Regional Response Team in the making
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 22, 2003
Area residents may soon see the formation of a Meridian/Lauderdale County Regional Response Team under Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge.
Clarence Butler, executive director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, told county supervisors on Monday that the city had signed the Statewide Mutual Aid Compact earlier that day.
The move will let them use $252,800 in federal funds to buy equipment for the team.
Lauderdale County signed the compact last summer, but the county needed to be in partnership with a paid fire department under the provisions of statewide compact in order to form a regional response team and receive the federal funds available through the state.
Craig Hitt, District 3 supervisor and president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, said he met with city and state officials on Friday to outline the local structure of the team.
The agreement between the city, county and state also calls for the team to designate a purchasing agent to order equipment and be responsible for its inventory. The city will house the equipment.
Partridge confirmed that the city had signed the statewide compact on Monday, but the city council has yet to approve it.
Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith has called a special meeting of the city council for Thursday to approve the agreement.
The statewide compact is an agreement between the state, counties and/or cities that allows the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to assist other counties and or cities affected by natural or manmade disasters.
The compact enables MEMA to ask non-affected jurisdictions to assist with equipment and manpower to the counties needing aid. It addresses the issues of liability, compensation, supervision and reimbursement in one standard, legally approved document.
In other business Monday:
Supervisors were informed by Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie that a traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Highway 19 and Long Creek-Vimville Road near Southeast Lauderdale School by the start of the next school year.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said the light is good news. He said he has tried to have a traffic light placed there for two years.
They approved a motion to declare the modernization of the two elevators in the Raymond P. Davis County Annex Building an emergency and to employ Cone Elevator Co. to refurbish both at a cost of $122,000. Rex Hiatt, county administrator said it may take up to four weeks for the work to be done.
They approved Hancock Bank's proposal for the issuance of a $500,000 taxable negotiable note at 3.93 percent interest. Supervisors are using the money toward the purchase of land at the industrial park on Interstate 20/59. Two other bids for the loan were received from BankPlus at 4.75 percent interest and Great Southern National Bank at 5.25 percent interest.