April 26, 2012

Garnett, Kansas




The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at       10:00 a.m. with the following members present: Brianna Hiles, SEK Multi-County Health Department; Jeff Hupp, Anderson County Sheriff; James K. Johnson, Anderson County Commissioner; Kristie Kinney, City of Garnett; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Trent McCown, KDWP; J.D. Mersman, Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.;  Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.;  Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; Kevin PeKarek, Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, Anderson County EMS; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Oscar West, EKAE; Jessi Zillner, Anderson County Communication Center and Johnnie Riley, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline. Also present was: Dee Dee Mart, Allen County Health Department.


Absent: John Alford, EKAE; Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Nate Cunningham, Anderson County EMS/St. Rose School; Marvin Grimes, Anderson County Emergency Mgmt; Troy Hart, Garnett Fire; Jim Manning, KDWP; Glenn Mudd, Beachner Grain; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Alan Quaintance, USD #365; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Christina Rush, Anderson County Hospital; Cheryl Strobel, Apple Bus Co.; , Pat Tate, Public Safety; Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; Lester Welsh, Anderson County Road & Bridge ; and Margo Williams, Anderson County Hospital.



J.D. Mersman, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m. 



A motion was made by Jesse Zillner, seconded by Michelle Miller to approve the minutes of           March 29, 2012. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman reported that he recently attended the LEPC Convention in Salina.



J.D. Mersman reported that Marvin Grimes talked to Jackie Miller, Southeast Regional Homeland Security regarding options for a local shelter. Ms. Miller said the shelter locations should be determined by the local authority with jurisdiction and Emergency Management should provide assistance. He discussed with her the possibility of using churches as shelters and her concern was that someone has to always be responsible to be available. A FEMA shelter is expensive and there is concern with using a building as a shelter that couldn’t withstand a tornado. J.D. Mersman reported that there is grant money for safe rooms, but those funds are being depleted. They unsuccessfully tried to get a grant on the new school for a safe room, but there is a wind resistant area of the new school. Kristie Kinney reported that she has asked       Pat Tate to check with churches and prior civil defense building owners to see if those locations might be used as shelters. She said once Mr. Tate has identified buildings, she asked Andy Frye, Code Enforcement Officer, to inspect the buildings with Mr. Tate to verify that they would be structurally sound. Dee Dee Mart, Allen County Health Department, reported that Allen County uses their courthouse basement as a storm shelter, and they use the community building and churches for shelters after the emergency to get families reunited.   


J.D. Mersman reported that Emergency Management is working on getting more weather radios out to people through a grant.



Jeff Hupp reported that he, J.D. Mersman, Kevin PeKarek, Robert Robbins, Pat Tate and       Mike Thweat will have their photo taken for a flier for the American Red Cross Battle for Blood, which will be posted in May. The blood draw will be in June.


Jeff Hupp reported that this Saturday, April 28, 2012, that he and Kevin PeKarek will take part in the National Takeback Day, which is federally sponsored and funded by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). There will be drop off boxes for expired prescription drugs. Next year, he would like to coordinate this where each town can have their own drop box. A law enforcement officer must guard the drop off boxes, so he may call on Trent McCown and parks & wildlife officers.


Kristie Kinney reported that the Anderson County Historical Society Museum opens May 1, 2012 for summer hours. The museum will be open Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and can be opened other hours by contacting an officer or director of the historical society.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 1-18, 2012, will be enrollment for the Summer Coed Softball League at the Garnett Recreation Center.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 3, 2012, the Garnett Farmer’s Market will start and they will move back to the east side of the trail at Main Street, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 12, 2012, there will be a biscuit and gravy breakfast at the fire station from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., in conjunction with Square Fair.


Kristie Kinney reported that also on May 12, 2012, there will be an appraisal fair at Town Hall Center, hosted by the Walker Art Committee from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be professional appraiser’s there is anyone has any items they would like to have appraised.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 25-28, 2012, the Avenue of Flags will be in place at the Garnett Cemetery.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 26, 2012, the Fist Trot for Kids will be at the golf course pond at the Garnett Country Club at 5 p.m., sponsored by the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail and Garnett Recreation,  


Kristie Kinney reported that the Garnett Municipal Swimming Pool will open May 26, 2012 for the summer.


Kristie Kinney reported that May 28, 2012, City Hall will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. The Memorial Day service at the Garnett Cemetery will be conducted by American Legion Post 48 and VFW 6397, at 10 a.m.


Michelle Miller reported that contractors are laying the base rock on the Rainbow Bridge on East Fourth Avenue and they will then asphalt.


Michelle Miller reported that the county will begin working on dust control. They also will be doing some chip and seal of roads around Bush City and Kincaid.


Bob Palmer reported that the American Legion and Sons of American Legions replaced flag holders along Highway 59 from Park Road south to the railroad tracks.


Bob Palmer reported that Lybarger Oil has new software that they are installing in the office and the trucks, which will help with efficiency. An order can now be sent directly to the truck. The change came on the heels of new regulations where it is illegal to talk or text on the phone when in a hazmat vehicle.


Bob Palmer reported that second generation oil, waste oil, is more costly than propane so Lybarger Oil is converting plants to propane. There will be more delivery drops of propane rather than trucking long distances now. More propane trucks will be on the roads.


Kristie Kinney reported that she worked with John Alford concerning the storm warning sirens at EKAE. When the new sirens were installed, they were put at locations where there were overlaps so if a siren went down, there was no dead spots and areas would still be covered by another siren. The ethanol plant is in a location where there are two sirens that overlap. Kristie reported she got confirmation from the company, where the sirens were purchased, that our sirens are 128-decibel at 100-feet and at 5,000-feet they are at 70-decibel. So the further you are from the siren the lower the decibel. The two (2) sirens that cover the ethanol plant are located at the Coop and at Eleventh and Hayes Street. Kristie didn’t know the actual distance from the sirens to EKAE and she thought John Alford had indicated that the ethanol plants noise level is at 90-decibles outside. So it could be that the siren’s decibel is below that, depending on the actual distance. John had indicated that he could hear the sirens but he had said had there been trucks, he wouldn’t have been able to hear it. Kristie said she forwarded all the information, and a copy of the map showing the coverage area for the new storm sirens, to John and he was going to pass the information up to see how management wanted to handle it. A copy of the siren coverage map was passed around for everyone to review. Oscar West reported that he heard the siren at noon the other day when he was outside. J.D. Mersman and Jessie Zillner said the noon siren and the weather siren are the same sirens. Jessie Zillner reported that the sirens are now turned on and off manually, and that the weather siren is tested every Monday at noon. Kristie Kinney stated that she did explain to John Alford that the weather siren is a continual tone that rotates, so as the siren points in your direction it would be louder than when it has rotated away from you. On the other siren tests, each time the siren is sounded, it rotates a quarter turn for the starting position to be at the new location. Kristie stated that she doesn’t know what the answer is for the ethanol plant other than using the weather radios. She asked if John Alford brought the ethanol plant’s weather radio in for J.D. Mersman to check.  J.D. Mersman replied yes and he made a couple of changes on the radio. He said the building that the weather radio is in, is so solid that they may not be getting the best reception without putting in an external antenna.  


 J.D. Mersman reported that Halls Summit weather transmitter is not operating at full power so on the outer 40-mile circle, there could be diminished power. EKAE may be close enough to that 40-mile radius that they not be able to get the signal inside their building. The weather service has recommended using other media outlets as well, such as television, radio, and code red on the cell phones. Oscar West replied that staff also watches storms on the internet.         J.D. Mersman stated that watching and listening to multiple venues is good, because lightening may take down a tower that the weather radio signals use.


Kristie Kinney stated that Code Red information is getting out, because five (5) to six (6) people have come into City Hall in the last week to pick up application forms. People may be starting to take action since the last severe storm threat for this area. Kristie also continues to put the information in the Cities quarterly newsletter.


J.D. Mersman reported that the last Code Red call out had several non-connects on landline phone numbers. Centurylink ran some tests and found that the switch for Garnett’s 448 prefix is an older, low volume switch, so they are still running into some issues with overload and operator assist on landlines. It is important that everyone get their cell phones registered on the code red. Cell phone connection rates are good. He said if anyone moves out of the area and they want off code red, they need to let emergency management know so they can manually remove them from the call list. 


Kevin Ryan reported that KDOT has an overlay project on K-58 highway for a few weeks.


Dave Kueser reported that construction will be going on most of the summer for Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline.


Dave Kueser reported that April is National Safe Dig month and he encouraged everyone to call 811 before digging.


Trent McCown reported wildlife and parks had training yesterday on the blue-green algae since there were problems with it last year. If we have a long hot summer and lake levels drop, there could be problems again this year.


Trent McCown reported that Aaron Sheve is going to Greenwood County and will start his position there on May 5, 2012. A couple of officers have talked about transferring over, so there are some qualified applicants who have been applying. He plans to have the position filled by the end of May. Aaron Sheve is still the contact for Wildlife & Parks Conservation and Trent has a list of alternative contacts if Aaron is not available.


Brianna Rockers reported that the health department is moving to Third and Vine Street, probably the beginning of June.


Brianna Rockers reported that they are doing a Anderson County Community Health Assessment and forms were randomly mailed. If someone didn’t get a form, they can obtain a form from them or by a link on their website. The deadline was extended one (1) week due to low response.


Brianna Rockers reported that the health department is offering the Tdap injections, which have the pertussis vaccine for anyone 19-years-old and older, at a reduced cost of $15. The vaccine normally costs around $45. The vaccine is for whooping cough for anyone who is around children 6-years-old and younger.


Brianna Rockers reported that the mobile mammography machine will be at the health department on May 10, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. She said to call (620)232-0447 for an appointment.


Jessie Zillner reported that she has hired two (2) new dispatchers. One will start on Monday and the other will start in June. Once they are trained, she will be fully staffed. The new dispatchers are Estelle DuPont from Scipio and Erin McFadden from Ottawa, who was a dispatcher there for seven (7) years.


Jessie Zillner reported that the County has started a wellness program and surveys were included in each employee’s payroll check.


Robert Robbins reported that the Healing for Health will be this Saturday, April 28, 2012, from   6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school.   


J.D. Mersman reported that the State is starting to push information out on mad cow disease, since there have been four (4) cases in the United States, and they want emergency management to check the Counties foreign animal plan. If any cases are confirmed in the County, they will have to start animal quarantine, testing, and monitor stock movements into the county.


J.D. Mersman reported that the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has 10 members and they are meeting every two (2) weeks for training. They are going through the Incident Command System (ICS) training right now. There is still room for more volunteers if anyone is interested.


J.D. Mersman reported that Anderson County has been fortunate on the weather so far this year.


J.D. Mersman reported that the County Fire Department has been busy the last couple of weeks with two (2) structure fires.


J.D. Mersman reported that the Lifeflight training went well.


At 10:55 a.m., J.D. Mersman declared we will take a 5-minute break and begin our table top exercise on Foodborne Illness.


At 11:03 a.m., we began the table top exercise, which included a power point presentation and discussions. Once the exercise was completed, members worked on the required documents which must be sent to the State.


Our next meeting will be June 28, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 12:11 p.m.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kristina L. Kinney, Secretary