The Norman Transcript

October 2, 2012

County discusses wildfire recovery

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A disaster recovery center will soon be set up for victims of the Aug. 3-4 wildfires, Safety Emergency Management Director Dan Cary announced Monday at the Cleveland County Commissioners meeting.

Cary said the center will open Wednesday at the 12 Corners Baptist Church and will run for about three weeks.

Families and individuals will be able to go to the center and register to receive assistance from various groups. There will be around 10 to 15 agencies to assist individuals affected by the fire with whatever they need, Cary said.

“The county and the town of Slaughterville have been working diligently since the fire,” in order to accurately document all of the fire damage and report it to the state for them to send to the President’s office, Cary said.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Thursday that Cleveland County had been approved to receive assistance from the federal government.

An initial request was sent in on Aug. 13 for Cleveland, Oklahoma and Payne counties, which was denied. Fallin appealed the FEMA denial, but Oklahoma and Payne counties were again denied.

To apply for disaster assistance, individuals and business owners must call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or go online to Cleveland County residents who have already called FEMA to report damage prior to the appeal are asked to call again to confirm their registration.

After calling FEMA, Cary said fire victims should call the county commissioner’s office at 366-0200.

Fire mutual aid grant: Another thing the Emergency Management office is looking at is getting a grant for agencies who responded to the August wildfires.

Cary said all agencies who responded to the fires will be meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the grant.

If the grant is approved, the agencies will receive some reimbursement from the costs and expenses accrued while fighter the fire.

Burn ban: Last week during the commissioner’s meeting, Cary discussed looking at putting a county-wide burn ban back into effect but with recent rains, they decided against it. Fallin lifted the burn ban last week.

There have been several people that have requested to burn debris left from the wildfire, but he said they are still urging people to use caution.

Agenda items:

· A MotorGrader was purchased for District No. 2 to replace the one damaged during the fires. The grader was purchased from Warren Cat, Warren Power & Machinery Inc. in the amount of $247,450.

· A presentation of safety awards to about 25 employees from the county’s assessor’s office, treasurer’s office, the fairgrounds, election board, county clerk’s office, court clerk’s office, District No. 2 and the sheriff’s office also took place.

· A letter of endorsement was approved by the board designating the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments to administer and staff the regional Economic Development District.

· A bid was rescinded on Monday from Jim Johnson Oil Co. and awarded to Fentress Oil Co. for bulk oils, lubricants and antifreeze. Commissioner Rod Cleveland said the products had different descriptions, but they found out they were the same product, so the bid was reawarded to Fentress, the company with the cheaper product.

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