Be Prepared
August 16, 2018
Southern Torch (3431 articles)
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Be Prepared

EMA Director Anthony Clifton briefed the DeKalb County Commission on their recent community engagement workshop and the need for more disaster preparedness. (Southern Torch)

By Marla Jones, Reporter • marla@southerntorch.com

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — (Full Live Video on Facebook) The DeKalb County Commission held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 14.

DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Anthony Clifton briefed the Commission regarding their recent community engagement workshop.

The discussion was about sheltering if the need should arise for the citizens of DeKalb County. Red Cross has encountered funding issues and Clifton stated that his goal was, “to build a resilient community [that is] able to stand on their own after a disaster.” In the event of a hazardous material truck spill, ice storm, or tornado, Clifton would like to bring all the response and recovering agencies together in the event of a disaster.

“Our biggest threat is not weather…we do weather well,” he continued. “What we don’t do well is hazardous material.”

“We have sixty miles of rail and interstate in the County, along with five major state highways. We did a hazardous material flow study and it showed that this a serious threat to our county. These are not issues that we can’t overcome.”

Clifton would like to institute a community-wide program to plan for these types of situations if the need arises. “The new generation thinks that they will fix us…who is they?” he stated. “We are they.” Clifton said that a program of this magnitude will take plenty of planning and will take an entire generation to do.

In other EMA news, Clifton stated that the EMA operations center would undergo a remodel and would cost somewhere $10,000 to $12,000 for new electronic equipment that would be much more efficient, have up-to-date radars, and have the ability to live post if the situation arises. While remodeling the center, EMA operations have been moved to the Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative (FTC). This remodel will be completed before the fall storm season begins.

Road Department Superintendent Tom Broyles updated the Commission on different projects within the County. The CDBG Project in District 1, which is the reclamation of two roads, has begun. Crews have been working for approximately two weeks doing prep work, which is outside the scope of the grant. In the next few days, the base materials will be applied and leveled. Then the paving contractor will begin work on those roads.

The second round of herbicide treatment and bush hogging in District 1 has been completed and is underway across the rest of the County.

DeKalb County Administrator Matt Sharp presented a damage claim that was submitted to the Commission on August 1, 2018 by Emily Walker. The claim stated that there was a problem at the intersection of County Roads 26 and 17 that caused damage on or around August 16, 2017. Superintendent Broyles stated that there was no record of a report to the Road Department and was unaware if the accident had been reported. The Commission voted to forward the claim on to their insurance carrier.

Engineering Supervisor Ben Luther brought before the Commission a proposal to sign regarding posting the speed limit on County Road 212 to 25 mph from County Road 51 to the landfill. There has been a lot of work on this road with a new bridge and paved approaches making it in much better condition. Luther advised that garbage trucks come in and out very quickly (The loads will increase along with the speed).

The Commission voted for the speed to be 25 mph from County Road 51 up to the intersection of County Road 209.

DeKalb County Revenue Commissioner Tyler Wilks reported to the Commission that the person who had been approved for the open tag office position had turned down the job. Wilks sought approval for Kristen Newman to be approved as the replacement employee.

In the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, it was requested that Christopher Rogers be transferred from part-time to full-time.

Emily McCamy, Director of the Council on Aging, advised the Commission on the numerous programs that they provide including senior center and homebound meals and transportation for the aging.

The open enrollment for Medicare is October 15 through December 7 and the Council on Aging is participating in the SHIP (Seniors Health Insurance Plan) program. The Council will help with enrollment procedures. In 2017 alone, they helped more than 935 clients with an estimated savings of $680,000. The Council also helps them with legal services.

The Council on Aging also has a Senior RX program that assists with free medications from drug companies. In 2016, they helped 159 clients with 854 prescriptions, saving over $900,000. For further information on any available programs that the Council on Aging has to offer, call (256) 845-8590.

The next meeting of the DeKalb County Commission will be held on Tuesday, August 28 at 10am in the DeKalb County Activities Building.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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