April 16, 2012
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Homeland Security Oversight Committee awards $42,500 in grants for 2012
ST. JAMES—The Region I Homeland Security Oversight Committee (HSOC) recently awarded $42,510.78 in 2012 grant funds that focused on maintenance and sustainment of core capabilities for homeland security projects.
Amy McMillen, MRPC environmental programs specialist, presented the 2012 grant applications to the board at its meeting March 23 at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC). The total amount requested from applicants was $104,000, McMillen noted.
The board approved to use the 2012 grant funds for the following projects:
Board members approved using approximately $8,000 of reallocated FY 2009 grant funds for the remaining amount requested to sustain the Rolla Homeland Security Response Team’s command center.
The FY 2009 reallocated grant funds also included the purchase of two small utility trailers and equipment for Maries County Emergency Management for $1,870. The equipment purchase included accessories such as gas cans, tie down straps and heavy-duty extension cords. The trailers are needed to transport two portable generators to be used in emergency situations.
The board discussed reallocating remaining FY 2009 grant funds for 2012 grant projects that had not been funded. Based on the need shown by applicants, the board considered two applications – one from Jadwin Volunteer Fire Department and one from Leasburg Community Volunteer Fire Department.
Board members approved to fully fund the Jadwin Volunteer Fire Department’s grant request with remaining FY 2009 funds for $7,500. The grant would allow the department to purchase a base repeater radio system to replace the existing system that was damaged by lightning.
The board approved the Leasburg Community Volunteer Fire Department to receive up to $5,000 of the remaining FY 2009 funds to purchase up to two P-25 phase 1 trunked mobile radios to replace old wideband units in one tanker and one brush truck.
The board of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission affirmed the Region I HSOC’s spending recommendations during a special conference call April 3, in time for submission to the State Homeland Security on April 6. MRPC must receive final approval and grant agreements before projects can move forward.
In other business, the committee updated its membership by approving Doug Yurecko of Pulaski County to serve as an alternate for 911 and Bruce Naugle of Laclede County to serve as alternate for EMS.
The board also reviewed a written report from Jonathan Ayres, chair of the Region I Interoperable Communications Subcommittee.
The report explained Region I HSOC has allocated funding over the last several years to install a high-power VHF interoperability repeater in each county in Region I for a regional communications system. The repeaters would link to a control station on the Missouri Statewide Interoperability Network, which is currently under construction. The repeaters would allow for county and region-level interoperability for users on the new state system.
The estimated cost for the project is $25,000 per county, for a total of $150,000. Currently, $100,000 has been allocated, which would only fund four of the six counties in the region. Because of funding cuts from the Office of Homeland Security, funding is not available to complete the project.
The board tabled discussion on reallocating those funds until its next meeting, which will allow a representative from the Office of Homeland Security to attend the meeting and answer any questions board members may have regarding the best use of the funds and how best to support interoperable communications in the region.
Region I HSOC, established along the boundaries of the State Highway Patrol Troop I, includes the counties of Crawford, Dent, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Laclede.
Three counties in the Meramec Region—Gasconade, Osage and Washington—are served through other regions. Gasconade and Osage counties are a part of Troop F, which is being coordinated by the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission at Ashland while Washington County is a part of Troop C, which is coordinated by the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission at Perryville.
The next Region I HSOC meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. July 19, 2012 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Drive in St. James.