electricpole120The Lansing Town Board voted to authorize a multi-jurisdictional all-hazard mitigation plan Monday.  Federal regulations require the adoption of such a plan, which was prepared by the Tompkins County Planning Department.  But the Town was not prepared to officially recognize an Emergency Preparedness Committee.  Town Supervisor Kathy Miller said she has yet to solicit representation on the committee from the School and Fire Districts before the Town Board officially appoints the committee.

"We have a number of other people who have agreed to be on the committee," she said.  "We really need someone from the school district, and I need to ask someone from the fire department.  As soon as we get those people on board we will recognize the committee."

FEMA requires that communities participate in multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans.  They define it as "a plan prepared jointly by more than one jurisdiction and may include any county, municipality, city, town, township, school district or other special district, council of governments or other regional organization, Indian tribe or Alaska Native village, or unincorporated areas. Multi-jurisdictional plans pose special considerations that single-jurisdiction plans may not need to address; but there are benefits as well, such as cost savings to prepare plans, shared staff and resources, and comprehensive approaches to mitigation hazards that cross jurisdictional boundaries."

"The adoption of this provides us access to state and federal funds should something occur," said Councilman Robert Cree.

In July Highway Superintendent Jack French told the board that the Town was not prepared for emergencies, saying it did not have a plan or equipment to insure his department can effectively respond to emergencies.  French had been unable to communicate with his crew and fire officials during a severe rain storm, and he told the Board that a gas pump used to fuel Highway Department and Fire District vehicles was without power for up to ten hours.

Last month the Board approved funding for four special hand-held radios that can reach fire departments, other towns, the County Highway Department, Sheriff's Department, State Police or any other official entity on the system.  The Board also approved funding for an emergency generator to power the Town Barn and its gas pump during emergencies.

French says the radios have been delivered and are now in service, but he does not expect the generator to be delivered before next month.  The Board will then have to approve funding to install it.

Miller said that the Emergency Preparedness Committee would likely meet once a month until a plan is formulated and adopted by the Town Board.  After that she said the committee would likely meet to renew it each year.

The Board voted 5-0 to adopt the inter-municipal plan.

"Hopefully we won't need this,  Miller said.  "But if we do we will be able to qualify for federal funds.  We have the County plan. We have to pass a municipal plan."