Santa Rosa County
Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Task Force
August 24, 2005
The Santa Rosa County LMS Task Force met on the above date with 15 members present. A copy of the sign in sheet showing attendees is attached. Walker called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.
Dave Szymanski moved approval of the minutes from the May 25, 2005 meeting; Linda Carden seconded; and the vote carried unanimously.
Discussion of LMS Tier I-III submissions for Ivan
Marsh said there are two hand outs she will be referencing (Attachment in File). She said one of the hand outs is the state’s effort to prioritize the submitted county projects. Marsh requested the state prioritized list be reviewed for errors or changes. She said the state says the county can not add any additional items, but can reprioritize projects already submitted. There was further discussion regarding the state prioritized list. Marsh said the state renamed some of the projects, and she will email a revised list after she discusses the projects with the state. She said the committee can meet again to vote on the revisions or the committee can vote via email.
Gomillion said the only project that has a Tier listing is the Bay Street Sewer Extension. He asked if there is a reason for this. Marsh said she is not sure. She said all the projects submitted were ranked Tier I, II, or III. Marsh said Santa Rosa County’s final allocation will be about $13 million. Furman said there is quite a bit of dollar differences in what was submitted and what is on the state list. Faulkenberry agreed.
Gomillion asked the timeline of the Tier III projects. Marsh said Tier III projects will be approved after Tier I and Tier II projects. She said she felt the Tier III projects will not be approved this year. Marsh said if there are projects really needing to be done, her suggestion will be to submit those projects with Hurricane Dennis’ priority list.
Walker said Marsh will talk to the state concerning the priority list questions and the discrepancy in amounts. He said everyone is anxious to get HMGP (Hazard Mitigation Grant Program) projects approved to move forward.
Discussion of the prioritization & submission process
Marsh asked the committee to review the procedures that worked and did not work with Hurricane Ivan. She said the prioritization process itself can not be changed, but the form is very difficult to complete for anything other than hardening projects. Marsh said she felt the committee should work on a form to capture any kind of hazard mitigation project that may need to go on the priority list. She suggested a simplified version of the form for community members to submit their elevation and shuttering projects.
Gomillion asked to discuss individual requests. He said he thought the county had so many public projects that the committee did not get into the individual projects. Gomillion asked if this is correct. Marsh said no individual projects were submitted for Hurricane Ivan. Walker said the committee decided the individual projects did not fit into the HMGP format. Marsh said early on, the program focused on people who completely lost their homes. She said these homeowners wanted to elevate and install storm shutters during the rebuild process. Marsh said the county received a letter from FEMA in April stating they do not do demolition rebuild projects.
Gomillion asked if this committee will be dealing with private projects or if the Grants Department will deal with these projects. Marsh said the individual projects have to be prioritized and included on the LMS priorities list. She said individual home projects can be grouped together.
There was discussion regarding the ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) flood insurance to help individuals elevate their homes in low based flood areas that are non-compliant at the current time. Thornhill said the home has to be substantially damaged. She said the $30,000.00 has to be applied for separately through individual flood insurance.
Marsh said she will work on data to determine which homes are most at risk. Gomillion said he does not want to set up false expectations for citizens.
D. Adams suggested forming a committee to revamp the application form. Bill Stubstad, Sharon Marsh, and Stephen Furman were appointed to work towards improving the application form.
Thornhill requested Marsh email her the addresses of individual properties as Marsh receives the requests. She said she can identify if the homes are in flood zones. There was further discussion regarding the individual home projects and the criteria to allow prioritization of these projects for submission to the state. Walker said there actually needs to be two forms, one for private projects and one for public projects.
Discussion of the Task Force and Steering Committee
Marsh said in reviewing the bylaws, the Steering Committee makes decisions, and the working group provides recommendations to the Steering Committee. Marsh asked if there is a way to revise the bylaws to make the process more streamline and rotate positions on the Steering Committee.
Gomillion said ideally the Steering Committee will have the authority or responsibility for implementing proposed mitigation initiatives when resources become available. Faulkenberry said the LMS Committee meetings are open public meetings and anyone can attend. She said she felt the LMS Committee should expand to include all those basics the committee needs input from. Marsh said the bylaw wording needs to be changed to allow open discussion at meetings with the Steering Committee voting. Marsh said the meetings have to be structured to allow public input. She said the health community and historic community need representation on the Steering Committee to help the committee with these types of issues. There was further discussion regarding the challenges of having countywide representation at the LMS committee meetings.
Faulkenberry said the LMS committee is about more than just the priority list. She said the committee needs to provide other initiatives such as education and providing businesses with information to get themselves hurricane ready. Faulkenberry said the membership needs to be broadened. Walker said Marsh can work towards changes to the bylaws.
Brown said the county represents all the areas in the county that are unincorporated, and the three cities represent the corporate entities. He said we do not want to overwhelm the committee with people who have no financial or implementation responsibility.
Marsh said her understanding of the discussion is, we will keep the Steering Committee and possibly look at adding a few other positions to broaden the decision makers that need to vote. She said there needs to be more outreach to bring more people in for open discussion, and the Steering Committee will vote on priorities.
Two Upcoming Grants – Special Needs Shelters & Planning Grant
Marsh said a Planning grant can be used to fund GIS enhancement capabilities. She said she will be submitting this grant to the LMS Committee as a priority. Marsh said the GIS enhancements will make it easier for the decision makers.
Millard Adams said when it comes to disaster mitigation, the strong suit of the American Red Cross is educational awareness. He said this education encourages people to take the appropriate steps they need to take in their individual lives to minimize the potential for personal injury or death and property damage. M. Adams said Santa Rosa County School District has heightened their interest in a Red Cross curriculum called “Masters of Disaster” which is a program designed for schools. He said American Red Cross needs assistance with purchasing publications for school educational programs and educational publications for distribution throughout the county.
D. Adams asked if the Steering Committee will need to vote on these projects. Marsh said yes.
M. Adams moved approval to add GIS Enhancements, Educational Projects, and Special Needs Shelters to the priority list; Furman seconded, and the vote carried unanimously.
Sheryl Bracewell discussed Sims Middle School as a special needs shelter during past hurricanes, and the issues that came up with this location. She said the Bo Johnson Center at Pensacola Junior College is being looked at as a possible special needs shelter, but she is not sure if this is a good location. Bracewell said the state will be evaluating the Bo Johnson Center for possible future use. She said the second choice is Avalon Middle School. She noted Avalon Middle School is a much better location and has a kitchen that can possibly be enhanced. Bracewell said she wishes to add Avalon Middle School to the priority list as a special needs shelter with Sims Middle School as the alternate.
Faulkenberry asked if Sims Middle School was damaged by Hurricane Ivan or Dennis. Bracewell said there were some leakage problems but no major damage.
Bracewell said the timeframe for grant submission is September 12, 2005. There was discussion regarding evaluation of the electrical wiring needs at Avalon Middle School for grant submission.
The Emergency Management Plan “Disaster Assessment Team”
Bracewell said the county is in the process of rewriting and updating its Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. She said the state requires a mitigation assessment team that goes out soon after a disaster and actually looks at the damage to propose plans of action. Bracewell said since Building Inspection is already involved with damage assessment, this may be a good place to start. She said the plan has to specifically identify the make up the team, the procedures, the notification process, and how this team will do the job.
Furman asked if this team will deal with all identified risks. Bracewell said the team will assess all hazards, not just hurricanes. She said this team will look at the cause of the problem, not just the disaster. D. Adams said the City of Milton has a team that looks at mitigation assessment, and the city team can tie into the county effort.
Marsh said with the GIS enhancement, the county can do a better job of getting the information more readily available for assessing hazards. Brown said he felt this team should operate from city and county vehicles. He said a follow up assessment should be conducted after power is restored. Faulkenberry said this is different from damage assessment, but should work along side damage assessment.
Furman said prevention measures can not be handled immediately after a storm. He asked that the data collected by the mitigation assessment team not be brought into Emergency Management right after a disaster. There was continued discussion regarding the mitigation assessment team being the same people as the disaster recovery team with different goals. Marsh said the mitigation assessment team will review their acquired data for submission to the Steering committee.
Other Business & Public Comments
Gomillion said the school system had a number of projects that are no longer on the priorities list. Marsh said Steve Radliff was concerned with the timeframe and the work that needed to be done. She said the school system paid for projects that needed to be completed. Marsh said the only project not completed is purchasing generators. She said the state has made it very clear they will not accept any projects that are just generators. Marsh said the schools that are used as shelters need generators, so she is planning to help the school system locate alternate grants.
Carden said the north end of the county does not have a shelter. She said if citizens from the north end of the county go to a current shelter, they will be evacuating closer to harms way. Marsh said Gomillion, Salter, TEAM Santa Rosa, and myself met to discuss distribution sites and back up shelters throughout the county. She said this committee needs to develop a formal plan of distribution sites and back up shelters. Brown suggested maps of distribution sites for trucks delivering immediate needs. There was further discussion regarding the receipt of supplies following a disaster.
D. Adams asked if the county has received a letter from the state approving the LMS Plan. Marsh said no, but she is working on a response.
The next scheduled meeting of the LMS Committee is Wednesday, November 16, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in the Emergency Operations Center.
There being no further business to come before the LMS Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 11:40 p.m.