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Grant would fund combined emergency plan



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July 09, 2014 - Independence Township Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Mitch Petterson has applied for a State of Michigan Competitive Grant Assistance Program (CGAP) in hopes of getting about $150,000 in state funding to help three local government entities join forces in the event of a major emergency.

The CGAP helps offset costs associated with mergers, consolidations, interlocal agreements, and cooperative efforts for local units and school districts.

Petterson said the grant was recently submitted and would only apply in emergencies it is not a shared-service agreement with other communities.

If the grant is accepted, Independence Township Hall would be made fit to use as an emergency operations center for the township, as well as Springfield Township and City of the Village of Clarkston, Petterson said.

By completing various upgrades, and funding a variety of other needs, the three entities could consolidate and work together in one upgraded location during a catastrophic event.

"Town Hall would serve as a sort of nerve center for operations," Petterson said. "It is not a consolidation of any type and would only occur in an emergency. It would gives us one location for three communities to provide necessary services."

Petterson said he applied for the grant to ensure cooperation in a major emergency.

"What happens if town hall is not usable," he asked. "If it's out for a month how do we do payroll or keep the government operating?"

Those questions is exactly the reason one place should be hearty enough to survive an major event like a tornado or a prolonged blackout, Petterson said.

"In order to provide continuity of operations your community has to have a plan," he said.

Funding would be used to improve the building with things like an uninterruptable power supplies and other equipment.

Petterson the state of Michigan has encouraged creating government efficiencies via grants over the past couple years.

"Why do things separate when could do it all together," he said.

Petterson said it will be a few months before it is announced what community will receive the grant.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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