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OCEMA leader to present new disaster plan

September 2, 2012

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors will hear a presentation on the county’s emergency preparedness plan 9 a.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse.

Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Britt said periodical review is mandatory for the county’s basic emergency preparedness plan, and Tuesday’s submission to the board meets all federal and state requirements. Specific information about the county’s emergency plan was unavailable last week due to Britt’s deployment to the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Isaac.

“We’ve gone through our process and done the necessary updates,” Britt said. “It’s a good, functional plan that I’m very comfortable with and that meets all standards of compliance.”

In other county business, Road Manager Victor Collins says two trucks will begin spraying outlying Oktibbeha areas this week as a part of its mosquito spraying program.

Also, Collins said a new asphalt distributor truck will arrive for county usage this week. In March, supervisors accepted a $146,968 bid for the 2013 Freightliner truck equipped with a 24-foot-spray Entyre distributor after a lower bid did not meet county specifications.

County officials said a new distributor not only would replace antiquated equipment, but it would also cut down on work time. With a spray range of above 20 feet, road crews can make fewer passes while working on projects.

Besides work time, the new implement will also reduce stress upon workers. The county’s old distributor required an employee to control it directly at the machine, exposing the worker to harsh conditions. The new unit features computer-controlled distribution.

“(A new distributor) will make our projects go a lot faster. It holds more material and will require less fill-ups,” Collins said in March.

“Our old distributor requires two men (to operate). It’s kind of hazardous because during the summer its 100 degrees outside with a man (working the distributor and) standing over 175-degree asphalt. You get over that machine in the summer for a while, and I’ve seen times when our workers almost passed out. As many roads as we have to work on, it will be a big help to us.”

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