‘State is ready to help’ with emergency plan, Peterson says

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BRENDA CONYERS
Linda Peterson, chair of the Marion County Board of Commissioners, reported at the commission’s Monday meeting on her trip to Topeka to meet with Julia Hansen of the state’s emergency management office.



Peterson said the four-hour meeting supplied information and reading material to be used to establish the Marion County Emergency Preparedness plan.



“The state is there and ready to help us,” she said. “The timeline should be about six months to update the current plan.”



Peterson said she was told other counties frequently hire someone from outside the county to help write a plan with input from their local emergency preparedness committees.



Federal funding is available to pay 100 percent of the costs, and grant applications are open Oct. 2, which would also help cover costs.



Hansen gave Peterson a list of several names of qualified individuals who could be considered as consultants.



Peterson asked, “Do you think we should contact the LEPC for their input now, or should we take the initiative and start the ball rolling?”



After a short discussion, Hein said the LEPC should meet soon. “We need to get their input and go on from there,” he said.



Several positions on the committee need to be filled before the first meeting is held, which is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21.



In other business:



— The county employees Christmas dinner has been scheduled for 7:30, Monday, Dec. 11, at the Tabor College cafeteria.



— Commissioners agreed to continue the county-wide burn ban.



— Commissioners agreed to pay an additional amount of $64 for Peabody EMS radios. According to Carole Maggard, county clerk, the original request for $2,184 was in error. Commissioners voted to pay the total cost of $2,248.



David Brazil, county health sanitarian, reported George Gore had scheduled a second mud run for Oct. 1. He had already held one mud run on his property near Durham earlier in the summer which was out of compliance because he had not applied for a conditional-use permit.



Gore had scheduled the Oct. 1 run before knowing about the need for the permit.



The request for the conditional-use permit was tabled at the Aug. 24 meeting of the Marion County Planning Commission until the Marion Reservoir watershed area water quality plan could be reviewed.



Brazil advised the commission the Planning Commission recommendations from the Sept. meeting and other necessary decision cannot be made in time for the October mud run.



Peterson said she would like the board to have time to read the Sept. minutes and to consider the issue.



— Gerald Kelsey, county road and bridge supervisor, and Gary Loveless, maintenance supervisor, reported the had received a request from the Kansas Department of Transportation concerning a portion of U.S. Highway 77 just north of Lincolnville.



KDOT is asking the county to accept two miles from Lincolnville to the Beneke corner. The state would give the county millings.



“This is a bus drop-off,” Kelsey said. “It would have low traffic, and the state would like to keep it that way.”



— JoAnn Knak, director of Emergency Medical Services, reported that the total number of 911 calls for August was 84.



Knak also said it has been suggested to have a bomb-threat drill one evening, or on a weekend, using all departments that would be involved in such an emergency. This would include local departments, bomb-sniffing dogs, the KBI, and McPherson SWAT and entry teams.



Linda Peterson asked if funding would be needed.



Knak answered, “Not that I know of at this time.”



A new EMT-B class will start Oct. 3. There has been an increase in the fees due to and increase in testing fees and textbooks. Fees for the class will be $270.



After one year of service in the county, the fees would be refunded to the individual.

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