Shelter proposed for county employees

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

County employees and visitors at the county administration building may soon be able to take refuge in a new emergency shelter.

That was the idea presented Wednesday to county commissioners by Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Harris. Funding for the project comes from a $125,900 hazard mitigation grant awarded by the state last week as a result of damage from Hurricane Isaac. Harris said the county’s hazard mitigation committee voted to use the money for the shelter.

“Our last hazard mitigation grant was used for individual shelters,” Harris said. “So the committee decided to use this grant to construct a site built safe room for employees and any building visitors. Then, we could move our emergency operation center into that building.”

The project would require a 25 percent match from the county, and a letter of intent must be sent to the state by Sept. 1, Harris said.

Commissioners agreed to sign a letter of intent for the grant with the stipulation that if the cost is too high for the construction, the county can back out of the grant without a penalty.

“My thought is to submit two letters so that if we don’t use it as a county project, then we can open it up for individuals,” Harris said.

Harris said she would compile figures for site’s construction and present them at a later meeting.