989, is with his former coach, Gene Morrison, current JCHS coach Bryant Layman and Carter Leak Saturday at Ceraland Park. Leak, a JCHS senior cross country runner, broke Lewis' 30-year-old record there during the Columbus North Regional. A story and more photos are on pages 1B and 2B.-Submitted Photo