June 27, 2013

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at        10:00 a.m. with the following members present: Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.; Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; Dawn Moody, Anderson County Communications Center; Kevin PeKarek, Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; and Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy.


Absent: Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Don Blome, USD #365; Nate Cunningham, Anderson County EMS/St. Rose School; Josh DeHoux, KDWP; James K. Johnson, Anderson County Commissioner; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Jim Manning, KDWP; Trent McCown, KDWP; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.; 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; Doug Sommer, EKAE; Cheryl Strobel, Apple Bus Co.; Pat Tate, Fire Chief; Lester Welsh, Anderson County Road & Bridge; and          Galen Wilson, National Resource Conservation Services/USDA.


Guests: Duke Verhelst, Garnett Assistant Fire Chief.



J.D. Mersman, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. 



A few minutes was taken for everyone to review the minutes of May 2, 2013. A motion was made by Mike Thweatt, seconded by Robert Robbins to approve the minutes of May 2, 2013. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman said the heat is main concern for emergency management right now.



Some of the towns in the county have shelters and some do not. We will continue to revisit this, and it was noted that citizens need to be self-sufficient in talking to relatives and/or neighbors ahead of time to find options for themselves.


Duke Verhelst reported on four (4) shelter locations for Garnett, which include First Methodist Church, Holy Angels Catholic Church, First Baptist Church and Dunkard Brotherhood Church. Emergency Management may also decide to use any of these shelters after an emergency. Each shelter has a red emergency shelter sign posted on a door which will be the access door in an emergency. The Methodist Church access is the east door and Holy Angels Catholic Church access is the side door and the back door which is partially ADA accessible and the only shelter with that capability at this time. There is a contact for each church to open in an emergency and he has a key to one of the churches and the Fire Chief has a key to another church. The Garnett Fire Department has registered with Knox-Box Rapid Entry Systems to put a box with the key at each shelter. The fire department or police officer who unlocks the building will not stay with the building and each shelter location understands that.


Mike Thweatt questioned the point when a shelter would be opened, and who would open the shelter. The earlier the shelters are opened before a warning, the better. J.D. Mersman reported they are working on a plan to specify whether a shelter is opened at a watch advisory or when. Emergency Management and Garnett Fire Department will work together to make the decision to unlock the shelters so that the decision doesn’t rest with one person in case they are out of town. J.D. Mersman noted that the Methodist Church pastor is leaving so Duke will get an updated list for the committee.


J.D. Mersman reported that communities are setting up databases of shelters and locations in the community such as basements so first responders know where to search for people after a storm. Emergency Management is working on setting up a database of private shelters and locations in the community. The CERT team will have a table at the fair passing information out to citizens.  


Josh DeHoux stated that next spring, during the State-wide tornado drill, we need to have something to put in the kids hands at school to take home and get families talking about what they will do.


Marvin Grimes reported that during the last snow storm when several in the county were without power, the VFW was used as a shelter but not many used the shelter.



Dennis Hayward, EFM Integrated had a slide show presentation that explained the Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Study. EFM will have vehicles with two (2) men in each vehicle with green vests and marked with placards, and they will be sitting at fixed locations to study north and south traffic hazardous material placards. They will only be observing and tracking, but will not stop any vehicles.


J.D. Mersman reviewed the updated exercise planning worksheet through 2015. The next exercise will be at the August meeting for the 2013 third quarter and we’ll try to have the State here to talk about animal sheltering which was a large issue after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. The fourth quarter exercise will be on our onsite Incident Management System.



J.D. Mersman reported on following upcoming events in the community: Libertyfest celebration will be on July 3rd with a rain date of July 4th; tractor pull at North Lake on July 6th; July 14th-20th the Garnett Area Paint Project (GAPP) where youth groups will be in the community assisting with projects at people’s homes; fair at North Lake July 20th-27th; fair parade will be July 23rd; fair merchant tent night on July 24th; demo derby at the North Lake on Aug 17th; and Cornstock festival and concert on the hill at the North Lake on Sept. 28th.


J.D. Mersman reported that on July 25th–27th there is a FEMA Region 7 LEPC Tribal Emergency Response Commission (TERC) Conference in Overland Park. There is a $50 fee to attend and if anyone is interested, Kansas Department of Emergency Management (KDEM) has money available to cover the conference fee. The Anderson County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) has been nominated for a partnership award in FEMA Region 7 by the Kansas Department of Emergency Management. FEMA Region 7 consists of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. The awards will be presented on Saturday at a luncheon.


Kristie Kinney reported that at the City Commission meeting this week, the Kansas Department of Commerce presented three (3) local businesses the 2013 Kansas Business Appreciation Monthly Merit Awards. The local businesses were: The Anderson County Advocate; Alco #295; and Taylor Forge Engineered Systems, Inc. The second City Commission meeting in July was changed to Monday night, July 22nd due to the Anderson County Fair parade. Swimming pool attendance is doing well. Water aerobic lessons are very popular and they are meeting twice a week. City sewer crews continue to work on the campsite restroom and the North Lake and they hope to have the foundation and plumbing installed in the next week. The City Commission passed a resolution to exempt certain municipal buildings from the new adopted State regulation that will allow people to carry concealed weapons into public buildings effective July 1, 2013. The exemption will be good only to January 1, 2014 to give us time to consider our options.


Kristie Kinney reported that the City newsletter will be going out the end of this week and there is an article notifying the public that our levels of Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) exceeded the Kansas and Federal EPA maximum levels of 0.060 during the fourth quarter of 2012. Our level was 0.061. Even though the level was 0.001 over, we were required to do a public notification. The article assures our customers that the water is safe to drink. If anyone has any questions on this, they may contact Jim James, Water Plant Superintendent or Butch Rocker, Utility Director.


Kristie Kinney reported on additional upcoming events for July in the community: On July 2nd, Storytime for pre-school age children will be every Tuesday in July at the library at 10 a.m.; City Hall will be closed July 4th for the holiday; the Senior Center will have a breakfast on July 4th at 8 a.m.; member/guest 2-person Scramble Golf Tournament at Garnett Country Club at 8 a.m. on July 12th-14th; 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament at Garnett Country Club at 8 a.m. on July 20th; Lawnmower Demolition Derby at Anderson County Fair rodeo arena at North Lake Park at 7 p.m. on July 20th; Anderson County 4-H Scholarship Run/Walk at North Lake Park at 7 a.m. on July 21st; sign up for Tackle Football (5th & 6th grades) at the Recreation Center on July 22nd-Aug 2nd  ; BPW Craft Fair (tent) at the Anderson County Fair at North Lake Park from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 23rd; Summer Reading Program at the library ends on July 26th; Anderson County Fair presents Susie McEntire in concert for two (2) shows at the Anderson County Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on July 27th.


Kristie Kinney reported on upcoming events in August: KART races at North Lake sponsored by the Garnett KART Club on Aug. 3rd-4th; Cruise Night at town square sponsored by Lake Garnett Cruisers from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 3rd; WINGS 2nd Annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” 5k Run/Walk begins at the recreation center at 7 a.m. on Aug. 11th; sign up for Flag Football and Youth Volleyball at the recreation center Aug. 12th – 30th; the groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital on Aug. 15th; Chamber Players presents “The Nerd” Aug. 16th – 18th and Aug. 22nd – 25th; Westphalia Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament at Garnett Country Club at 8 a.m. on Aug. 18th; Couples Golf Tournament and Social at Garnett Country Club at 8 a.m. on Aug. 25th.


Bob Palmer reported that he has been busy traveling to four (4) or five (5) portable asphalt plants in Kansas that are moving every 10 to 20 days as they complete several mile sections of asphalt and Lybarger Oil moves with them. He has also been going into Missouri in the Springfield area. Many vehicles are moving off of diesel fuel onto propane. Larger plants are also converting to propane and saving money on fuel costs.


Kevin PeKarek reported that in April there was an increase in criminal damage to property. Recently Officer Garen Honn stopped a youth carrying a golf club at 1 a.m. Officer                   Troy Brubaker helped with the investigation and they cleared 10 criminal damage reports. There was one (1) and adult and several juveniles involved. 


Dawn Moody reported that J.D. Mersman is helping her work on a grant to consolidate the PSAP equipment into one central location. There will still be a separate dispatch center but the equipment probably will not be onsite. The County Commission approved new radio dispatch consoles so they are taking bids now.


Kevin Ryan reported that the project on Highway 169 in Franklin and Miami County is tentatively scheduled to start on July 9th. KDOT will resurface and add shoulders on that section of the highway. Traffic will be down to one-lane at various points. KDOT is doing a chip seal on Highway 7 from Miami and Linn County into Bourbon County which should be completed in 19-days.


Duke Verhelst reported that he has been asked to look into our ISO ration for the City to try to have a rating done by the end of the year. When audited now, they allot points and large part of the audits will fall back to radio dispatch and communications. Another change they are now looking at is the number of tools on the trucks rather than the number of trucks. All cities will be reevaluated in the next two (2) years under the new guidelines. Concerns are down from last year for fires from fireworks. The Garnett Fire Department is having an AR-15 gun raffle and the drawing will take place on July 3rd after the fireworks. There will be a limit of 500 tickets to sell.   


J.D. Mersman reported that the State report as of yesterday morning still showed Anderson County in a “watch” status for drought conditions. The County also applied for the extension on the concealed carry regulation. KU has a new propane emergency class so the fire departments will get with Lybarger Oil on that class where firemen can put out some propane fires. On Dec. 7th – 8th Anderson County is hosting the regional fire school at the high school, so they may need some propane that weekend as well for some hands on training. They are also looking into the Hazmat Awareness Class that is through KU. County department heads are working on budget with the County Commissioners and he turned in a job description for an assistant and he doesn’t know at this point whether hiring an assistant will be approved.


J.D. Mersman reported that a LeRoy Coop applicator struck one of Southern Star’s pieces of equipment and there was a release of gas by Welda. Southern Star had one (1) resident evacuate. Part of the road was blocked.


The next meeting will be August 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. There being no further business, a motion was made by Kevin PeKarek, seconded by Mike Thweatt to adjourn at 11:22 a.m.  




_____________________________________                                                                                                            Kristina L. Kinney, Secretary