Commissioners approve countywide multi-hazard mitigation plan Tuesday
[Tiffin, OH Jan. 7, 2020] – The Seneca County 2019 Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan was granted final federal approval on Dec. 30.
The approval establishes Seneca County and all adopting municipalities as eligible for mitigation funding under the Robert T. Stafford Act, as amended.
Mitigation funding provides assistance for projects that reduce or eliminate vulnerability to disaster damages, including not only weather events like tornadoes, floods and wind, but also human-caused and technological incidents. This plan includes incidents such as water quality incidents and hazardous materials releases as contemporary threats. Mitigation funds are utilized prior to an actual incident to correct or change the community’s ability to withstand the impact of specific threats.
For every dollar spent on mitigation, FEMA data indicates the community saves $6 to $9 in response costs should an incident occur. There are several grant programs that provide funding to complete projects that lessen the damage that would be done by a disaster. This year alone the federal government has made over $400 million available to communities for mitigation and that number is expected to rise. Plans for 2020 include implementation of an infrastructure improvement grant program that would make an amount equal to 6% of the previous year’s disaster response expenditures available to communities for local projects; that annual amount is anticipated to be $300-500 million dollars.
All villages, cities, and townships in Seneca County participated in the development of this plan. A series of work sessions were held in villages, cities, and townships to identify and characterize the hazards that affect those jurisdictions. A second set of meetings was held to identify methods to reduce or eliminate risk. Final countywide sessions were conducted to discuss implementation and a collaborative approach to mitigation actions. The process was completed with a two-week public review period for the draft plan.
The Seneca County Board of Commissioners formally adopted the Seneca County Hazard Mitigation Plan on Tuesday. Cities and villages are in the process of adopting the plan currently. The plan is available on the State of Ohio’s State Hazard Analysis Resource and Planning Portal at https://sharpp.dps.ohio.gov.
The new plan will be valid for five years and expires on Jan. 7, 2025.
Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Administrator John Spahr thanked all of those who helped throughout the process of updating and ratifying the plan.
“I want to make sure we thank all of the jurisdictions, elected officials and community members that participated,” he said. “I also want to thank the Seneca Regional Planning Commission for all their assistance.”
Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors thanked Spahr for his hard work.
“He has done a really good job with this,” he said.
Commissioner Tony Paradiso said the board was happy to approve the plan. The cost of creating it was covered by federal and state funds and was of no cost to the county, outside of volunteer hours.
“If I had a football, I’d spike it,” Paradiso said.
“This is a big win for the county,” Spahr added.