View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

LEPC Meeting Minutes

January 18, 2007


Members present Don Button, Vivian Button, Beverly Myers, Richard Everett, Jeff Baier, Ruben Flores, Matt Traster, Sharon Phelps, J J Deckert, Nahum Manzano, Randy McCauley, John Duran, and Shayla Hernandez-Jaquez.


Don Button called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM. 


John Duran made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  Jerry Jo Deckert seconded.  Motion carried.


LEPC By-Laws were passed out at the November meeting.  Jerry Jo Deckert had questions about the membership requirement and how it was written.  The membership requirement list was taken from the "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986", the SARA TITLE III Section 301(c).


Jeff Baier made a motion to approve the by-law as written. Beverly Myers seconded. Motion carried.


The group discussed the NetEOP, the County Emergency Operations Plan on the web.  Rubin stated he had been on the web site and looked at it.  Don will be meeting with the different departments and work with them to update their parts of the plan.


It is the time of the year to update our LEPC membership and elect a new chairperson.  Rubin Flores made a motion to keep the same officers.  Matt Traster seconded.  Motion carried. Don Button – Chairperson, Al Baker – Vice Chairperson and Vivian Button – Secretary.


We need to add Beverly Myers – Bob Wilson Memorial Grant County Hospital to our LEPC list and Randy McCauley – Grant County Road and Bridge and Rudy Castilleja from the City of Ulysses.  We will also have to contact the other members to see if they want to continue being on the list.


Don thanked everyone for their help during the Winter Storm.  The City and County taking care of roads and keeping us informed about roads being closed.  Emergency Medical Services, Fire Department, Civic Center and City and County Public Works helped set up the shelter and clearing off the parking lot at the Civic Center.  He thanked Richard Everett and the Southwest Kansas Health Initiative for the loan of their cots and blankets for the shelter.  The Governor was very impressed with the set up of the shelter when she came to Ulysses on January 3rd.  Everyone pulled together and got things done.  Everyone worked well together.  No one used the shelter but it was important that we had it set up and available.  Several people used the Grant County Swimming Pool Shower Facilities.  


The FEMA and State Representative from the PDA (Preliminary Disaster Assessment) Team were here last week and met with City of Ulysses, Grant County Road and Bridge and Grant County Sheriff’s Office to discuss the estimated cost of the Winter Storm.


There will be a Public Assistance Application briefing on Wednesday, January 24 with Grant, Haskell and Stevens.  The state will be here to give out the packets and help fill out the information.  A Commissioner, Clerk Linda McHenry, Sheriff Lance Babcock, Tom Kramer from Road and Bridge and Bud Newberry and Rubin Flores from the City of Ulysses needs to be at the meeting.  The department had to have an expense of $1000 above the normal operating expense.  Fire and EMS did not reach that amount.  They will also appoint a Point of Contact person. 


Randy McCauley talked about some of his concerns over the Winter Storm.  Gravel stockpile left on roads.  They need to know when this happens so they can put warnings or barricades up to protect the public.  They had problems with people moving barricades or going around the barricades.  The barricades are there to warn people there is a problem and that road should be avoided if possible.  They put hookups in for a standby generator to fix the problem of not being able to open the big doors. We have no roads closed at this time.  Some of the roads in the Northwest corner blew shut again and had to be plowed.  The roads to the Northeast are a mess because of the heavy rain and rutting badly because of traffic.  There will be problems with roads until it warms up.  It is important to remember to slow down especially on gravel roads because of the ruts.


The department will meet and have an after action review of the Winter Storm.  We will discuss things we learned, things we need to change and recommendations.  We will incorporate what we have learned into our new Local Emergency Operations Plan.


Deb Abner, the Regional Director of Salvation Army informed us that they have a program to help with Generator Fuel Cost for people who have been without power for more than 15 days.  They will pay $40 a day or a maximum of $300.  To apply you have to have the name of your electric provider and your account number.


The Federal Declaration on January 8 Is for Public Assistance.  Public Assistance is for City and County government and some non-profit organizations.  Individual assistance Declaration are next to impossible to receive because the criteria you have to meet is being displaced from you home for more than 30 days with at least 25 homes and 40% or more uninsured losses of 200 homes at a minimum.


Jerry Jo Deckert with Grant County Emergency Medical Service said EMS had been busy.  They had two mutual aid request one to help move patient from the Satanta Care Home when their generator went down. They also requested help from Ford County, Finney County, Seward County, and Stevens County. Aquilla brought in a tanker truck and hooked it up for the generator and  got the care home working again before all of the details got worked out.  They assisted Haskell County EMS with a standby ambulance for the Kansas National Guard for three days.  The EMS building did not loose power but they are looking into getting a generator to be able to open the garage doors and to keep the heat going.  She also stated with the gravel roads condition, EMS response times maybe longer.  The 4 wheel drive rescue unit is accompanying EMS on county calls incase there is a problem getting to the location.


Ulysses Police Department assisted Haskell County with security for the National Guard equipment and relief for their deputies.  Finney and Kiowa counties also assisted.


Beverly Myers reminded everyone that it is a good idea to keep an old fashion telephone on hand for when the power goes off.  She stated everything went well at the hospital.  Their backup generator worked well. They test it every month.  Everyone in the Counties and Area worked well together.


Emergency Services appreciates and thanks Pioneer Communication for the use of the Westlink phones during the Winter Storm.  Alltel phone system was down.  All of the radio stations and some of the television stations were down during the storm. 


The Sheriff’s deputies gave out fliers about the shelter and they were put at several stores.  It was also put on Pioneer Communication’s Cable channel 9.  Pioneer Communications is still working on getting our channel 10 for emergency services set up.  At this time we can put videos over channel 10.  Eventually we will loose our cable TV override.


Grant County’s regional Communications trailer was requested by Haskell County when their Law Enforcement Center lost their generator.  It was used until the KDOT COW arrived.  The COW is Communication on Wheels.  The communications trailer was also used by the Kansas National Guard. 


Sharon Phelps stated Sherry Thompson would be missed.  She is retiring on February 9 and a reception will be scheduled.


Richard Everett talked about taking cots to Morton County during the storm. Matt Mercer, Regional Homeland Security, requested cots for Haskell County.   Richard took 10 to Satanta, 50 to Sublette to the American Legion and 20 to Moscow.  He also got some longer extension cords for their generators. 


Rubin Flores, City of Ulysses, stated they had backup power for water and wastewater.  The Water Wells switch to Natural Gas when they loose power.  The gas well by the Catholic Church belongs to the city.


Nahum from BP stated, their plant lost power for 2 weeks and about 75% of their wells are still down.   When Pioneer Electric gets all of the residence back up they will start focusing on wells.  He also stated in the next couple of weeks they will be starting their pipeline replacement.  They were going to start at the Sublette Station but because of the storm they are starting at the South Main Station.  This will be a 3 to 4 month project with about 100 people coming in to work.  Permits were discussed and calling 911 on cell phones.


Matt Traster stated there was some confusion on the food Pioneer Electric was providing for their workers.  There was a problem with getting water to cattle. 


As far as we know the USDA has not declared a USDA disaster. USDA deals with animals. 


A CAT Team (Communication Assessment Team) from the Kansas Adjutant General Department was in town on Wednesday, January 17 to evaluate our county communication systems.  They met with Sheriff Lance Babcock; Tom Kramer, Administrator of Road and Bridge; and Don Button, Emergency management Coordinator.  The Northeast corner of the county is the main place where there are dead spots.  The county was lucky they did not loose communications during the storm.  KDOT lost several of their 800 megahertz towers across the region.


A CAMEO class will be hosted by Grant County and Kansas Highway Patrol on March 5 to 7th.  CAMEO is Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations.  It is designed to help with hazardous materials in the county.


The National Weather Service of Dodge City will conduct their “Storm Identification and Spotter Training” on March 6 at the Lawson Room at the Grant County Civic Center.  Two sessions will be conducted at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM.


The Next LEPC Meeting will be February 15, 2007 at 6:00 PM.


Meeting adjourned at 7:48 PM.


Submitted by Vivian Button


Tentative dates: March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15, and December 20.