Local Mitigation Strategy Task Force Committee
Berryhill Administrative Center
October 8, 2003
1. Welcome, Introductions, Purpose
The Santa Rosa County Local Mitigation Strategy Task Force met on the above date with Chairperson Paula Davis and members (See attached sign in sheet). Davis called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. She welcomed everyone in attendance and asked everyone to introduce themselves.
2. Revisions and Approval of March 26 Ad Hoc and May 8, 2003 Task Force Minutes.
Paula said everyone should have received a copy of the minutes, and she asked if everyone has had a chance to review them. Larry McDonald said he posts the minutes on the website to be available for everyone; if anyone wants to receive them a different way please let him know. Donna Adams moved approval of the March 26,2003 and May 8, 2003 minutes; Beckie Faulkenberry seconded, and the vote carried unanimously.
3. New Mitigation Project/Priorities List Proposals
Warren Brown said he is concerned because he lives in Navarre, and in the priority list there is no mention of anything in Navarre. Davis asked Brown if he is aware of any specific projects that he felt should be on the list. Larry McDonald said Navarre is not incorporated so it will be listed as Santa Rosa County on the priority list. Brown said the purpose of this committee is to cut down the vulnerability of citizens, government, businesses, and institutions in Santa Rosa County from environmental disasters. He said Navarre is about two feet above flood level and they suffer tremendous loss every time there is a severe storm. Davis said she can talk with the Engineering Department to get specific projects that they feel need to be on the priority list. She asked Brown, since he is representing that area, if he knew of any specific projects that need to be added. She said the committee appreciates all input; this is the purpose of the meetings. Davis said they are trying to get representation from all areas of the County and will continue to do so. Steve Furman, Engineering Department, said his department and the Road and Bridge department are both keenly aware of the problems in the Navarre area. He said they are continually trying to enhance water drainage. Furman said it is hard to get water to move because of the geographic location. He said he will come up with areas to add to the list that have the most perplexing drainage problems.
Larry McDonald said Brown has come forward at a good time because the committee is in the process of a major revamp of the mitigation plan due to new FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) requirements. He said the new requirements consist of a very comprehensive overview of not only knowing where the hazards are in general, but getting specific with the potential amount of damage that can occur. McDonald said Navarre is high on the list and will be looked at very closely because of the number of hazards that can occur there. He said he will provide Brown with the forms to document any specific areas of concern he wishes the committee to review. Davis asked Brown if he will represent the Navarre area, or if he knows if someone else that will be a good representative. Brown suggested Dorothy Sly, President of ERA Real Estate Company, Navarre. He said she works with FEMA regularly.
McDonald said the priority list dated September 18th is a compilation of three prior lists he developed from everything he felt needs to be on the list. He said a few projects had been omitted and thanked everyone for their responses. Donna Adams asked if the projects will be removed from the list when they are completed. McDonald said one of the major issues of the new plan is a system built within itself that when a project is accomplished, a form will be completed and sent to staff. He said they can remove or make some type of acknowledgement that the project is complete. McDonald said they will have a history of how much mitigation is being accomplished. He said some mitigation projects not on the priority list are also being accomplished and these items need to be documented. McDonald said they may be able to use these projects in the future for county match to grant funds. Davis asked everyone to contact McDonald with all information on project updates and completions.
McDonald said the priority list will be used as we go into the DMA2K (Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000) plan. He said this is the federal law that is requiring the revamp of the mitigation plans. McDonald said some things on the list will qualify for PDM (Pre-Disaster Mitigation) funds, and some will be taken care of by local government or other grants. He said just because it is on the priority list does not mean it will be funded by PDM. McDonald said all projects need to be documented to provide data on what is accomplished; there is the possibly of the project being used to get funding from other sources. Adams said each one of the projects has a score sheet that shows how the rankings were done. She said the backup data is available and can be reviewed on each project. Davis said the complete priorities list will be available on the website when the committee gets closer to finalization.
4. Other New Mitigation Issues (Public or Agencies)
McDonald said the Division of Forestry has a Fire Wise Program. He said for example they are actively involved in Holley by the Sea with agreements to contain fires from getting into the subdivision. He said he recently became aware of the Fire Wise Program and a chopping machine that clears fire lines. McDonald said a regional agreement with neighborhood associations on being fire wise communities is a mitigation technique. He said the Division of Forestry is in the process of issuing a GIS based program to identify which areas in the county are most vulnerable to fire. McDonald said this will be a major tool along with other GIS data that is being pooled together to help determine all of the county’s hazards. He said the areas with more types of hazards will be the more vulnerable.
Steve Tolbert, with the Division of Forestry, said mowing and controlled burning helps in getting a fire under control. He said he runs a six man team that travels from Tallahassee to Pensacola. Tolbert said they have cut a line behind Holley by the Sea and have done some work in Garcon Point. He said they work in areas that have high fire danger. Tolbert said they have the funding and the manpower to come in and do the projects. Ben Wolcott, with Division of Forestry, said their mitigation program has two directions.
1. Mitigating the potential damage from wild fire is focused on what is called the world urban interface. This is the area where individual homes, small groups of homes or subdivisions actually mesh into the woods and vegetated areas that will carry wild fire. In most of these cases, there is no room for equipment to defend the homes from fire. The intention is to create the principal space either through mechanical means or through application of prescribed fire. Once the work is done they establish an agreement with the landowners to maintain the fire line.
2. A fire wise community, which consists of educating the land developers and people in already existing communities as to what things can be done either prior to construction or after construction to make their areas more accessible for fire protection. Examples given to make fire protection more accessible included eliminating cul-de-sacs, widening roads, bridge load limits for fire trucks, adequate water sources, eliminating low hanging power lines across roadways, and encroachment from trees.
Wolcott said there is no cost to the public requesting this service. He said the person to get in touch with is Steve Tolbert, Division of Forestry, at 11650 Munson Highway.
Dave Ling, Santa Rosa County Emergency Management, said it is encouraging to hear the committee discussing things that his department encounters on a routine basis that qualifies for mitigation. He said there has been an initiative going on for about four years called the CEO Roundtable for Violence Prevention in Schools. Ling said the areas of interest have expanded the scope to an all hazards approach to emergencies in the schools. He said this is an example of planning and program implementation that is a wonderful example of a program that is ongoing and has now become a mitigation program. Ling said it has been very helpful with all the safety issues in the schools. He recognized Carol Calfee with Santa Rosa County District Schools, as the driving force with this program. McDonald said at this time in the process we have to focus on natural hazards to meet the DMA2K requirements.
Julia Mathis said there are several areas on the list that pertain to Locklin Lake. She said some of them are (20) Sanders Street drainage, (35) Locklin Lake/Byron Street drainage, (44) Clayton Lane and Park Lane, (60) Locklin Lake Dam Repair, and (61) Alabama Street/Collins Mill Creek. Mathis said Locklin Lake used to be deeper than it is now. She said the amount of water in Locklin Lake during a storm is tremendous. Mathis discussed her concerns with the back wall where a section has collapsed. She said the water is backwashing the dirt away and causing it to collapse on the backside. Mathis said when the drainage pipes get clogged the water is going over the wall within 1 ½ hours. She said they are trying to get funding to correct the problem. Mathis said the lake needs to be dredged to hold more water. She said this is a concern for everyone that lives in this area.
McDonald said there will be significant evaluation of dam safety in the new DMA2K plan. He said the information he received from Water Management District shows there are 51 permitted dams in Santa Rosa County and 98% are in fantastic shape. McDonald said Locklin Dam will be properly identified in the plan, and PDM (Pre-Disaster Mitigation) funds will be available for repair. Furman said stormwater retention ponds do not go through Water Management District because they are residential property. He said the county has a number of embankments and dams that exceed ten feet in height and these will not be included in McDonald’s list. McDonald said he will get with Furman to discuss these embankments further. He said this will be a new issue of concern and needs to be evaluated.
5. Staff Report
a. Staffing Changes: McDonald introduced Rawles Howard as a new member of the planning council staff that will be replacing Jerri Lewis.
b. Website Upgrade: McDonald said he would like to get on the County website under the title mitigation. He said it will be a comprehensive website for state, county, and city municipalities. McDonald said it will be the complete mitigation plan for the whole state. He said chemical or terrorist related items will not be identified on the website.
c. Regional Report of Neighboring Counties LMS Efforts: McDonald said he is assisting with the LMS plan for Santa Rosa, Washington, Holmes, and Okaloosa counties. He said Santa Rosa County’s plan will be completed first and upon completion of the plan the county will be able to apply for PDM funds. Brad Hattaway, Escambia County Emergency Management, said they are going through the same process as Santa Rosa County. He said once complete, they will have a much clearer direction of what needs to be accomplished. He said the goal is to have their DMA2K plan complete by the end of the year.
6. Status of DMA2K LMS Plan Update
a. Current Status of DMA2K Project: McDonald said Santa Rosa County is a coastal county and is vulnerable to storm surge, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and wild fires. He said any property that will be vulnerable to significant damage from an environmental hazard needs to be reviewed for preventative procedures.
b. Hazards Assessment Chapter Draft: He said Chapter II (Attachment in File) is the draft of the LMS hazards assessment containing the most current data available. McDonald said the north area of the county has been experiencing earthquakes. He said they are small but still need to be analyzed and documented.
c. EDA Mitigation CD Completion: McDonald said West Florida Planning Council is an Economic Development Administration District and developed a CD as part of a project for hazard mitigation for the business community. He said it has hazmat data on it, so he will not put it on the internet. McDonald said it is available to members of the LMS committee. He gave a demonstration of the CD showing the different layers of mapping. McDonald said it will show which zones are the most vulnerable.
d. Flowcharts and Questionnaires: McDonald handed out a survey called the existing mitigation mechanisms project flow chart to three municipalities. He said the purpose of the survey is to identify what existing ordinances they have and how current are they.
e. Identification of Critical Infrastructure: McDonald said we need to identify what is vulnerable to the various hazards and how vulnerable is it. If it is subject to more than 3 hazards it will be #1 high priority, 2 or more it will be #2 moderate priority, and 1 or more it will be #3 low priority (Attachment in File).
f. Use of GIS in Updating Vulnerability Assessment: He said there will be a second phase of surveys going out to get information on additions to the priorities list. McDonald said this survey will go to everyone that might know of a need that should be on the priority list such as Red Cross, Chamber of Commerce, water companies, and the Road and Bridge department.
g. Public/Agency Notification and Invitation to Participate: McDonald said we are taking steps to make sure these meetings are receiving publicity. He said Don Chinery has helped getting the LMS meetings publicized. Brown said McDonald and Davis need to attend a Navarre Chamber of Commerce meeting and give a presentation. McDonald said they will schedule a meeting date and time.
h. Next Steps: McDonald said everyone needs to review the drafts. He said to contact him with corrections and or enhancements. He said this plan is for Santa Rosa County and will be adopted by local government. McDonald asked everyone to work together to make this plan very thorough and accurate.
McDonald said the Red Cross representative Rosalyn Bates went to the Emergency Management Institute in Maryland to attend a week long session on DMA2K mitigation. He said she reported if you are not an active member on the local government LMS Committee, you may not receive funding. McDonald said Gulf Breeze has not been an active member, and they are in danger of not receiving PDM funds. Donna Adams and the committee as a whole requested Larry McDonald contact the Gulf Breeze City Manager and make an appointment to discuss the LMS plan and their participation.
7. Membership and Election of Officers for 2004
Davis said the floor is open for nominations for Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2004. Warren Brown nominated Paula Davis for Chairman: Dave Ling seconded, and the vote carried unanimously. Donna Adams nominated Scott Paul for Vice Chairman; Dave Ling seconded, and the vote carried unanimously.
8. Other Business/Open Floor
9. Setting of Meeting Dates and Adjourn
The next scheduled meeting will be Wednesday, December 3, 2004 at 1:30 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned.