Thursday, March 19, 2009
County, city to get emergency generators
By SUE WATSON
A hazards mitigation grant fund is providing money for the purchase of two generators that will be used should power go down in an emergency.
The monies totaling nearly $140,000 come from funds set aside for hazard mitigation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to Hugh Hollowell, emergency management director, and Kenny Holbrook, chief of the Holly Spring Fire Department.
One of the generators will be installed at the main water well in Holly Springs to guarantee water supply should power go down in such events as an ice storm. The other will be used as a back-up power supply for the emergency operations center in Holly Springs.
Don Hollingsworth, public works director for the City of Holly Springs, explained that a back-up generator was left out in the 1970s when the high service pumps were installed.
“This generator would be in-plant and would automatically switch over valves needed without having to send a man to go out and figure out which valve to turn,” he said.
The two apprised the board of supervisors last week and informed them that the grant requires a 5 percent match from local governments.
“There’s no way we will ever get these kinds of funds again,” said Hollowell as he recommended the board of supervisors approve the match.
On a different matter, Hollowell advised the board that the annual emergency management grant with the state of Mississippi, which pays a portion of the salary of local emergency management directors, will pay up to 50 percent of expenses up to a cap limit which as yet has not been announced.
The board also approved giving the title to an old ambulance the county had purchased and loaned to Emergystat to the Byhalia Fire Department.
The ambulance has about 190,000 miles on it and is not sufficient for day-to-day service in the emergency responders fleet, said Larry Hall, county administrator. The Town of Byhalia will assume the upkeep of the vehicle and insurance and use it as a rescue truck, the board said.
In other business, the board of supervisors:
March 9 board notes
Supervisors whisked through a short agenda Monday, holding a public hearing for a proposed airport layout plan required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The plan, presented by Justin Hall and Charlie Goforth, dealt mostly with elevation restrictions on new towers that may be built.
Supervisors approved a three-way stop at the intersection of O’Dell Road and Tyro Road in District 4 after the need for safety concerns was brought up by supervisor George Zinn. The dominant road at the intersection is Tyro, but drivers on O’Dell are failing to notice the need to stop, he said. Complaints and one report of a near miss triggered the concern, Zinn said. The county will improve signs, paint stripes and post stop ahead warning signs.
The board approved a report from Larry Hall estimating what it will cost to fix up the tax assessor’s office. The office space will be redesigned, roof leaks will be fixed, air and heating systems will be replaced and a break area and a public and private bathroom will be added to the office at an estimated cost of $24,000.
A security plan for the tax offices in Holly Springs and at the Byhalia substation will be developed by Sheriff Kenny Dickerson who will seek security grant funds for the project.
Hall said renovation and repair of the Marshall County Historical Museum is near completion and the space will be ready to move back into in a few weeks.
He also announced a summer youth program that is expected to provide employment and activities for large numbers of youth between the ages of 14-24.
“There is a lot of money to put kids to work,” he said.
Those interested in applying for the summer program can check with their district supervisor or with Chuck Thomas, chancery clerk, for further details about the program.
Thomas reported bills invoiced to the county for mid-month totaling $115,668. He reported the law enforcement insurance premium of $44,837 came due and the public officials liability insurance premium came to $53,373.
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