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County Task Force goes inactive

The Pearl River County Task Force went inactive until more issues arise that need their attention.

In their last meeting Thursday, Director of Planning and Development Harold Holmes displayed the certificates of appreciation drawn up by his office in recognition of distinguished service by all involved.

“I think that a very nice gesture of Harold’s office to get these printed up,” Task Force president Danny Wise said.

Other issues of note included projects that Bobby Strahan is working on to prepare for another emergency situation. Strahan said he has gathered about 26 hazard mitigation grants to apply for that will help provide generators in the county. Strahan estimates all the generators that he has planned to purchase will cost about $1 million. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have asked Strahan to bring in the two cities to request funds to help with waste water and lift stations.

“We’re getting on the final stages of it. It’s going to be a big project. It started out kind of small but it’s just blossomed,” Strahan said. “I feel good about it. I think we’re going to get the generators.”

He thinks that he should at least get the better part of a portion of the generators and the grant will be for 100 percent, with no matching of funds needed, Strahan said. He also reported that he was awarded a 100 percent Hazard Mitigation Grant for the new storm shutters for the current Emergency Operations Center. He is working with an architect to make the windows and the roof in the new EOC building, when it is built, able to sustain 180 mile-per-hour winds. Those windows and roof should be covered by Hazard Mitigation Grant as well, since Strahan said those applications are looking good.

Thursday’s meeting of the Task Force will be the last until more issues need their attention, said Julia Anderson of the Pearl River County Planning and Development Office. So far, all of the active issues the Task Force was working on are progressing with work by those involved in each of those areas, she said.

“We made it through another hurricane season, and we will go inactive until other important issues surface,” Anderson said. “If the need arises, we will be meeting again.”