Hazard mitigation plan in works

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County’s emergency management office may work with other counties through a State University of New York at Albany project to help develop a required All-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

County Civil Defense-Fire Coordinator Steven Santa Maria said Monday that money could be saved if Fulton County becomes involved in the SUNY project.

“This opportunity through SUNY, if it comes to pass, would be a nice savings through the county,” he said.

Santa Maria explained to the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee Monday that the county is required to do an All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. He said if the plan isn’t properly done, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can deny benefits back to the county for emergencies. He said Fulton County’s current plan has been outdated since 2016.

Santa Maria told supervisors his office has an opportunity through SUNY Albany to get involved in a project involving five counties, mostly at SUNY’s expense, to create an All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. He said he contacted SUNY and provided information that might assist on creation of this potential consortium.

“There will be a match to that grant,” he said.

But Santa Maria said Fulton County may be able to provide in-kind services for the project, which may offset monetary costs associated with county matching grant involvement.

“It’s mainly in the infancy stages,” Santa Maria said of the project.

In other business before the committee:

∫ The panel granted Santa Maria permission to use $16,688 in 2017 state Homeland Security Program grant funds to purchase two servers. The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has approved the purchases and will fully reimburse Fulton County.

“These are the backup servers,” Santa Maria said.

He is working with county Information Services Director Perry Lovell on the purchases.

∫ Santa Maria said the county is working on a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan update. He said that work will accelerate in September or October.

∫ The county’s simulcast project is also working on frequency coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, Santa Maria said, Fulton County is trying to obtain frequencies through the FCC to allow the county’s radio system to tap into tower sites in Providence, Saratoga County; and in Herkimer County, he said.

“They need to make sure our frequencies don’t interfere with anyone else’s,” Santa Maria said.

Santa Maria said he also met with the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District to renew Fulton County’s use of the district’s communications tower. He said the district is looking for a flat fee from the county.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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