Scott County Commission news
BENTON -- State surplus property inventories may provide Scott County with several opportunities to beef up its emergency preparedness.
During their regular meeting Thursday, Scott County Commissioners discussed available items and supplies with Joe Burton, emergency management director for Scott County, and Joel Evans, county developer.
"We've looked hard to find money to buy a mobile command center for use in event of a disaster in the county. FEMA has a bunch of mobile homes/trailers in Marion, Ill., or Hope, Ark.," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said. "They are being sold for $2,500."
Various entities such as governments, fire departments and police departments are eligible to purchase the The Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers, according to county officials.
"These are going to be available through state surplus property," Burton. "They are all brand new -- they are not used trailers."
Cape County Emergency Management has already applied to purchase one, according to Evans.
In addition to serving as a mobile command center or incident command center in the event of an emergency, "it will also give us a redundant emergency operation center in the event our communication center is destroyed in an emergency," Evans said.
Burger said he would like to use grant money to enhance the trailer, estimating it may cost $1,500 in remodeling costs "to make the inside usable."
Evans and Burton were asked by commissioners to work together to determine what the county needs as far as seating, radios, lighting and other equipment for a command center trailer.
Evans also advised there is also a small quantity of MREs (meals, ready to eat) available in Jefferson City for $20 per case which is "substantially below what normal prices are. MREs are normally $6 per unit."
The MREs have a shelf life of 20 years, he said.
"They're down to four pallets of the MREs," Evans said. Each pallet has about 40 cases, he estimated.
Burton suggested the old E-911 building in Morley could be used for storing the MREs and agreed to find out how many cases are on each pallet.
Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said he thinks it may be a good opportunity to make good use of something that otherwise could end up being another example of government waste.
"I think it would be a good opportunity to take care of our emergency operation center," Evans said.
Burton said state surplus also reportedly has 500 used laptop computers available for governments at $50 each.
Evans and Burton agreed to further research the trailers and other supplies.
"We want to act as soon as we have all the information and see what is available," Evans said.
In other business Thursday:
* Evans advised commissioners of an interoperability communications grant he is applying for to purchase a repeater to enhance communications in the northern part of the county.
"We're working on that application now," he said. "It should eliminate many of the dead spots in the northern part of the county."
Evans said in areas around Chaffee and Rockview, communications with mobile units are difficult.
"It would require two extra frequencies," he said.
The estimated cost for the repeater is $26,000, according to Evans.
* Commissioners approved trying out software that will work with the county's geographic information system to track soil grade values for parcel splits and produce reports for the assessor's office.
"This is a three-month trial basis," said Teresa Houchin, Scott County assessor.
If purchased, the cost for the software would be $2,000 for the first year and then $500 per year for subsequent years.
"I know it would be very beneficial," Houchin said. "We have eight different soil grades."
* The county will request bids on printing and mailing impact notices to property owners whose properties have raised in value due to an index change mandated by the state.
"It tells you what it was the previous year and what it will go up to," Houchin said.
An estimate from a vendor has indicated it can do the job for less than it would cost the Assessor's Office to do it using county resources, according to Houchin.
"I think by doing it this way we'd save money," she said.