CHARLESTON - Mississippi County has about $7,200 in Homeland Security funds which could possibly be used to purchase and equip a mobile communications trailer.
County Clerk Junior DeLay reported on the county's remaining 2004 Homeland Security funds during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday.
DeLay said the original grant was for $14,270. The remaining money, which is about half, according to DeLay, can be spent "as long as it's for qualifying Homeland Security items."
An amended budget will need to be sent, DeLay advised.
Commissioners decided a 16-foot trailer would be large enough with a dual axle for stability.
Equipment should include, in addition to radio equipment, a propane heater for cold weather, a small generator, battery packs and rechargeable lights.
Commissioners also discussed having a plug-in for the trailer so battery packs could be charged on the trailer.
While discussing lessons about emergency preparedness that can be learned from the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Gulf states, commissioners said having communication facilities available during a major disaster makes a big difference.
In other county business, a combination of hot mix overlays and chip-and-
seal surfaces should get the best results from the county's blacktop budget, commissioners agreed.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said the chip-and-seal blacktop laid last year has held up well, especially since the loose gravel has been scattered over time leaving only a blacktop cap behind that is indistinguishable from cold-mix surfaces.
Commissioner Homer Oliver said with high oil prices, having the chip-and-
seal option will be even more important next year.
For roads that have deteriorated too much, hot mix overlays are the best option, commissioners agreed.