Some snags between FEMA and Orange County emergency management officials have changed the scope of the county’s efforts to restore Ike-affected structures, however Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley told commissioners Monday line items were being closely scrutinized.

FEMA thinks in terms of “alternate projects” and “improved projects,” Kelley said.
“An alternate project would be if you have a police station damaged by a hurricane. You get FEMA money and want to build a fire station,” he said. “An improved project is if you get a police station damaged by a hurricane, you get FEMA money and rebuilt it bigger and better.”

The county had originally requested the damaged Adult Probation building as an improved project, which FEMA now wants to classify as “alternate.”

Kelley said he’s confident FEMA will reverse that decision because individual line items are being carefully studied.

Trailer transfer

Kelley told commissioners the Scotty Mobile Command Trailer, purchased using Homeland Security funds in 2005, has been transferred to Jefferson County.

It was originally offered to Vidor emergency management officials, who felt it would be difficult to transport using what they presently have.

The Scotty trailer was recently replaced by Orange County with the more-advanced, state-of-the-art Farber Mobile Command Unit.

Inmate evacuations

In other business, commissioners approved an agreement between the county and the West Orange-Cove school district to secure buses to transport inmates in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.