03/20/13This week the Marshall County Commissioners took action on a question that has been asked and discussed since before last year’s budget hearings. Marshall County EMA Director, Clyde Avery asked the commissioners for their guidance on the Emergency Management Performance Grant. The FEMA grant provides assistance to states in preparing for all hazards. In Indiana those funds are use to reimburse counties up to 50% of the EMA Director’s salary if the county meets the qualifications.
Avery has talked to the commissioners and council members on the increasing requirements needed to obtain the grant. The number of points needed to qualify continues to increase and it’s not dependent on the size of the EMA department in each county. Marshall County only has one full time EMA director when other counties in the state have as many a four or five in their departments. The EMPG Grant qualifications are the same for each department.
Last summer the commissioners discussed the possibility of just funding the EMA Director’s position completely with tax payer’s dollars instead of having Avery spend so much time trying to meet the state’s requirements. The County Council also talked about the possibility when they were working on this year’s budget but no decision was ever made.
During his term as the Marshall County EMA Director Avery has always attained the necessary qualifications to receive the EMPG matching funds and has even exceeded their requirements. The commissioners questioned whether Avery could better spend his time working in the county rather than working to meet the grant requirements.
On Monday the Marshall County Commissioners made their decision. They voted unanimously to take on the EMA Director’s salary entirely in the county’s budget next year.