Hazard Mitigation Plan Presented to Lyons Council
Toombs County has planned well to manage any emergency situation that may occur within its borders through a Hazard Mitigation Plan developed under the guidelines of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. At its last regular session on November 10, the Lyons City Council adopted the plan following a presentation by Toombs County Emergency Management Agency Director Lynn Moore. continued from page
The countywide plan, which is presented to each municipality for consideration and adoption, covers a five-year span beginning in 2020. It is the second such plan developed for the county. Moore said the plan took two years to complete at a cost of $28,000. The plan is in the hands of Federal Emergency Management Agency for consideration. Upon approval, FEMA will reimburse the County for the plan process.
The mitigation plan was prepared by the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission for Toombs County, and the cities of Lyons, Vidalia and Santa Claus, and allows these governments to apply for grant funding for response to crises like hurricanes, flooding, wild fires or other natural disasters.
Moore reminded the Council that the Toombs County EMA is moving to temporary headquarters in the City of Vidalia since the EMA office is being displaced to make room for the new county courthouse. The EMA will operate out of the Vidalia Board of Education building from December until July while a new location at the Old Meadows Hospital is being refurbished. The 9,000-square foot EMA facility will house the EMA offices, the Emergency Operations Center, and the Toombs-Montgomery Emergency Medical Service offices.
Moore said the City of Lyons’ provisions of fire protection and of Toombs County Middle School as an evacuation facility in the case of an emergency with Plant Hatch, or with hurricanes, will still be in place.
Lyons Mayor Willis NeSmith thanked Moore for the emergency plans he maintains for the County. Both NeSmith and Moore stated that FEMA and the Georgia EMA are impressed with the involvement of the local government leaders. “That tells FEMA that you guys are behind us. Thank you for that,” Moore said. In further Council business, two people appointed as Commissioners to the Housing Authority of the City of Lyons received their oaths of office from NeSmith. Paige Corouthers will fulfill the unexpired term of Sonja Eason and Corina Florez will replace Trent Akins.
Hall presented a proposal to provide for participation by the City of Lyons in the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) Life and Health Program. New insurance coverage for employees is sought every year. Two recommended vendors were compared, and GMEBS was consulted for a quote. This agency’s quote was comparable in cost to last year’s insurance and provides better benefits for employees. The insurance policy was vetted and accepted by local providers and pharmacies. No budgetary adjustments are needed because the cost will remain the same as last year. The Council approved using the GMEBS insurance plan as of December 1. Following Governor Brian Kemp’s proclamation of November 1 as Retired Educators Day in Georgia, the City Council invited a distinguished group of educators from Toombs County to attend the regular meeting of the Council to be recognized.
Mayor NeSmith read a resolution, citing the fact that retired educators donate time and make many valuable contributions to the community, continuing to encourage citizens toward their own betterment.
Lyons Main Street Director Daphne Walker reported that the 2020 Real Squeal was well attended, and there have been positive reviews from professional teams. Main Street has completed the purchase of property behind the post office. The plan is to prepare the lot with gravel for parking. Winter Wonder Lyons is the theme for the downtown Christmas event on December 4. Merchant activities will occur from 4 to 6 p.m., and the lighted parade will begin at 6 p.m.
Police Chief Wesley Walker introduced to the Council four police officers that have joined the department in the past year. Officers Randy Holcomb, Trey NeSmith, Joshua Blake, and Hank Scott served a combined 55 plus years in various positions before joining the Lyons department. Walker said the department “is getting great applicants to come to the City of Lyons to work.”