Troup Fire to apply for FEMA reimbursement

Published 9:08 pm Friday, June 29, 2018

The Troup County Board of Commissioners heard a request Thursday from the Troup County Fire Department to apply for a FEMA reimbursement grant that would reimburse the county for $81,345 previously spent on Hurricane Irma cleanup efforts.

“It looks like in total expenditures we can request reimbursement for $92,966,” Troup County Fire Chief Dennis Knight said. “After we gathered all the documentation and offsets that the grants are for, we would be reimbursed 75 percent federal and 10 percent state. However, Troup County — based on everything we do to prepare for disasters within the emergency management agency — can get an extra 2.5 percent.”

The extra 2.5 percent means 12.5 percent reimbursement of costs from the state. After all the math, and if everything is approved, the county would receive $81,345.55. According to Assistant County Manager Eric Mosley, the reimbursement would take pressure off other areas of the budget.

Knight thanked County Engineer James Emery for his staff’s assistance in providing the supporting documents needed for the FEMA grant.

Knight also requested that the county engage JMCM Consulting to assist in applying for additional grants for TCFD.  The consultant would not get paid for services unless the county receives a grant for Troup County Fire Department.

“It is getting increasingly more difficult to receive these grants. They are becoming much more competitive,” Mosley said.

“Especially as these larger cities like Atlanta and Chattanooga and Jacksonville are sucking up a lot of the money because they do have full time grant writers in their departments who are able to seek out these grants, so smaller departments like Troup County are really struggling in being able to receive it.”

If approved, the consultant would be asked to navigate the requirements of the grant process, including using the correct language in requests and identifying what expenses would be covered by specific grants. It would also identify which grants the TCFD is most likely to be able to receive.

“What they do is, you make a department profile and a community profile, and they take your profile and look at it and let us know which items will be more likely to be accepted for the grant program,” Mosley said. “Talking to them, a tanker truck and some radios will be our best bet, but they’ll be able to tell us more after looking at our community profile.”

The contract would only ask the consultant to look for grants for the fire department, which is its area of expertise, according to Mosley. He also said that the grant funding would “free up” money for other county expenses.

Other items considered during the work session included:

The commissioners discussed the proposed resolution to approve the Troup County School System millage rate of 18.850 approved by the Troup County Board of Education. The Troup County Board of Commissioners does not set that rate, but it is required to approve the rate.

Mosley presented representations of what the new county logo will look like on county vehicles to the commission.

Budget amendments to account for grants that have already been accepted were also discussed.