Monday, 21 May 2012 01:51

Amador Sheriff’s OES starts local hazard mitigation plan update

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Amador County – About 24 local and regional emergency services officials attended a kickoff meeting earlier this month for an update to the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, being led by the Amador County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.

Sergeant John Silva, Amador Sheriff’s OES coordinator introduced Jeanine Foster of AMEC Earth & Environmental of Boulder, Colorado, who was selected as consultant on the plan, and also did the first Local Hazard Mitigation Plan five years ago.

Foster said the costs associated with responding to and recovery from disasters has caused more and more disaster declarations, and the cost is too great for the federal government to bear. She said the Hazard Mitigation Act of 2000 established the need for a renewed plan every five years to maintain eligibility for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pre-disaster and post-disaster funds. With the local plan, cities, counties and special districts can get funds for planning projects.

She said the plans do not have to reinvent the wheel, and can use existing documents such as General Plans, post event reports or news stories. The draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will go to Cal-EMA and FEMA for review and approval. Once approved, it’s up to the community to do the projects that it lists.

She said the Amador plan will seek participants in a committee to update the plan, which should mitigate and help avert hazards, adapt to hazards, with projects to do the work. She said a brainstorm process will follow with looking at benefits versus costs of projects.

One such project was the recent Marcucci Bridge project on Jackson Creek. Silva said the 2006 plan included a new bridge and expanded culvert, near Denny’s. Jackson City Manager Mike Daly said the small culvert that was replaced dated to 1950, and significant flooding of residents on South Avenue was typical with rain events. Semi-retired Ione Building Inspector Don Myshrall said Ione received a grant for a pond in the plan in 2009 to keep water from flooding downtown.

Cathy Koos-Breazeal said the Amador Fire Safe Council was already working on a Community Conservation Wildfire Protection Plan, for Greater Pine Grove. Foster said the Council’s previous Protection Plan for the Pioneer and Volcano area was used in the 2006 Local Hazard Plan.

Foster said the grants are 75 percent funded with 25 percent local match. She said she has seen jurisdictions come in with their own “annex” in the middle of a five-year cycle, applied for funding and received it. She said “it really comes down to projects and if they find funding.” A lot of jurisdictions partner with cities or counties, and when counties had more money, they were more willing to administer grants for other jurisdictions.

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 3227 times Last modified on Monday, 21 May 2012 02:09