County pursues grant funding for EOC

Published 9:02 pm Monday, January 16, 2017


Safety is the name of the game as Carter County is in the running to obtain grant funding to “enhance safety of all county residents.”
Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey announced over the weekend that the county is in the process of submitting an application for a Community Development Block Grant totaling $315,000 for the creation of a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
“The facility will serve as a central command center for multiple agencies during an emergency situation or a natural disaster,” Humphrey said. “The grant application must include data that is gathered through a survey of randomly selected Carter County residents.”
County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Smith told the STAR Monday a new facility would help the county in times of natural disaster and provide much-needed space for individuals to work together. Currently, the county uses a room roughly between 400-450 square feet inside the courthouse as an EOC.
“We’re hoping to receive the funding for expansion,” Smith added. The director stated the First Tennessee Development District (FTDD), who prepared the grant application, compiled a list of randomly selected residents — a requirement by the state — to receive a survey needed to finish the application. Information gathered from the surveys must be returned to FTDD no later than February 1.
During the weekend announcement, Humphrey encouraged residents that have received the survey to send feedback as soon as possible.
“If you receive the survey in the mail, it is extremely important for you to complete and return it,” he said. “Without the survey, we will be unable to apply for funding to construct the Emergency Operations Center.”
Information received by FTDD will be held in confidence and will only go into aggregate data for application preparation only, the mayor added.
Smith stated that EMA has reached out to residents that were selected to receive a survey, adding that in some instances an application can get lost in the shuffle of the mail. Along with the surveys provided to selected residents, the surveys will be available to citizens during this evening’s County Commission, set to start at 6 p.m. inside the county courthouse. Commissioners will also be asked during the meeting to touch base with residents in their district that may have been selected to participate in the survey.
If the application pans out, the county will then begin the process of seeking out a suitable location to place a new EOC. An idea that has been mentioned includes the mini-mall location near Carter County 911.
For any questions in regards to the survey, residents are encouraged to call the mayor’s office at (423) 542-1801 or contact Smith at (423) 524-1888.

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