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LEPD trims budget

Friday, March 2, 2012

Members of the Local Emergency Planning District (LEPD) elected a new slate of officers at their February meeting.

Tom Jones, Monett fire chief, will serve as vice chair for a two-year term, and Bonnie Witt-Schulte will serve as secretary for a two-year term. Members at large Paul Carter and Rick Mercer will both serve two-year terms and M.W. Roberts will serve for one year.

Members of the LEPD, which serves as the oversight organization for both Lawrence and Barry county emergency management offices, voted to trim some budget expenses for the coming year and attempt to establish which costs were covered by the Barry County Office of Emergency Management as opposed to those covered by the LEPD.

The executive committee will meet with both David Compton, Barry County emergency management director, and Chet Hunter, the Lawrence County director, to determine which expenses are to be divided between the two counties and which are to be designated to the overall organization in an effort to disperse funds more equitably.

Members also voted to discontinue cleaning services for the Barry County office.

In other business, Hunter presented the organization with a revised logo that incorporates both county names in its emblem. Members approved the logo change, and the new design will now be used on all official LEPD business correspondence.

In old business, Robert Ward, Aurora fire Chief, reported to members that the fire suppression training equipment was purchased with funds raised by the Aurora Fire Department.

Ward said a portion of those funds were "funneled" through the LEPD, as it was initially a project that would involve the organization. However, Ward reported that the Aurora Fire Department was the main source of funding for the equipment, which had been maintained by the department. He indicated the Aurora department would retain ownership of the training system.

Ward said other agencies and industries were welcome to train on the equipment.

Witt-Schulte requested Ward provide the serial numbers and model number information for the conference phone system and the Elliott identification badging system currently housed at the Aurora Fire Department for inventory purposes. The badge identification system is the property of the Barry County Office of Emergency Management, but supplies are funded through the LEPD.

The City of Monett will designate an individual to be trained on the system as well.

A draft letter of invitation was presented to committee members for approval. The letter will be sent to all Tier II reporting agencies, advising them of the purpose of LEPD meetings and required attendance guidelines.

Cheryl Smith, a representative of George's Inc., has offered to provide Haz-Woper training to local public works and industry employees. Smith said the cost of the classes would be set to cover materials needed for training. Smith will coordinate with local industries to determine their needs and then e-mail class information to the LEPD.

Amateur radio classes are being scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. on April 20 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 21 at the Monett Police Department. Testing will immediately follow. There is no charge for the class, but the test will cost $14. To register, contact James "Chewy" Vroman at james@vroman.com. or 417-235-3144.

Shane Anderson, of the Monett Fire Department, advised members that the department is in need of assistance to provide certified confined space training to new firefighters. Anderson said there is a possibility the department will no longer be able to provide the service if assistance is not obtained.

The next regular meeting of the LEPD will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 15 in the community room at 1901 E. Cleveland in Monett.



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