Putnam County applying for a $74,000 grant to purchase some 2,500 weather radios.
County commissioners approved the grant application Monday night. 87 percent of the costs would be paid by FEMA and TEMA. The county’s outlay, if the grant is approved, would be $9,300.
County Mayor Randy Porter said the weather radios would be distributed to residents in need across the Highway 70 corridor and then to other county residents. Porter said the program will be called the Shaver Project.
“She was in the tornado area last March and was hurt very bad,” Porter said. “She’s now paralyzed from her injuries from that tornado. She contacted me about a month or so ago and was looking into doing something for the community. They had to move to Texas because of her husband’s job, but she’s still very well connected to our community. And so that’s how we started talking about the weather radios.”
Porter said county emergency officials found the grant to help protect residents from storms. He said it could become a long-term project.
“We might apply for it again next year and continue to do more until we can get most of the county with one, which is the best way for us to warn everyone of tornadoes and hazardous weather.”
If the county receives the grant, Porter said officials will consider the best way to distribute the radios. He said FEMA or TEMA might also put specific guidelines on the distribution.
“I mean, we could charge a small fee, five or ten dollars, you know, for radio to to make back some of it up if we wanted to but our goal would many people as we can,” Porter said. “So they’ve got them, especially the ones that live out in the rural part of the county.”
Commissioners also approved an additional $75,000 to cover building material cost overruns on the Patton House replacement projject.
The county wants to build a new building to house veterans services, archives and the museum on the former Patton Doll House site. That building was destroyed in the tornado last March.
Porter said escalating costs on steel and lumber are projected to cost the county more than the original budget. Porter said county maintenance crews will do some of the work to keep costs down.
Existing money in the capital project fund would be used to pay for overages. FEMA agreed last year to pay some $300,000 of the project, but will not expand its outlay.