Commission declares local State of Emergency

Tim Walker
AMR Reporter

At its April 7 meeting, the Pocahontas County Commission approved a Declaration of Local State of Emergency for the county. This was done in response to the coronavirus situation, and allows the county to be eligible for emergency funding.

The commission also voted to extend the limited access to the Pocahontas County Courthouse and county offices through April 30.

Emergency Management/911 Director Mike O’Brien was authorized by the commission to submit an application for the 2018 Emergency Management Performance Grant. O’Brien explained that this is a reimbursement grant for expenses incurred that year in operating the county Emergency Management Office, and it is a formality, as they have already been pre-approved to be reimbursed in the amount of $25,583, once they submit the application.

O’Brien also received commission approval to enter into a formal agreement with the GPS company TOMTOM to provide that company with the county’s 911 addressing information. The agreement specifies how TOMTOM can and cannot use that information. O’Brien said this will help ensure that GPS data in the county is more current.

The commission also approved the purchase of two medical grade HEPA Negative Air pressure machines for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital at a price (for both) not to exceed $3,100 including the purchase, shipping and handling.

Commissioners and staff from the county’s health department discussed concerns about people, in significant numbers, coming into the county to work during this emergency and the risks of virus spread in the local community that such travel could present.

They said a company from Ohio was scheduled to bring in workers this week to rebuild the bridge in Durbin, but local attorney Bob Martin informed them that he had obtained a court injunction to delay that until June.

An Ohio company is also scheduled to bring in a large number of out-of-state workers to resume construction of a new motel at Snowshoe.

The Health Department said they have new authority to stop that, and will talk to the resort to ask them to delay that, too.

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