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Local News

October 2, 2013

County to pursue purchasing new emergency alert system

Ada —

Pontotoc County’s  Emergency Management Director Chad Letellier has been given the OK by the Commissioners Court to pursue a system that could save lives in RV and trailer courts.

He is seeking one of the systems now, and if the results are positive, he could apply for most funding later.

“We’re going to see about putting one of these out in an RV park in the county,” he said. 

A hazard alert system is activated by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

“We don’t have anything like that right now,” Letellier said. “It’s not a normal tornado siren. 

“When weather alerts the radio, and the National Weather Service, this puts out  a kind of warning. This alert system goes off at exactly the same time as the weather radios. 

It will broadcast a short tone, then a verbal weather watch or warning to everyone who can hear it, such as in a trailer park.

It can save people’s lives for those who don’t have the emergency radios, which Letellier admits are quite a few country residents.

Counting in-kind matches from the county, which would donate labor and materials to the construction, the county taxpayers would be left with approximately $4,000 to pay on the project.

The entire system, lock and key, is $16,500 by the time it’s installed.

The grant is a 75-25 grant with the state which explains where the county’s part of the tab ($4,000) comes in.

Letellier said the grant is by no means a sure thing, but the commissioners have given him the green light to pursue it.

He will now submit a notice of intent to the state’s hazardous mitigation officer.

“If they have funding or this is one they want to  fund, they’ll approve it.

“Then I write grant,” Lletellier said.

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