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Approved Feb 14, 2007 - Local Mitigation Meeting Minutes


Santa Rosa County
Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Task Force
Steering Committee
February 14, 2007
Milton, Florida

The Santa Rosa County LMS Task Force met on the above date with 15 members present. A copy of the sign in sheet showing attendees is attached. Walker called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.

Walker moved approval without objection of the minutes from the November 15, 2006 meeting.

Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant – Flood Mitigation Plan

Sharon Marsh said since the last meeting one of the grants that opened up and closed in January was the Flood Mitigation Grant. She said after looking at what could be applied for it was decided the county needs to strengthen the existing Flood Mitigation Plan before applying for any public or home Flood Mitigation Grants. Marsh said with an updated Flood Mitigation Plan the projects can be prioritized better to identify sound strategies by taking a comprehensive look at all areas in the county that have flooding problems. She said the ongoing county stormwater projects can be incorporated into the Flood Mitigation Plan. Marshsaid she and Combs submitted an application in Januaryfor a comprehensive Flood Mitigation Plan. Marsh said they have received positive feedback from the state. She said she spoke to representatives from the municipalities about their participation before submitting the application. Marsh said hopefully the grant application will be approved next month. Warren Brown asked the cost of the plan. Marsh said she applied for $40,000.00. She said a lot of the work will be done internally. Marshsaid the meeting facilitator and plan writer will be contracted out.

Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant – Residential Shutters

Josy Combs said this cycle she decided to move forward with the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant for residential shutters. She said the number of applicants was limited to four homes due to the three week turn around. Combs said the applications were submitted in January and she hopes to get a response before the next LMS meeting.

Louis Green discussed tracking the application process through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). There was discussion regarding the application approval process through the State of Florida and FEMA. Combs said the January applications were sent electronically hopefully making the approval process quicker. She discussed the grant cycle that started in December and ended January 15 th . Combs said only four residents responded due to the short amount of time to complete the application. Gomillion asked about future participation with shutter projects. Marsh said her office will continue to maintain a list of residents who want to install shutters or elevate their homes. She said with a Hazard Mitigation Plan there will be better data to support the projects.

Update of Ivan and Dennis Hazard Mitigationproject applications

Marsh said the county shutter projects have been approved for the Hurricane Ivan applications. She said the vendor will start with the East Milton Gymnasium. Marsh said she hopes several of the county shutter projects will be completed before the next hurricane season. She said seven of the county stormwater projects have been approved for Phase I (Sabertooth Circle, Orion Lake, Villa Venyce, Harrison Avenue, Greenbriar, Madura Trail, and Ramblewood). Marsh said the Board should approve the engineering companies next week. She said all of Phase I has to be completed by the end of this year.

Marsh said she received a denial letter on two sewer extension projects (East Milton and Bagdad), and the county has written a letter asking that the decision be reviewed.

Donna Adams requested a copy of the East Milton and Bagdad HMGP denial letter and the county’s review request letter for her files.

Linda Carden said the Town of Jay building hardening projects were approved, but the City Council turned down the grant due to match funding. She said the projects were deemed not cost effective for the Town of Jay. Marsh asked if the buildings still need to be hardened. Carden said yes.

Donna Adams said she has not received a decision for the two City of Milton projects (Locklin Dam and Elva Street).

Dave Szymanski said the City of Gulf Breeze submitted applications for three projects (Recreation Center Hardening, Sewer Upgrade, and Stormwater projects). He said the Recreation Center hardening project was denied without appeal. Szymanski said the City of Gulf Breeze developed a Stormwater Master Plan with $2.6 million worth of projects. He said Gulf Breeze has a $1 million project with a match from Florida Forever to begin the stormwater projects. He said Gulf Breeze has 30 days to respond to a letter stating HMGP will fund $1.4 million for stormwater projects. Szymanski said the city has not yet responded to the letter.

Marsh said the Holley By the Sea project was funded at about 56%, and she is going to request the funds from denied projects be added to this project. Furman asked what funds will be used for the current sewer extension in Bagdad. Marsh said the $9 million CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds.

Marsh said with Hurricane Dennis the county applied for funding for the Ward Basin Stormwater Project. She said the county is at the cost benefit analysis stage of the project with the State of Florida. Marsh said this is a huge stormwater project, and she will provide an update at a later date.

Combs said the remaining Hurricane Dennis applications are for residential shutter projects. She said she has beenassured the applications are being reviewed by FEMA.

Walker said the completed HMGP projects that have been mitigated need to be tracked during future storm events. He said FEMA will want to know the effectiveness of the projects. Furman said the Floridatown HMGP project can be used as the “poster child” of success. He discussed this county project in detail which resulted in almost zero flood damage during the two major storm events in March 2006. Marsh said demands for evaluations will increase as future events occur. She said the completed project evaluations will also help the county improve prioritizing projects and completing the application process for funding of future projects. Marsh discussed the importance of taking pictures of problem areas before and immediately after an event.

Update of My Safe Florida Home Hardening Application

Marsh said in October the Board of County Commissioners approved for the county to apply for My Safe Florida home hardening projects. She said this program will pay for shuttering homes and other hardening projects. Marsh said the funding is through Florida Finance, and this is a new program for them. She discussed the problems that were incurred with the application process and said it looks like it will be April before the county can submit an application. Marsh said the county is applying for $100,000.00 for low to moderate income homes and $100,000.00 for homeowners that can provide their own match. She said she felt the homeowners will need to apply through the local communities with the My Safe Florida program. Marsh said she will keep the LMS Committee informed on the progress of this program.

Other Business & Public Comments

Rhonda Royals discussed House Bill 1-A that the Governor signed on January 25, 2007. She said this House Bill did away with the Florida panhandle wind blown debris region exception. Royals said Santa Rosa County is now enforcing the requirement for impact resistant glazing, shutters, and plywood in some areas. She discussed this Building Code
requirement in detail. Marsh said this will make it easier for Santa Rosa County to compete for shutter projects above Gulf Breeze. Royals said it will also help the county’s building code effectiveness rating on insurance. Karen Thornhill said the county is currently at a 15% discount. She said the county rating should change from a 7 to a very low 7 or a high 6. Thornhill said if we get a rating of 6 the county will be at a 20% discount.There was discussion regarding the insurance discounts with hardened homes.

Next Meeting Date/Adjournment

The next scheduled meeting of the LMS Committee will be on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center.

There being no further business to come before the committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.