September 29, 2016

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at          10:00 a.m. with the following members present: John Alford, EKAE; Mike Barger, East Kansas Agri-Energy; Todd Barnes, EKAE; Mick Brinkmeyer, Anderson County Emergency Mgt./Fire; Josh DeHoux, KDWPT; Marvin Grimes, USD #365; Jerry Howarter, Anderson County Commissioner; Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy; Tom Lasser, Hawkins, Inc.; Samantha Mason, SEK MCHD; Trent McCown, KDWPT; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt./Fire; Bob Mills, City of Garnett Power Plant; Dawn Moody, Anderson County Communications Center; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Kevin PeKarek, City of Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS;  Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Steve Stringham, MFA Oil; Pat Tate, City of Garnett Fire Chief; Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; Ryan Tuollmann, KDWPT; Daris Wyatt, MFA Oil; and Vern Valentine, Anderson County Sheriff.


 Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Tabitha Clark, USD #365; Bill Dickey, MFA Oil; Tanya Ewert, Anderson County Hospital; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Travis Rockers, Anderson County Hospital Engineering; and.


Also attending: Robert Donovan, Garnett Patrol Officer; Ryan Tuollmann, KDWPT; Steve Stringham, Lybarger/MFA Oil; Willis Miller, United Way Franklin Co.; and Meg Pearson, United Way. 



Dave Kueser provided an interesting PowerPoint presentation on pipeline safety. 



J.D. Mersman called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Introductions were made of committee members and guests.



A motion was made by Mick Brinkmeyer, seconded by Robert Robbins to approve the minutes of January 28, 2016 as amended. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman reported the Robert Robbins will be moving away from our community. Robert serves as Vice-President on the LEPC.


J.D. Mersman asked Kristie Kinney, Secretary, to let him know if she needs help as she battles her cancer. He asked everyone to keep her in their prayers.



J.D. Mersman reported that Cornfest went well. Concert headliner, Eddy Montgomery, passed out on stage. EMTs were quick to respond and he was back performing shortly. One concert attendee also had a heat related issue. He thanked the weather service; wildlife & parks; Garnett police department; sheriff’s department; EMTs; Kansas Highway Patrol; Miami, Franklin, Coffey, Shawnee and Allen Counties for bringing in resources to help manage the event. The stage location was changed this year so there were some issues with that.


Josh DeHoux said the new stage setup was on flat land with no slope so it was difficult to see the stage if sitting in the back. The old location of the stage provided better visibility for all the attendees. He said several people were complaining about that.


J.D. Mersman said we are still in the planning phase of the active shooter exercise. Sheriff Valentine met with the Superintendent of USD 365 who is considering, but he’s not completely on board right now. We are still looking to do the exercise during spring break, but we still have a lot of training to do with fire, EMS, and the school district prior to the exercise. If any facility or buisness is interested in having training on active shooter incidents, the sherrif’s department and Garnett police department would be willing to provide that training. One of our LEPC goals is to increase awareness for responders but also employees at our various businesses.


J.D. Mersman reported that the fire department is still working with the City to try to secure some funds for a water rescue boat. The special boat, trailer, motor, and lights cost about $22,000. Sheriff Valentine stated he can offer half the cost of this out of the sheriff office funds. A lot of time when the boat is used will be for evidence, vechicle and body recovery so he appreciated the sherrif’s offer.  



J.D. Mersman reported that the County Emergency Operation Plan (EOP) needs to be reviewed annually. The plan will be sent out to agencies and entities who are involved in the plan in the near future. After the first of the year we can sign off on our plan that it is current and updated. 

Every 5-years we have to submit our plan to the State for their review. We are in the second or third year of our plan.


At the first of every year we discuss our training plan for the upcoming year. Next year will be mostly consumed by the full scale active shooter training and exercise in the spring. As with any exercise, there is after action and followups that have to be done ater the exercise to correct any deficiencies, so we can concentrate on that for the rest 2017. The full scale exercise will help us determine any additional training we will need to do and help guide our training for the following year.



J.D. Mersman reported that tomorrow, the fire department will be doing a mock vehicle crash at Anderson County Jr./Sr. High School at the student council request. We will have some injured students there starting around 9:30 a.m.


Tom Lasser reported that Hawkin’s just completed a large upgrade on their facility. They handle many different chemicals and if the fire department, or police department, would like to tour the building he would be happy to schedule this. Hawkins had many facilities throughout the country.


County Commissioner Howarter stated he hated to hear Robert Robbins was leaving, and wished him good luck.


County Commissioner Howarter stated he is impressed with everyone’s interest in what is going on. He stated the new TV show, Designated Survivor, had him question whether there is a contingency plan in the various entities in their emergency plan. If experts from various facilities are not available in an emergency, who is available to take over. He stated the LEPC needs to know this information for each facility. 


Meg Pearson, United Way, reported that zip codes were assigned as to areas that they would be responsible for when people send money to help areas during disasters, and Anderson County is one of her areas. They have a bank account set aside for an emergency planning situation. If something were to happen in our area, then funds could begin to be put immediately into that bank account and then determine how to best serve the victims once the event is over. However her board is made up of Franklin County residents because that is where they are based out of. So that means that if there was a disaster in Anderson County, then Franklin County residents would be helping to make the descions about how that funding would be used and she honestly doesn’t believe that is appropriate. If there was an emergency situation in Anderson County, it would be best if there was a committee of Anderson County people who would be willing to serve on the committee to help best determine how to use those funds for Anderson County residents. She asked if any members of the LEPC would be interested in serving on that committee. She would recommend a minimum of five (5) people from Anderson County sit on that committee to determine funding for victims of Anderson County in an Anderson County incident. This would be after the aftermath of a disaster as needs arose, and the committee would take a look at what those needs are and how to best address the community needs in those times and also taking a look at how we can assist victims. There is a large world-wide United Way manual for this because the funding is so sensitive about how the money can be used and some legal terms we should set up for those types of funds so that victims, who are not truly victims, can’t use those funds. There are a lot of technicalities that she is just beginning to learn herself and they would want to do this properly.


Sheriff Valentine said then it would be best to have city and county management who are already handling the money for the city and county and knows what’s going on county-wide and would know best how to utilize those funds to which Ms. Pearson agreed and said that would be great. Josh DeHoux stated it would be good to also include people from the community too.                   Ms. Pearson said to diversify the committee it would be good to have someone from the faith-based community as well because when we start talking about victims, we really want to be making the best possible decision we can.


Kristie Kinney stated this would be a good fit for Richard Miller since he is the lead member on the CERT team. J.D. Mersman agreed and said Richard or Dorothy Miller would be good.     


Mike Thweatt reported a new trooper will be stationed in Anderson County in January. He has changed duties and is now Administrative Leutenant at Troop H. He plans to stay on the LEPC. Leutenant Drennan from Linn County will be taking over this area. He will attend the next LEPC meeting.


Mike Thweatt reported that the highway patrol will be changing email addresses and he will send it to everyone who needs it as soon as he receives it.


Mike Thweatt reported they have some special enforcements going on now on various highways.


J.D. Mersman thanked KHP for Lt. Drennan’s assistance during a downburst north of Harris.


Kevin Ryan reported KDOT will mill and overlay from Garnett to I-35 and I-35 to Waverly. The contractor is behind due to rain. They are working to complete before cold weather. It was questioned whether the curve in the road at the Potawatomie bridge on Highway 59 will remain like that, to which Mr. Ryan replied it will remain as it is now.


Mick Brinkmeyer asked that workers contact dispatch when a road is shut down to one (1) lane. Dawn Moody stated that dispatch will let KDOT know when emergency vehicles will be coming through. Pat Tate said recently, the pilot car shut down and let the fire truck through. Kevin Ryan stated they will start notifying dispatch when down to one (1) lane. Sue Zentner in the KDOT office still has a radio that she can listen to calls as well.


Don Nungesser reported that body bags are on a shipping container so they are low on bags right now. Jenny Benz is going to be helping with coroner calls. J.D. Mersman added that part of the active shooter will dive into some fatalities as well.


Pat Tate reported there have been four (4) house fires. Two (2) in July had smoke detectors that alerted residents and they got out of the house. The fire in August, people were spraying sealant on a wall. When the fumes got strong, they plugged a fan in and it caused an arc, which set the wall on fire. The fire a couple of weeks ago we lost two (2) lives, and crews were able to save a 4-year old little boy. There was no smoke detectors in the house.


Pat Tate reported Nick Galey will be back to work in the City after some serious health issues.


Pat Tate reported that the training at the school will be tomorrow and they will have the trucks there with lights on. They will discuss drinking an driving and distrated driving. The goal is to save lives by awareness.


Pat Tate reported that next week kicks off Fire Prevention Month. They will visit the schools with the trucks. The Garnett Fire Department will have an open house on October 13th and serve hot dogs and chips.


Pat Tate reported that on October 22nd, the fire department will have live training in a condemned house on S. Vine to train on wall breech and holes in a 2-story house.


Pat Tate reported that at the city commission meeting on October 25th, the commission will honor a member of the police department and a deputy at the meeting. We will also honor a citizen who broke the windows out, which we normally don’t like to see, but had he not broken the window the 4-year old boy wouldn’t have been saved.


Pat Tate reported that we have a full month with fire prevention and training. He appreciates the invite from Hawkins and the ethanol plant.


Pat Tate reported that the Red Cross came in after the fatal house fire and will meet with them on getting more smoke detectors out and education. Meg Pearson added that the Red Cross also had a good worksheet that can be given to families in the homes that smoke detectors are installed.


Mick Brinkmeyer reported that the county is working on updating the equipment, and he thanked the county commissioners for supporting them.


J.D. Mersman thankd Daris Wyatt for the tour of MFA Oil.


Trent McCowen reported that there will be a Epic Ultra marathon on October 29-30, 2016. This is a small marathon, of 25 and 50 miles. There are 150 runners at this point signed up.


 Trent McCowen reported that on October 31st, they will have the Haunted Hoedown at the depot for a safe place to bring the kids through.


Dawn Moody reported that dispatch is still working with AT&T to get their system up and running. They have been working to switch over from Centurylink to AT&T.


Dawn Moody reported that dispatch is updating their call out list to ensure they have the correct night contacts.


Keith Peine reported that the Kansas National Guard is still down on personnel so there could be a slow response if needed.


Daris Wyatt thanked the fire department for coming out to their facility. He said Pat Tate gave them some suggestions on things they could improve while they were out there so they are working to make those changes.


Daris Wyatt introduced Steve Stringham and said they will be working together. He will handle the plant and Steve will focus on the trucks.


Mike Barger reported that he attended a round table at the State LEPC conference. This LEPC is in good shape and has a lot of good teamwork. A lot of the other LEPC’s shared that they are not as successful with the teamwork aspect.


Mike Barger reported that he has invited the fire department out to the new renewable plant tomorrow. They are working to update their plans to add the renewable plant. Multiple plans are regulated by requirements and regulations.


Mike Barger reported the new grain bins are completed and online, so they can take a lot of grain in.


John Alford reported that there were 174 trucks that came through in 11 hours of one day.


Samantha Mason reported that the flu shots are in at the health department. They are planning a table top exercise in February, 2017.


Robert Robbins reported that the hospital will have the Health Fest on October 4th from                4 pm to 7 pm.


Robert Robbins reported that they are working on education for mass casulaty to go in conjuction with the exercise in the spring.


Robert Robbins thanked the City and County Fire Departments. They take care of patients until the EMTs arrive on scene. He also thanked the City police department. He also thanked J.D. Mersman and Don Nungesser for everything he has done to help him and he has learned a lot from them over the years.


J.D. Mersman reported that John Alford gave him a list of all chemicals at the ethanol plant. Doug Sommer can get on the computer if the fire department shows up.


Tom Laiter reported that the sheriff’s department will come out to any local business free of charge for active shooter training.


Bob Mills stated if anyone wants to come tour the power plant to let him know. He added that one ABC extinguisher could cause a million dollars in damage so they need to grab one of his fire extinguishers on site.


Bob Mills reported that CO2 detectors need to be checked and cleaned.


Kristie Kinney reported that Wings 5K run/walk is this Saturday at 1 pm starting at the rec center. Lake Garnett Grand Prix is October 8-9th and all campsites are full and some may be up in the skeet shooting area at the North Lake. They will also have the car show on the square. The Garnett Fire Dept. chili/soup supper is the Saturday after Thanksgiving the night of the Christmas parade.


Kristie Kinney reported several streets were repaired this year. We just completed lining sewer lines with Insituform under Highway 59. More sewer lines will be repaired in ongoing years.  Jim James, Water Plant Supt., is preparing for a upgrade at the water treatment plant. The Gas & Water Supt. position is still open. 


Vern Valentine reported that his department is short some officers. They have nine (9) officers in the county and they are currently down to severn (7). They should be fully staffed in December.


Josh DeHoux reported it is deer season. Their leutenant has them working more toward a region now. Their region covers from here to the Kansas river in Johnson County. So they travel to other counties if needed.


Josh DeHoux reported that the water rescue team did some work in high water flooding at the south end of the reservour. The water came up 1 ˝ feet while they were there so they had to move back north.


Meg Pearson reported that the Elizabeth Layton Center helps with health training. Vern Valentine reported that he needs that training for the jail staff.


The next LEPC meeting will be on December 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Mike Thweatt, seconded by                       Robert Robbins to adjourn the meeting at 11:40 a.m. Motion carried.  




s/ Kristina L. Kinney                           Secretary