Council hears pre-disaster mitigation plan update


BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council heard a preliminary report on the Brookings County/City of Brookings Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan Update.

Luke Muller, senior planner for First District, presented the update. First District is a resource to help cities and counties work through topics that affect both of them and covers eastern South Dakota, Mayor Keith Corbett said.

The pre-disaster mitigation plan needs to be updated every five years, as per FEMA, so the cities and counties can qualify for insurance, Muller said.

It is a joint plan between the county and all the towns in the county with some information unique to each community, Muller said. He and Brookings County Director of Emergency Management Robert Hill discuss the plan with each community.

The area will face disasters, Muller said. 

“What we’re trying to do is limit the damage,” he said.

He and Hill try to identify which communities are more or less vulnerable to certain disasters and what facilities and critical infrastructure each community needs to keep running during those disasters.

An example Muller used would be a tornado and storm shelters. The plan reviews what storm shelters are available and where they are located. It’s important to add them and their existence is necessary to be eligible for mitigation funding, Muller said.

He pointed out the county and cities do not have to wait five years to make updates to the plan; all it takes is a resolution to update it, so if circumstances in a town change, the authorities can make a change immediately.

Muller said the initial draft of the plan will be available in a couple of months for review by the public and authorities. Then they can seek FEMA’s approval before the county and cities adopt it.

Councilor Mary Kidwiler asked if there were any changes from the former plan.

Yes, Muller said, some infrastructure has been built since the last one; this plan includes some that were overlooked the last time, and they have added storm shelters and where they could be located.

On another topic, the council approved Angela Ritter as the acting city clerk. Current City Clerk Shari Thornes will officially retire on Jan. 28. She is out of the office until then.

“We wish Shari well and thank her for 34 years of service to the city,” Corbett said.

In other business, the council:

• Approved an amendment to the Civil Air Patrol, Inc., lease agreement;

• Amended the Cooperative Fire Suppression Agreement;

• Approved a $50 fee for pedal car/bar permits;

• Approved the assessment roll for the sanitary sewer project on Western Avenue;

• Approved the hay leases for Lyle Johnson at the Brookings Airport; a crop lease for David Rochel in the Wiese and Freeland additions; a hay lease for Tim Bauer in Section 11 along Main Avenue; and a hay lease to MC Hay in Section 21 near the Brookings Airport.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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