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Commissioners Discuss NIMS Compliance

The first person on the agenda at the regular weekly meeting of the Mitchell County Commissioners this Monday morning was Scott Davies, Mitchell County Emergency Management Director. Davies requested a 15-minute executive session with the Commissioners to discuss non-elected personnel. Following the meeting, Chairman Tom Claussen announced no decisions were made during the session.

At that time, Commissioner Mike Cooper told Davies the newly formed Mitchell County Disaster Team met last Wednesday and talked about ways to educate the community in preparedness. Cooper asked about the need for more people in this county to become NIMS compliant through the National Incident Management System. He feels all people involved with the Disaster Team need to take this training because the IT people have to be in charge at a disaster site until the Commanders arrive to take over the responsibility.

Davies said some people in this county who fall under this classification are compliant and some are not. All county supervisors and their employees need to take this training. To become compliant people can take Online Classes. He explained the necessary level of classification people in different positions need in order to be compliant. Along with the online classes, Davies said the State would pay for an instructor to come out and present these classes. Commissioner Cooper said he plans to take all the different levels of the NIMS system.

This system, controlled by the Secretary of Homeland Security through the National Integration Center, publishes the standards, guidelines and compliance protocol for determining whether a local, state, tribal, territorial or federal government has implemented the NIMS system. FEMA's Office of National Preparedness has been given the responsibility of helping ensure the Nation's first responders are trained to deal with emergencies, both natural and man made. Millions of dollars were pumped into available grants to help deal with funds and equipment necessary to fulfill these projects, he said.

Davies said being compliant is important because it is a mandate from the Federal Government. In 2005 the Mitchell County Commission signed a resolution stating that Mitchell County would be compliant with this ruling. When the county applies for a grant one of the questions is whether the county is compliant. If this question is answered fraudulently FEMA can require the return of the funds or equipment that were already awarded. This could result in Sheriff's Department and Fire Departments bring turned down when they apply for a grant. In fact, it could result in the whole county losing grant money because of non-compliance, he said.

Chairman Claussen said there is no way he is going to tell our rural fire chief's and volunteer firemen who are not paid for the job they do that they have to take this training. He feels they take time away from their jobs and their families to do this and do a tremendous job as it is. He is in favor of making the state show its hand before they force volunteers to take this training. Davies said he would get more information on this and get back to the commissioners.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, asked about his department taking the day before Christmas off. Specifically, he wanted to know if they could close the landfill that day. The commissioners felt since the rest of the county employees get the day off and the courthouse will be closed that day, the landfill employees should have the day off too. It was decided to provide the trash company who plan to run that day a key to get into the landfill to unload it. They felt the day after Christmas would be the busy day of that week.

Emerson said KDOT started implementing the detour in Glen Elder this morning. His crew is still graveling the Hopewell road and they have uncovered a new vein of gravel and that will help. He put an ad in the newspaper advertising the old dozer and has had several inquiries and some lookers already. He wants to open the sealed bids at the commission meeting on December 17 at 9 a.m. Chairman Claussen reminded him that the county has reserved to right to refuse any bids that do not meet their requirements.

Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, met with commissioners for a 15-minute executive meeting to discuss matters relating to employee/employer negotiations for a discussion only meeting. She requested County Clerk Treaster, Commissioner-elect Jim Marshall and Gina Broeckelman, Director of the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce be present at the meeting. The meeting was extended for another 10-minutes. Chairman Claussen announced no decisions were made during the meeting.

The Commissioners approved sending a letter of support to Medicare allowing the Emergency Medical Services Department to bill Medicare directly for Medical Reimbursement.

A Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Rebate Application in the amount of $95,600 for a new manufactured home was approved for Christopher L. and Misty D. Thornton at 706 Holly in Cawker City.

Chairman Claussen said they are looking for someone to take over the position of the treasurer of the Glen Elder Township and will be contacting eligible people about the position. Lester Ellenz was approved for the treasurer's position in Pittsburg Township.

Chairman Claussen reminded everyone the Mitchell County Courthouse will be closed on December 24. There will be no County Commission meeting that day. The next Commission meeting will be next Monday December 10, 2012. They will meet on December 17, and they will be finishing up the year's business at their last meeting of the year on December 31, 2012.

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