County considering consolidation of EMA, 911 Board

Published 2:10 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Pike County Emergency Management Agency may soon be consolidated with the 911 Board to share costs while establishing the county’s first EMA board.

“The commission approved tonight for us to take the next steps, which means meeting with the shareholders such as the mayors of Troy, Brundidge, Goshen and Banks,” said Herb Reeves, interim EMA director. Reeves said that he and Chris Dozier, 911 director, also wanted to meet with the Alabama EMA and with Chambers County officials before moving forward.

The county began the discussion of transitioning to an EMA board after former director Jeanna Barnes resigned in September 2017.

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“We wanted to try and go in a different direction where we didn’t just have one person that reports to the Pike County Commission because this person actually serves everybody­ first responders need to have an input in who we have,” said Chairman Robin Sullivan at the Sept. 7 2017 meeting . “They will serve not just the commission, but other entities as well. We don’t need one person that’s good for the city or the university, but that’s good for all of those things.”

Since then, Reeves and Dozier met with Chambers County officials, who already have a combined EMA and 911 board, which Reeves said the proposed Pike County model is loosely based on.

According to the proposal, the 911 board would need to have a name change and  would also need to be structurally tweaked to include representatives of Troy University and the Pike County Commission. The staffing would include the EMA director, a deputy director or operations manager, an administrative assistant and a part-time planner.

Under the reorganization and agreement, Pike County 911 would provide personnel office space to Pike EMA, oversee the financial workings for the EMA, oversee equipment and properties, act as a liaison for EMA with other entities, prepare and file all reports, and report to the Pike County Commission.

Through consolidating, the two entities are projected to share 25 percent of the cost of the director’s salary and benefits, 75 percent of the deputy director’s salary and benefits, 50 percent of the administrative assistant’s salary and benefits, and 75 percent of the part-time planner’s salary. They would also share costs on the facility, vehicles and technology necessary.

The commission voted unanimously for the EMA and 911 board to take the next steps in the process and will make further decisions at a later meeting.

The commission also voted to allow the Industrial Development Board to give Rex Lumber a real estate mortgage through Regions Bank.

County Attorney Allen Jones advised that the request was reasonable and that the county would not be taking any extra risk by allowing the arrangement.

The county commission will meet again Monday, May 14 upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be followed by a business meeting at 6 p.m.