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Morning Sun
  • County looks at emergency plan update

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  • Planning is a painstaking process, and emergency management is a study in planning for any circumstance.
    At the Crawford County Commission meeting, emergency management director Eldon Bedene brought several planning issues from his office to the attention of commissioners.
    "The State of Kansas, on the grant, sent out a letter stating that the emergency operations plan of Crawford County and 42 others are outdated," Bedene said.
    He said the state is requiring plans to be updated by the end of the year or counties could forfeit up to 50 percent of budgeted emergency preparedness grant funds.
    Crawford County currently is anticipating $24,080 in grant funding, and Bedene said he is talking with the Emergency Management Council to see where Crawford County's plan is at and what it would cost to have the remainder updated.
    "How long is this plan good for?" asked commissioner Carl Wood.
    "Five years," Bedene said.
    "If we get it done are we pretty sure we'll get the $24,080 this (next) year?" Wood asked.
    Bedene said grant funds can be lost in three spots, and having an up-to-date plan is worth 50 percent.
    Wood said it seemed like the investment to wrap up the plan would be merited for the grant money that likely would result.
    Bedene also said he has been mapping the antennas in the county and is trying to take inventory of the units.
    "I"m trying to go around and find out what radio numbers are in there," he said.
    He said he is finding the equipment locations and models, but is having a difficult time locating serial numbers due to the tightness of installation most places, but said if it ever had to be taken apart for replacement those numbers would be able to be accessed.
    Bedene also talked about producing identification cards for county staff, vehicles and more that would be used in the event of an emergency. He said it would simplify tracking activity at a disaster site and also could help identify who was in the site and when, or if, they had returned from the site.
    Bedene also said when he retired he shut off his phone to try to save the department money, but now with just two phone lines, one of which is dedicated for fax and internet, phone calls for him do not come to him. He and commissioners discussed whether a transfer switch could be installed to better direct call traffic within the office.
    He also said the final mitigation meeting is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 16 at Mt. Carmel.
    In other business, county counselor Jim Emerson said he received an interest rate for tractor/mowers, and Community National Bank bid 1.97 percent for 36 months.
    Page 2 of 2 - Emerson asked commissioners how many mowers they would like to finance at that rate.
    Wood said it would be his preference to pay for one up front and only finance two, but the other commissioners said the financing rate was low enough that it would make sense to finance three and pay each off as soon as possible.
    "On a county level, we're always going to be making payments," said commissioner Tom Moody.
    "I want to get it paid for and go to something else," Wood said. "I just don't believe in payments. We've got to get these things paid off because we've got some big expenses coming up."
    In the end, commissioners came to a consensus to finance all three, but only for 24 months.
    Commissioners also voted for Duane Patrick to represent Kansas for two years at the National Association of Counties.
    They will meet again Friday, and then will hold their next meeting Monday, beginning with a work session at 9 a.m., canvassing ballots from the Pittsburg sales tax election at 9:30 and the regular meeting at 10 a.m. The Tuesday meeting then will be cancelled.
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