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County expecting final check from FEMA

By John Miller, 09/13/17 10:01 AM

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PRESCOTT – Nevada County is looking to get funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from storm damage last year.

Nevada County Judge Mark Glass said FEMA has closed out the county’s account, but he’s not sure how payment will be received. In the past, he told the Nevada County Quorum Court, at its September meeting, Tuesday evening, the county was paid for each damaged road, but could get one check for all the damage done.

This, he said, could amount to anywhere between $175,000 and $210,000. He told the court the federal funds will cover 75 percent of the damage costs, while the state will pick up 12.5 percent. Once the FEMA money arrives, he continued, the state will be called to look at and inspect the damaged roads so the county can get state aid as well.

The court was told the county general budget has never been in the black this time of year before.

JP George Smith asked if the budget couldn’t include a column with last year’s figures for comparison. He was told this information is already provided in the packet.

Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, reminded the court of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the caboose at the Nevada County Depot and Museum Thursday. This will be in conjunction with a coffee and will be from 9:30-11 a.m. Additionally, it will be a celebration of John Teeter’s birthday, as he was a former curator for the museum.

The court passed the second part of the ADEQ contract. It passed one part of it last month, but failed to pass the second as the two were almost identical. One deals with the transfer station, while the other concerns an opening and closing along with the fees involved.

The court also approved an appropriation ordinance for more than $64,000 to pay for new vehicles for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicles had already been paid for, but the funds hadn’t been appropriated. The money came from the jail operations budget.

It also approved a budget for the old ODP, a grant obtained by Jim Cross, the county’s Office of Emergency Services coordinator, several years ago. The money, the court was told, had been sitting unused until it was recently spent.

A resolution adopting a Hazard Mitigation Plan for the county was also approve. Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, said her office worked with the county judge and mayors from cities in the county on this. According to FEMA, she said, the county must have a Hazard Mitigation Plan and update it annually in order to qualify for FEMA funds. She pointed out the court was the final entity to approve the plan as the councils from the cities in the county have already approved it. This information will now be sent to the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District (SWAPDD).

JP Ryan Harvey asked to speak about a misconception going around. He told the court he met with Glass last month about bricks from the old hardware and pharmacy he owns and has been giving away. He told the judge the county could have the bricks if the county could use them, which could save the county money down the road when material is needed to fill holes from washouts or whatever.

The county reportedly removed two truckloads of the brick, but left county equipment on private property, which led to rumors about the county doing private work for the JPs. This wasn’t the case. Harvey said he’s been giving the brick away, and the county is welcome to it if it wants.

Glass said he appreciated the donation. Though it wasn’t required or necessary, the court voted to approve accepting the donation for transparency’s sake.

JP Bob Cummings recognized the passing of James Tomlin at the end of the meeting.