September 16, 2009 Edition

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County OKs funds for
communications towe

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer
The Quorum Court approved an ordinance appropriating funds of $75,400 for the communications tower, which was completed last month. The tower enables the department to have better communications throughout the county.

Insurance reimbursed the county a total of only $31,000 for the old 240-foot tower, which collapsed under the weight of ice in January's ice storm. The source of the anticipated increase of funds to cover the difference is increased fine revenue.

The court also approved a resolution that brought Lawrence County in line to receive Federal funds under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. Since the county experiences both natural and man-made disasters, a FEMA approved Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan that covers Lawrence County, nine incorporated areas and three school districts was developed.

"The mitigation plan will help the county prepare for an emergency and fix it so that that same problem will not repeat itself," said County Judge Alex Latham. The plan includes previsions to help prevent damage in flood zones in the county.

This plan will be in effect from 2009 to 2014 and will possibly be renewed at that time. A coordinator will be appointed that will review the plan at least annually, develop any needed adjustments and present these recommendations to the Quorum Court for approval.

A Justice Assistance Grant totaling $5,450 was appropriated for bulletproof vests for the officers of the sheriff's department.

Lawrence County Sheriff Dan Ellison clarified that the sheriff's department will not move any equipment from the parking lot to the site of the future justice complex, because there is no way to protect the equipment from vandalism.

County Judge Alex Latham told the council that FEMA had informed him that the agency was close to closing all the county's disaster cases from spring flooding in 2008.

County officials are working on the 2010 budgets and Latham said he hopes to have them completed by the next Quorum Court meeting.

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