Preble County EMA expecting grant cuts

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — Preble County’s EMA is expecting significant cuts to grant money they use to reimburse 50 percent of their expenses. Director David Anderson attended the Preble County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, July 19, where he shared information he learned at a Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO) meeting.

The association is comprised of county EMA directors from all over the state.

“They meet to try and make things better for EMAs and people that they serve,” Anderson said. “One of the big things that was brought up was the EMPG grant. The EMPG is what we use to reimburse 50 percent of our expenses. For FY17 there is going to be no decrease in it. The money was decreased to the State, but the State said that they would absorb the difference and continue with the amount they were going to have otherwise.

“For fiscal year 2018 they are expecting a 20 percent cut, so they are not going to be able to absorb all of that, so they will have to pass that on. That means for fiscal year 2018 we’re going to end up not getting as much as far as EMPG money to utilize. That’s something that I wanted to give you guys a headsup on, because it is going to affect my budget. That’s a year off, things can change, but that is what they’re figuring.”

Anderson added, when they do cut the 20 percent, they are thinking of allowing the EMPG money to only be used towards salaries.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) donated MARCS radios to the county fire departments which were unable to take part in the MARCS grant back in April. “Hopefully we can move forward as soon as we get a template put together for Preble County for their MARCS,” Anderson said. “They’ll be able to get them programmed and get to using them.”

Next on Anderson’s agenda was a Memorandum of Understanding from Neaton Auto Products. He said, “I was sent an email and a packet on an MOU that Neaton wanted me to sign for. There isn’t any reason that this thing needs to be signed, because I would do anything they needed me to do anyhow. I don’t respond to Neaton, I respond to a call from a fire department. I would do what I would normally do, which is support the first responders.

“It doesn’t have to be signed and if we don’t sign it, all it’s going to say is no agreement, but I’m still going to be there. It’s up to you guys, what you would like to do?”

Commissioner Chris Day suggested sending the letter to the prosecutor for him to review and his fellow commissioners agreed.

In other business:

•Anderson is working on mitigation plans. A contract was received by Resource Solutions, but he is struggling to find a time to meet with them. Once he does meet with them, he will report back to the commissioners to discuss how they will move forward.

•Anderson is also working on a master asset list for the county fire and EMS divisions.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH