SEMA coordinator offers update for the county's commissioners
CHARLESTON - Mark A. Winkler, area coordinator for the State Emergency Management Agency, updated Mississippi County commissioners on several emergency preparation items during their regular meeting Thursday.
Winkler first advised commissioners he has a new office and phone number and passed out his business card.
Turning to the earthquake program, Winkler advised local emergency management directors will now present local programs while larger groups will be addressed by Winkler or the Jefferson City SEMA representative. A retired principal is handling all school earthquake programs.
Powerpoint presentation materials are available to use for local presentations, he said. "We're hoping this strategy will work out the same or better."
Winkler next gave commissioners a chart of recommended actions for county and local governments at the various terrorism risk levels. The chart is also available online at www.sema.state.mo.us.
A portion of federal anti-terrorism money is going to health planners, each assigned to handle around three to five counties, Winkler said. Jerry Latham at the New Madrid County Health Office is this area's planner, according to Winkler. "Jerry and I are working together," he said.
Winkler then provided information on the all hazard mitigation plan required for the county to be eligible for federal mitigation assistance programs like flood property buyouts in the future.
The plan should list threats and vulnerabilities as well as recommending solutions, Winkler said.
He said it is time to review the Mississippi County Emergency Operation Plan as well, noting the county will probably need to add terrorism elements to its plan.
Information on the federally-funded Southeast Missouri Weapons of Mass Destruction Team formed from the Sikeston-Jackson hazard response team was also presented by Winkler.
Winkler said Jackson had received equipment worth $275,000 paid for with federal funds including a decontamination unit which cost $75,000.
There are 22 WMD teams in state, Winkler said.
In other Mississippi County business:
* Charleston City Manager David Brewer said he has contacted a sewer line company in Cape Girardeau to send a camera down city lines near the courthouse Tuesday "to see if we have a problem there." Brewer said the city has no problem tearing up a street if necessary to address the problem.
He said the line was blocked with "a tremendous amount of paper and toilet paper" and will instruct crews to "clean it out on law day" as the extra usage from additional people at the courthouse is a contributing factor to the blockages.
Turning to another sewer problem, Brewer said the Mississippi County Detention Center should have had its own lift station and is now causing problems for the city's. "The Detention Center just totally shut down that lift station," he said.
Brewer said apparently inmates are flushing everything from paper plates to towels down the toilets. "We may need you guys to put in a separator so it grinds this stuff up," Brewer said, noting the Southeast Correctional Center has such a unit in use.
Brewer asked for $1,000 from the county to go toward the cost of hiring a sewage pumping truck for the lift station.
* Commissioners accepted a bid for 48-inch riding lawn mower from French Implement of Charleston which offered the mower for $5,064 and a trade-in of $2,585 for the county's 2001 mower for a total of $2,479.
The only other bid was from Nelson Tractor and Equipment which offered a 52-inch mower for $5,799 with a $2,149 trade-in on the county's mower for total of $3,650.
* The purchase of a Novell server system from Anderson Computer of Charleston for $4,429 and a duplex printer from Scheffer's Office Furniture and Business Machines of Sikeston for $2,619 were approved by commissioners.