A new regional hazard mitigation plan has now been approved by all of the local governments in Stokes County, following approval by the Danbury Town Council last week.
Stokes County EMS Director Greg Collins said the plan would allow local governments to access federal funds if a state of emergency was ever called, noting that the plan identified potential environmental and man-made hazards for both Stokes County and the region.
“This 1,500 page document is the result of a year-long process,” said Collins. “It cost $100,000 to get the document done. Our portion would have been $16,000, but federal money dropped down to the state and the state gave it to us so we could hire a company to do it for us. They took all of our old plans and looked at historical data and put it together.”
The new plan encompasses seven counties and 30 different municipalities.
“We had input in what was included in the Stokes County portion of it,” said Collins. “We had a little blurb in there about the possibility of fracking. We said there is not enough information for us to know a lot about it, but it is on the horizon for us and to start planning for it. No other county put it in except for us. We put it in because people in this county have been so vocal about it, we felt we should start working a little bit towards it.”
Collins added that the county has increased the number of shelters in the county, noting that the county now has one shelter at London Elementary School that is equipped with a back up generator in the event the county loses power.
“It has been in operation since July 1,” said Collins, adding that the county plans to add that functionality to other shelters in coming years.
Town Administrator Mike Barsness told the council he had identified two roads in town that needed quick attention.
“On Sheep Rock Road there is a portion that has been pulverized and needs to be totally rebuilt,” he said. “It was caused by the constant heavy truck traffic when the water tank was being built. DOT has given me some estimates to fix it and it is not cheap.”
Barsness said repairing the asphalt on the road would cost the town $12,000 and converting the road to a gravel road would cost about $9,000. He noted that he planned to ask the county to help with the cost of repair.
“There are only two homes past where it is bad, so I am suggesting you only do 200 to 300 feet and stop at the end of the last property,” said Barsness. He recommended the town assess the situation this fall and aim to work on a repair in the spring. “We have this year’s Powell money in the budget which is about $5,400, but some of that is already earmarked to mowing, snow removal and ditch repair. We would have to do a budget amendment to fix this anyway we looked at it.”
He said Meadow Road is also in need of crack sealing.
“We need to do that or we will loose the whole road,” he said. “We probably would have enough money in our existing budget to doe Meadow Road without having to do a budget amendment.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.