EMA awarded $189K grant for shelter

Published 10:49 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Covington County EMA was awarded an $189,162 grant to build a safe room at the county administration building.

EMA Director Susan Harris told county commissioners this week that they have until July 14, 2020, to complete the construction.

“That gives you time to prepare for the match,” she said.

Harris plans to show the new county commission the plans she had for the shelter.

“It’s just a prefab shelter,” she said. “It will stay within the scope.”

She said it can be built anywhere they want it to be built, but the idea is to build it in the breezeway area at the administration building.

Harris said current plans will allow the shelter to hold 75 people.

She said the plans are three years old and there may need to be some adjustment to ensure the price is on point.

“We cannot go over that amount,” she said.

There is a 25 percent local match of $47,872 required.

“There was a lot of concern and interest,” she said.

County Commission Chairman Greg White asked if Harris would move the EOC into the shelter.

She said that was not possible.

However, in the event of severe weather and the need to take shelter, Harris said she would have radio communications in the shelter.

In January 2014, the former county commission voted to move forward with one, federal-grant funded shelter.

EMA was finally approved recently for the grant.