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October 4, 2012

Council accepts countywide emergency operations plan

Berea

BEREA —

The Berea City Council officially adopted Madison County's Emergency Operations Plan, which is mandated by state law to be adopted by the end of the year.

State law “... requires the development and maintenance of a local emergency operations plan,” Connelly said. “The statutes require the local emergency operations plan be officially approved and adopted and signed by executive order.”

A copy of the plan is available for inspection by the public, and is located in the mayor's office, he said.

“Over 90 agencies were involved in the development of this plan,” said Carl Richards, Madison County's emergency management agency director.

The plan establishes policies and strategies for preparedness planning as well as disaster response, recovery and mitigation. It also details agencies’ emergency assignments.

Elements of the plan include: Communications, transportation, public works, fire safety, law enforcement, health care, hazardous materials and natural resources.

“The purpose of this Emergency Operations Plan is to provide guidance and to realistically reflect how the jurisdictions, responding agencies, supporting partner organizations and citizen volunteers in Madison County agree to and actively plan to work together in times of emergency,” the document reads.

The plan also must be adopted by Richmond and Madison County governments.

Richards commented on a recent mock disaster drill that was conducted late last month. The exercise is graded from several spectators on a state and federal level.

“It was a great day,” he said. “We got a very good draft report. Overall, this year was a better performance than last year, which is what you strive for. We were considerably better than last time. We had 36 evaluators for two days. I'm proud of everything that everybody did. I'm really happy with the group.”

Emergency response units from Berea, Richmond, Madison County, the Blue Grass Army Depot and several other local organizations are made to work together in the case of a mock disaster scenario, Richards said. The exercise is done on an annual basis.

In other business:

• The council voted on a property tax rate of 9.9 cents per $100 of assessed value for all real and personal properties, as well as watercraft and motor vehicles.

This is the same rate the council has chosen for the past three years.

This year’s compensating rate, which would bring in the same amount of revenue as last year, was 9.8 cents. The option of a rate that would increase revenue by 4-percent would be 10.1 cents.

The rate of 9.9 cents would bring in $23,000 in revenue based on most recent property evaluations.

Taking the compensating rate of 9.8 cents would bring in $16,033 in revenue and the 10.1 cent rate would generate $37,549.

All property taxes are due by Dec. 31. Those who pay their bill by Nov. 1 will receive a 2-percent discount. Taxes paid between Nov. 2 and Dec. 31 are required to pay the full amount. Those who pay their bill between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31 will be subject to a 5-percent penalty and those paying after Jan. 31 will be subject to a 10-percent penalty.

• Jerry Hensley of Ray, Foley, Hensley and Company gave a brief presentation on the city's annual finance audit.

“The results are that your financial statements are fairly presented,” Hensley said. He said the city received “a clean opinion and a good report.”

“There's another report where they test for the city's compliance with law regulations,” he said.

A statement of net assets for the year-end total was $81,958,516.

“That's up $200,000 from the year before,” he said.

The city's liabilities decreased by $2.2 million and residual net assets increased to $53 million compared to $50 million from the year before.

“That's pretty substantial,” Hensley said. “In all cases you were under budget on expenditures and over budget on revenue. We can give you a clean report and from a financial perspective. It was a pretty good year.”

“All of our departments were under budget in their spending,” Connelly said.

“Your finance staff does a terrific job of letting us do what we need to do,” Hensley said. “ We appreciate them and their assistance as well.”

• The council heard the first reading of an ordinance that, if passed, will change the zoning classification of property at 620 White Station Road from agriculture to major commercial use.

The next meeting of the Berea City Council is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Berea Police and Municipal Building on Chestnut Street.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@

richmondregister.com

 or 624-6608.

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