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Commissioners approve Hazmat grant

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bryan Husband
In times of hazardous chemical spills, the area should be more prepared.

During Monday's special meeting, the Clay County Commissioners unanimously approved a Hazmat grant for District 7 of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband said the grant is for $31,700 and will go toward reimbursing costs to purchase Hazmat equipment.

"It will cover the costs of a lot of miscellaneous equipment," Husband said. "Some of it will be for upkeep, some for the recertification of chemical testing equipment, some for replacing old equipment and other things that are needed."

He added the grant money would not go to emergency responders in Clay County, but it would benefit the area.

"District 7 is made up of eight counties, and the grant will be going to the Greencastle and Terre Haute fire departments and V-Care, which is out of Vigo County," Husband said. "V-Care is the main agency we call for assistance in Hazmat situations in Clay County, but they are all there to assist. It is always good to have more than one option for assistance in case one of them is out on another call."

Clay County acts as the fiscal agent for District 7, which also consists of Greene, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

Husband said the grant is coming from federal funds, which were originally distributed in 2006.

"With many of these grants, you have three years to use the money to complete projects," he said. "There are times when project costs are less than the grant given, which can leave leftover money to be distributed."

The commissioners also reviewed quotes for the replacement of Bridge No. 24, located on County Road 500 E, approximately one-quarter mile north of United States 40.

In a meeting on Feb. 2, Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said work on the bridge had been pushed back many months due to the imperativeness of other projects which needed to be completed immediately following the major flooding in June 2008.

BLS Contractors, Bowling Green, was awarded the work with the lowest quote ($46,500) for the replacement of the bridge, in comparison to Brown's Land Improvement, Inc., Staunton ($51,500), and L & B Construction, Brazil ($49,841.62), which also submitted quotes for consideration.

The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Monday, March 2, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.

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