04/18/13 Marshall County Emergency Management Director, Clyde Avery presented the paperwork to accept the 2012 EMPG (Emergency Management Performance Grant) at the Commissioner’s meeting this week. The grant reimburses the county 50% of the director’s salary ($39,420) if he attains the required points. Avery told the commissioners he also received notification that he has received enough points necessary to receive the EMPG grant for 2013.
The question of continuing with the EMPG grant to reimburse half of the director’s salary has been a topic for nearly a year now. The state continues to raise the required points necessary to acquire the grant reimbursement and the commissioners feel that Mr. Avery has to spend too much time getting points. They would like to see him devote more time to working in the country. In March the county commissioners motioned and approved unanimously to pay the EMA director’s salary through the general fund and not relay on the grant. Their decision has nothing to do with continuing with EMA and working with Homeland Security. The county will continue to meet the requirement to be emergency ready and will still qualify to receive grant monies for projects.
The County Council held a short discussion last month on the possibility of funding the total amount of the EMA Director’s salary. They basically do that already since the EMPG grant is a reimbursable grant. The county is reimbursed the funds several months after the year end and that money comes back into the general fund.
Some council members are concerned that if the EMA Director’s EMPG grant is dropped the county will not continue to attain the high standards set forth by Homeland Security. County President, Matt Hassel expressed his concern of reducing the county’s emergency readiness. Some also have concerns that if the county drops out they may not be eligible to receive any other grants.
The discussion will probably continue until budget hearings in August.