POST IRENE: Emergency Management Funds Sought for Essex

Tropical Storm Irene proved to be a valuable teacher.

The town's emergency management systems were put to the test and while many passed, the storm highlighted some deficiencies.

And now, the Board of Selectmen is moving forward with a funding request to address some of those issues.

The selectmen are seeking town meeting approval for a special appropriation totaling $32,528. The request will be presented to a public hearing Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall. A special town meeting is set for Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.

In the follow-up meetings after the storm, town officials asked Emergency Management Director William Buckridge to compile a list of needs and suggested improvements. The list ranged from purchasing generators for the town garage to moving the emergency operations center from the basement to the first floor at the Town Hall to purchasing new communications equipment for emergency responders. It totaled $223,349.

As the selectmen reviewed the list, they decided to sharply reduce the request at the moment. They chose to fund a few lower cost items, a piece of equipment at the town garage, and communications equipment for the town's emergency volunteers.

For the full story, see the Dec. 1 issue of the Valley Courier and go to Zip06.com.

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