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Commissioners to update Natural Disasters Plan

By Staff | Dec 10, 2010

Pierce County has been awarded a FEMA Mitigation Grant for $25,551 but they won’t get any more grants until they upgrade their Natural Disasters Plan, commissioners learned at the December 7 meeting. FEMA requires that the plan must be updated by 2013 and it takes an estimated 15-18 months to complete.

Greg Hagen, Souris Basin Services, attended the meeting and essentially told the commissioners they have three options to get an updated plan. The Pierce County Emergency Manager can update the plan, the county may hire a private consultant firm, or the county may retain the services of Souris Basin to update the plan.

“Any of the three options would work,” said Hagen. “I’m obviously here to promote the Souris Basin option.”

FEMA is meticulous in reviewing the plan when it is complete. “It’s a process with meetings, public hearings, et cetera,” said Hagen.

When the plan is complete it has to be approved by the North Dakota Emergency Services and FEMA.

The project does not come without a price tag, yet FEMA requires the plan to be in place in order to get grants.

Souris Basin would charge a $6,000 initial fee and then $6,000/month until it is completed. The last payment can be held until the final plan is done.

Because the plan is so detailed and every i has to be dotted and every t crossed, it is time consuming and tedious. It just makes sense to hire the services done.

After much discussion, which Pierce County Emergency Manager Matt Lunde was a part of, Rick Larson moved to retain Souris Basin Services to update the plan at the cost submitted by Hagen. The motion was seconded by Duane Johnston. All commissioners were present and voted in favor.

In further business before the commission, Elaine Little, director, Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center (HACTC), asked for approval to update computers, discussed the FlexComp Program, and asked to add a correctional officer for the facility.

Little reviewed the center’s October financial statement with the commissioners and concurred that October of 2010 is the best month the facility has had since she has been here. She reported that the center has a staff of 33 counting herself. She said the inmate count has increased steadily and on December 7 was at a 132.

She asked the board of commissioners to agree to the resolutions of the FlexComp plan for employees and approve the center staying with its plan. The commissioners unanimously agreed and approved the retention of the FlexComp plan.

Little reported that the computers at the center are dying. They replaced one computer already as an employee needed it to do her job. She said the center has received two bids on purchasing several computers and the money could be taken out of the center’s improvement budget. The higher bid was from The Computer Store but that bid included ongoing support of the computers and the company had worked with the center for a long time. After a short discussion, the commission unanimously approved the bid from The Computer Store for $17,074.

Little then discussed the need for an additional correction officer. She said employees can’t take vacations because it leaves the place short-staffed.

“I would feel much safer if we had one more employee,” said Little.

The new employee could fill in for staff when they are on vacation and could be used to transport prisoners and other tasks as needed.

The board gave approval for Little to hire an additional correction officer.

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