Hurricane Preparedness Topic At MoCo Commission Session
Inland South Georgia is not often in the direct path of a hurricane, but a number of citizens came before the Montgomery County Commission during its regular session on May 8 to voice concerns about a preparedness plan should such a threat occur.
Local resident Brooks Nobles, who is a mother with young children and a hospital employee, reminded Commissioners that the new hurricane season is coming up and said she wanted to be assured that if she is at work that her children have a safe place to stay. She inquired whether Montgomery County has a shelter in place. Jervy Thomas of Mount Vernon, who said he moved to Montgomery County from Savannah where hurricanes are a frequent concern, pointed out that a lot of the County’s residents live in mobile homes and many of the elderly and infirm are unable to leave their homes without assistance. Thomas pointed to the threats of loss of power and unsafe roads, compounded by a lack of public transportation.
While the Commission thanked the residents for their comments, it was noted by Chairman Leland Adams that protocol prevents the Commission from responding to public comments made during a regular meeting, but concerns brought up by the public would be taken into consideration and reviewed.
Following the meeting, County Manager Brandon Braddy and Emergency Management Director Donnie Daniels clarified the county’s position on hurricane and severe weather preparedness.
Also, the county clarified the differences between a long-term shelter and a short-term safe shelter. A long-term shelter would be needed in post-disaster events such as destructive hurricanes or tornados. In the event of a pre-disaster or severe weather event a safe shelter would be made available.
The EMA Director would coordinate with the American Red Cross, local schools, and local churches to establish short-term safe shelters. The Montgomery County EMA would make public service announcements through local media, social media, and Hyper-Reach to inform the public when the shelter would be opened and its location. Daniels encourages the public to subscribe to Hyper-Reach to receive emergency notifications. To subscribe to Hyper-Reach, to go to: http:// hyper-reach.com/gamontgomerysignup. html or call 912-454-8106 and follow the instructions.
Highway 292 Safety
William Bell of Ailey attended the Commission session for another reason. He was dismayed about the condition of Georgia Highway 292, specifically the high grass on the right-of-way which could obscure animals emerging onto the state highway.
In comments made after the meeting, Braddy said that Georgia Highway 292 is maintained by the Georgia Department of Transportation; however, Braddy did state that the county’s Road Department started mowing the rightsof- way in January.
The Commission approved the following items: Proposal from the City of Douglas Fire Department to respond to hazardous material emergencies in Montgomery County in a mutual aid agreement at the annual rate of $827.
Renewal of a work detail agreement with the Georgia Department of Corrections for the annual sum of $49,318, to provide a prison detail for the county’s Road Department.
Memorandum of understanding with ABM Building Solutions to perform a free preliminary assessment of the County’s facilities and infrastructure. The preliminary assessment would explore opportunities for the county to reduce overall costs of operating and servicing the County’s buildings.
The Commission also gave a nod to: Declaring as surplus a 2014 Dodge Charger to be sold for $5,000 to the City of Uvalda for use by law enforcement.
Adoption of a resolu tion authorizing the transfer of $22,631.25 from the Capital Projects Fund to the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax Fund following reimbursement from a GEMA grant for the County’s siren warning system.
Adoption of a resolu tion authorizing the lease of a John Deere 6110M tractor with Alamo boom mower with Truist Governmental Finance in the amount of $207,693 Declaring as surplus equipment and authorizing the sale of equipment on GovDeals.com of a 2018 John Deere 620G motor grader SN with the minimum bid to be the payoff amount of the lease; and a 2013 John Deere 6115M tractor with an Alamo 25-foot boom mower and mowing head.
With one-third of the year elapsed, the County has collected 69.29% of its budgeted revenue and expended 31% of this amount.
In a report on emergency management, Daniels reported that the County responded to 78 EMS calls in April. The EMA/Rural Fire/ and Code Enforcement division experienced a decline in activity, with 20 calls for the month.