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Washington County Commissioners Approve Matching Funds Commitment Letter for County Storm Warning System Upgrades.

Eric Ashlock, deputy director of emergency management for Washington County, said 75% of the federal emergency management grant will be covered while the remaining 25% will be the responsibility of each applicable jurisdiction. He says all the sub-jurisdictions have agreed to cover their share, but that could be fully funded with help from people in the community.

Upgrading the system will update local jurisdictions. Ashlock says more rural communities may soon have a storm siren system similar to the one they use in Bartlesville. He says it’s an added value for all of Washington County because it will bring communities back from the 1950s in 2010, if not 2020.

Dewey will probably have the majority of improved mermaids. Ashlock says Copan, Ochelata, Oglesby, Ramona and Vera will also benefit from this project. He says they will be able to activate their sirens remotely instead of having to walk in and activate them manually.

The National Weather Service can activate the sirens if everyone is asleep and a major storm rolls in in the middle of the night.

An extraordinary circumstances waiver request would be made by Ashlock shortly after discussing the matching funds commitment letter with the commissioners. This happened after Commissioner Mitch Antle received a few phone calls about the Storm Shelter Grant Program.

Commissioner Antle says it was all about the storm shelter grant. By everything, Antle means the multi-jurisdictional, multi-risk mitigation plan that the Board of Commissioners approved by resolution last week.

Ashlock says Washington County’s multi-jurisdictional, multi-hazard mitigation plan has been approved. He says they were the first jurisdiction to adopt the plan, followed by Copan and Ramona. Other Washington County jurisdictions are considering this article this week.

Commissioner Antle said Ashlock was in constant communication with the 188 storm shelter grant applicants. Antle says the conversations focused on why the process is taking so long. He says the waiver will hopefully allow them to progress.

Both articles were unanimously approved by Washington County commissioners on Monday morning.

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