Generator deadline extended, county could save $151K

Published 12:07 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

NATCHEZ — Adams County has received an extension from the federal government to complete a hazard mitigation project, an extension that will mean a difference in cost of $151,000 in the county’s favor.

The extension was for the completion date on the county’s emergency shelter generator hook-up project. The county previously had until March 31 to be finished with the process of hooking up the generators if it was going to receive reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the hook-ups.

Adams County Emergency Manager Stan Owens said the deadline has now been extended to July 31.

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The three generator sites are located at the county’s Red Cross certified shelters, which are located at Community Chapel Church of God, Parkway Baptist Church and the Steckler building. The generators were bought using FEMA hazard mitigation grant money. The federal agency will reimburse part of the cost of hooking up the generators if the county meets its new deadline, something Owens said should not be a problem.

“One of the sites, the Community Chapel site, has been completed and tested,” Owens said. “We are still waiting on some parts that should be in late next week for the other two sites.”

The total hook-up project will cost approximately $209,000. Owens has previously said only $58,000 of that will come out of the county’s pocket.

The generator project began in 2007 under the emergency management administration of George Souderes. The federal funds that have been dedicated to the project are part of hazard mitigation efforts post-Hurricane Katrina, Owens said.

“During a nationally declared disaster, when the federal government spends so much money recovering from the disaster, there is then a certain percentage (of funds) set aside to mitigate future hazards,” he said.

“During a disaster, every county that gets a declaration becomes eligible to apply for those (mitigation) funds later.”

Following Hurricane Katrina, the Natchez-Adams County area served as a point of refuge for many Mississippi and Louisiana evacuees.

“(The shelters) are there to protect our local people in case of a local emergency, and could also stand up as shelters for the coastal residents,” Owens said.

The hook-up projects at the site were awarded to Eagle Electric at the Community Chapel location for $36,300, and Thorpe Sheet Metal for $80,484 at the Steckler Building and $93,310 at Parkway Baptist Church.