Marshall County Commissioners, Mike Delp, Kurt Gardner and Kevin Overmyer, voted unanimously during their meeting on Monday to extend the Declaration of Emergency and leave at Watch level for another seven days. The emergency status was declared on February 23 due to high water and flooding throughout the county.
The emergency status could possibly be downgraded to advisory or lifted completely at 4:00P.M. next Monday.
EMA (Emergency Management) Director Clyde Avery presented an update report on the status of the emergency disaster. Avery indicated that that not all of the emergency plan was followed and might need to be changed. Delp said, “This caught us off guard, I don’t think we need to modify the plan.” Garner said the volunteers were handled very well, but suggested there were some “cracks in the plan” that should be addressed.
The commissioners are asking that those with flood associated damage report the extent of damage to county offices. Garner said FEMA looks at both public and private amounts of damage. He indicated that there are thresholds of damage limits that determine if or how much reimbursement for damages could be made.
Later in the meeting, Chuck DeWitt, Building Department, and Ralph Booker, Planning Department, requested a waiver of any building permit fees associated with flood damage for six months. The request was granted.
The Commissioners also voted 3-0 to contract with Heavy Equipment Response Coalition, Josh Walker and Bill Dawson, for providing clean-up services including volunteer assistance. The contract is capped at $16,900. The contract from the provider was a joint agreement with the City of Plymouth, with each paying half of the fees. HERC is temporarily set up in a building on Michigan Street in downtown Plymouth. It was noted that their services spanned 159 structures.
Jason Peters, Highway Department, presented a report of several passages showing roads and bridges that were closed during the flooding emergency. Peters said they are in the process of obtaining quotes for repair work. He said Highway Department employees worked a total of 117 overtime hours from February 20 through March 2. On all but one day, they had 28-31 employees working on roads throughout the county.
Peters said they had a shortage of signs and barricades that were needed to close roads where necessary. He said there were a number of barricades stolen, making it more of a problem. The commissioners authorized the purchase of additional signs and barricades. Delp said there will be tracking of stolen barricades.